Roshan Paul, President
Prior to The Amani Institute, Roshan has worked at Ashoka Innovators for the Public for more than seven years, helping create five new programs and managing two other global projects. Among these are Ashoka’s Peace Initiative (supporting social entrepreneurs in conflict zones) and Globalizer program (helping social entrepreneurs scale up their innovations). Originally from Bangalore, Roshan has a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, a Bachelor’s in International Relations from Davidson College, and is one of the founding participants of The Amsterdam School for Creative Leadership. He has guest-lectured at over a dozen universities in the United States and Europe, including Harvard University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins SAIS and HEC Business School Paris, and served on the Advisory Boards of several organizations working in peacebuilding and education. His writing has been published in, among others, Forbes, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, MIT's Innovations Journal, India Today, as well as a co-written chapter in the recent book, Dream of a Nation.
Ilaina Rabbat, Executive Director
Since the age of 15, Ilaina has been working actively towards social change. In Argentina she worked at the Argentine Youth Organization for the United Nations (OAJNU), serving on the Cordoba Region’s Executive Committee as well as on the National Board. To understand government better, she worked for the Córdoba Government’s International Cooperation Science and Education Secretary. In Spain, she worked in the International Cooperation Department of the Youth Council of Galicia-Spain, working on relations with the European Union. Then, seeking to help youth make a positive change in their communities she joined Ashoka’s Southern Cone office as Director of the Youth Venture Program. She then launched Ashoka’s El Salvador office, where she built and managed a youth violence prevention program through social entrepreneurship and the construction of social capital. She has also worked in community-based projects in Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia and Haiti. Ilaina studied International Affairs, Social Communication, Mediation and Conflict Resolution in Córdoba, Buenos Aires and Washington DC.
Geraldine Hepp, Program Associate
Geraldine is traveling one of many roads that lead to the metaphorical Rome. Raised in an international home based in the Black Forest, she grew to love and worry about this world - taking first steps in fighting for a world "the grown ups only borrowed from children" as the founder of a 'Greenteam' (Greenpeace youthgroup), organizing social work camps and hiking expeditions through foreign countries. Her educational background comprises different stations such as a Diploma as a manager's secretary from NSH Basel, the Academy Year at the European College of Liberal Arts in Berlin, the Journeyman Certificate for Guitar at MI in Hollywood, and a Massage Training at IPSB in Culver City, California. She is currently completing a major in Comparative/Adult Education and a minor in Music and Media Science at HU Berlin. She is interested in conflict resolution, mediation, the role of the arts, performance and music in social organization, education and healing, and questions regarding inner work in professional and educational settings.
Victoria Nyakundi, Finance and Operations Manager
Victoria got her first taste of the social space during her time in university while she was pursuing a degree in Actuarial Science. Prior to joining the Amani team Victoria was working with a solar company called Village Energy whose focus is on being able to provide to off-grid communities services that were initially unavailable through the use of micro-solar power systems. Throughout her time in university, she actively participated in AIESEC which is an international student organization that focuses on youth development and leadership where she served various portfolios. Victoria enjoys working with numbers and loves to travel plus she is passionate about dance.