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Board of Advisors

Board of Advisors

Mr. Romesh Bhattacharji

Former Narcotics Commissioner

Government of India

Mr. Bhattacharji was the Narcotics Commissioner of India. He played an active role in the formulation and implementation of the national narcotic policy, supervision of legal poppy cultivation in India and detection/destruction of illicit opium poppy cultivation. A freelance writer, he has authored numerous articles on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, security, insurgency, narcotics, and tourism. He has also authored a book on the insurgency-affected north-eastern region of India. He has worked in Afghanistan as a consultant for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on Afghanistan’s opium crisis and has conducted extensive field research in the farming communities of Afghanistan.

Jason Kothari

Former CEO of Housing.com, Snapdeal & Freecharge – Passionate Entrepreneur

While still in college, he acquired bankrupt US-based Valiant Entertainment and led its transformation as the CEO to the third largest superhero entertainment company after Marvel and DC and a sale for $100 million, a record industry return. Subsequently, Jason was the CEO of Housing.com, where he led the transformation of the distressed company and a merger with News Corp.’s PropTiger to create the $350 million industry leader.

Following this, he was the Chief Strategy & Investment Officer of Snapdeal, where he played a lead role in transforming the distressed company from an over $20 million monthly loss to a profit, the first for an Indian e-commerce company. Jason was also the CEO of FreeCharge, where he led the sale of the company to Axis Bank for $60 million. In addition, he has been a senior advisor to Softbank; Noon.com, a $1 billion Middle East e-commerce company; and is a Board Director of Emaar India, which has over $2 billion in real estate assets.

He is also an Executive Producer of Bloodshot (Sony Pictures) starring Vin Diesel and the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir Irrationally Passionate (HarperCollins). Jason holds a B.S. from The Wharton School and lives in Mumbai.

Dr. Suman Sahai

Founder & Chairperson

Gene Campaign

Dr. Sahai, with a distinguished scientific career in the field of genetics, is a recipient of the Padma Shri, the Borlaug Award, Outstanding Woman Achiever awards, the Birbal Sahni Gold Medal and the Order of the Golden Ark.

Dr. Sahai is founder Chairperson of the Gene Campaign which is a leading research and advocacy organization working on issues relating to food, nutrition and livelihoods. Dr. Sahai chaired India’s Planning Commission Task Force on ‘Agrobiodiversity and Genetically Engineered Organisms’, for the XIth Plan. She was a member of the Steering Committee of the National Biodiversity Board, the Expert Committee on Biotechnology Policy and the Bioethics Committee of the Indian Council of Medical Research.

Dr. Shreekumar Menon

Head – Centre for Narcotics & Psychotropic Substances Manipal

Academy of Higher Education, Former Director General at the National Academy of Customs, Excise & Narcotics (NACEN)

Dr. G. Shreekumar Menon has served 37 years as a distinguished officer of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), which is an elite administrative cadre of the federal government of India. In the course of his career spanning nearly four decades, he steadily rose through the ranks and retired as Director General at the National Academy of Customs, Excise & Narcotics (NACEN), Faridabad and Director General, Multi-Disciplinary School of Economic Intelligence, Mumbai. He has also served in different capacities like Assistant Commissioner/ Deputy Commissioner / Joint Commissioner / Additional Commissioner / Commissioner at various cities of India, like Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mangalore, Patna, Guwahati, Shillong and Goa.

Dr. Menon’s academic track record includes M. A. and culminated with a Ph. D. degree in Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances from Mangalore University.

Post retirement from public service, he has served as the Registrar of Yenepoya(Deemed to be University), a leading private university based at Mangalore, India, which runs medical college, a dental college, an engineering institute and several institutions in other professional streams. Presently, He is the Head of the Centre for Narcotics & Psychotropic Substances, at Manipal Academy of Higher Education.

Dr. Ravi Bhushan Singh

Agriculture Specialist

Former CEO-Bharat Renewable Energy Ltd.

Dr. Bhushan is an agriculture specialist and agri-business professional with 34 years of experience in the sector. He managed the Bharat Renewable Energy Limited, as CEO of JV, promoted by Bharat Petroleum, to build and operate a bioenergy value chain. After that, he took voluntary retirement and started working as an independent professional for agriculture, agri-business, rural and farmer development facilitator.

He has worked as the Commercial Director for CABI (Erstwhile Commonwealth Agriculture Bureau International) and leads the knowledge management part of the largest ICT-based agro-advisory project in India. As founding COO for Digital Green, an ICT-based program with the goal of increasing agro-extension efficiency, he led the strategic model development and implementation of it to impart education, training, and skill development for farm and non-farm activities in public and private environment.

Dr. David Taylor

Professor of International Relations and Public Policy – Swansea

University, Founding Director of the Global Drug Policy Observatory (2013).

David has been researching aspects of drug policy for over 25 years with his main areas of interest being the UN and international drug policy and more recently the shifts in legislative attitudes towards cannabis, including the transitioning of illicit cultivation in the so-called Global South towards engagement with the burgeoning licit markets for medicinal use.

He has written two major research monographs – The United States and International Drug Control, 1909-1997 (Pinter, 1999 & Continuum, 2001) and International Drug Control: Consensus Fractured (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

David was the founding Secretary of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (2006-7) and is currently on the Editorial Boards of The International Journal of Drug Policy and the International Journal on Human Rights and Drug Policy. He is also a member of the International Advisory Board of the David F. Musto Center for Drug Policy Studies (Shanghai University) and a technical advisor to the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation (St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto).