our leadership

 

Surge is led by a Board of Directors that are highly committed to the health and welfare of developing countries. Our leadership brings a wealth of global experience, wisdom and vision.

Shilpa Alva

Founder & Executive Director

I started Surge in response to a deep calling to give back to people who were less fortunate than me, and to be an active part of addressing poverty, injustice, and inequality in our world. Through Surge’s mission and model, I found an unanswered need and a way to fulfill my calling. Surge is one of my life’s biggest loves — it’s truly an extension of my mind, heart, and soul. It’s been so fulfilling and motivating being a part of Surge’s story and its global family, who are all connected by love and a desire to make our world a better place. My professional and educational experiences in engineering, public policy, supply chain, and management consulting are effectively put to use in running the organization.  

See our founder, Shilpa Alva at TEDx

Jennifer B. Long

Associate Executive Director, USA

There is no limit to what we can achieve when we have access to safe water, healthy food and sustainable communities. Surge works with communities to determine the support they need around water, offering life and dignity. This mission deeply relates to my core values. In my fundraising role with Surge, I apply my professional and educational experience with grants, donor relationship management, and strategy development to grow the organization.

USA

Channa North-Hoffstaed

Board Chair, USA

I volunteer for Surge because of the commitment to provide sustainable and community-driven solutions to help end the cycle of poverty. There is a humility in partnering with communities that is truly transformative and long-lasting. Visiting Haiti and working directly with Surge’s field partners has so far been my most compelling experience with the organization. For me, seeing the strong community relationships reinforced the uniqueness of Surge’s approach to locally-led development. Through my professional consulting experience, I’ve provided strategic direction to several leading corporations. I really enjoy offering this service to Surge and simultaneously turning it into tactical execution. In my free time, you’ll likely find me training for my next marathon.

Trisha Bhagat

Treasurer, USA

I love that Surge is committed to helping our global communities be healthier and happier. I resonate deeply with Surge’s sustainable approach that allows communities to stand on their own and flourish. I feel very fortunate that I get to volunteer with some amazing passionate people; it makes me feel like I’m part of a global family. Professionally, I work in audit and compliance, and I enjoy applying these analytical skills, as well as my creative side, towards growing Surge.

Sarah Odde Lynch

Marketing & Communications Director, USA

I love devoting my time as a marketing professional to an organization that cares about providing for children and families’ basic needs — and creating a better future. It’s been exciting to see Surge grow through the years, starting as an idea and now becoming a major force in the water and sanitation space. Outside of Surge, I’ve been in corporate marketing for more than 15 years, working on dynamic food and beverage brands such as Land O’Lakes®, Baileys®, Ketel One®, and most recently V&V Supremo Chihuahua® Cheese.

Anna Paul

Operations Director, USA

We’re so lucky to not have to think about the safety of our water. No one should have their future limited by access to safe water and sanitation. I dedicate my time to this cause because of the inspiring way Surge integrates with communities and becomes a part of them to solve this global issue. I know we are making a sustainable difference. Professionally, I’m an administrator and an organizer, and I apply these skills to to my work with Surge — where I get things working better and more efficiently. In my free time, you’ll find me at a fencing tournament.

Neelam Patel

Education Programs Director, USA

Water is one of the foundations of life, and I love that Surge helps provide this basic need. I was part of the team that created Surge’s Menstrual Hygiene Program. Educating and empowering young girls and women is something that truly resonates with me. Outside of Surge, I’m a physical therapist, and in my free time, I take on new challenges — such as conquering my fear of water by learning to swim, and completing a triathlon!

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Marcia Howes

Governance & Nominating, USA

I am passionate about combining my 30 years of supply chain experience with public health initiatives such as occupational safety, infection prevention, water supply, and healthcare cost reduction. I am committed to giving back through both local and global initiatives that advance the health and well-being of all.

UAE

Marita Peters

Executive Director, UAE

Surge’s mission to uplift and empower those most in need through life-giving water resonates deeply with me. My deepest desire is to do as much as I can for humanity, and Surge enables me to do so. Visiting Surge’s field partners and working, dancing and singing with the community is what I love the most. My passion for the cause gave me the courage to leave the corporate path and instead be a voice for our planet and its people. My diverse experiences in finance, human resources, sales, and parenting are all skills I use every day in running Surge’s UAE chapter.

Lorraine Alva

Director, UAE

I’m passionate about Surge’s mission to provide clean water to those most in need. It’s touching to hear the experiences of our team who’ve witnessed and contributed first-hand solutions to the communities Surge works in. As the mother of Surge’s founder, it is extra-special to see my daughter’s vision and hard work come to life and make a difference in so many lives. I’m also happy to apply my strong organizational and administration skills from my 35-year career in the oil industry towards Surge.

Mriganka Travasso

Design Manager, UAE

Laila Al-Yousuf

Development Director, UAE

I want my life to be about the positive impact that I make on other people’s lives. I’m blessed and I’m compelled to use my blessings to help other people; this is why I’m a part of Surge. Traveling to Uganda with Surge changed my life. Every day, I see the faces of the beautiful people we met, and it gives me the drive to do what I can for them. As a professional interior designer, it was an honor to use my talents to create and help launch Surge’s annual UAE gala and design competition: Design, Dine, Make a Difference. It’s been a surreal experience to see the interior design industry come together to support our cause, and thus change the lives of communities around the world.

Philip McCarter

Finance Director, UAE

Surge tackles the most important and prevalent hindrance to development that there is: water. My trips with Surge to the Philippines, Cambodia and Uganda have all been incredible, eye-opening experiences — yet each was very different. I always feel a little bewildered seeing the levels of poverty in the regions, but I always leave with a strong sense of optimism after both witnessing and being a part of the amazing impact that Surge is making. I currently apply my professional consulting and finance experience towards managing Surge’s UAE finances. Fun fact: My claim to fame is knowing the capital city of every country in the world.

Vahini Menon Kapila

Marketing and Communications Manager, UAE

The sheer authenticity of Surge and its members resonates with me, and the breadth of the positive results that I have seen and participated in. With Surge, I’ve joined a true global community that extends far beyond its core members. I love contributing towards Surge’s mission and supporting its innovative solutions and drive for growth. Outside of Surge, I am a Senior Consultant at PwC.

FIELD PARTNERS

Dr Erol

Dr. Pierre Erol Rene

ASSHLA – Haiti

I’m a Doctor that cares about helping the most disadvantaged people improve their living conditions and live with dignity. I built an organization with friends to do this in Haiti in service of better drinking water, health, employment and housing. With a global vision to live in a world of solidarity, I looks forward to continued work with Surge and other partners to deliver on economic self-sufficiency. My partnership with Surge for Water has already helped me a lot in my mission.

florence

Florence Ringe 

POPOW – Uganda

I’ve ended up where I am because I have the passion and will to help the poor, needy, vulnerable, voiceless and invisible people especially women, children and the youth. My personal mission is to empower women, youth, orphans and vulnerable children to realize their full potentials for sustainable livelihoods. Surge is a Great, Reliable, Flexible and passionate partner. Before Surge, much of POPOW’s ideas remained in the book with no funds or additional ideas to bring them to reality. We were like  a bird without wings to fly. We are so grateful and appreciative of Surge’s immense, invaluable support. Together, we’ve transformed and changed lives.

Laure

Laure

ANACAONA – Haiti

After earning a masters in International Development in France, I dedicated my efforts to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene issues through years of service at NGOs in countries all over the world. It all began with Schools in Asia and later it shifted cholera in Haiti. After reevaluating my support for Haiti, ANACAONA was born, and I formed a social business that provided ownership to the community. Working with Surge has shown me what a trustworthy, sustainable-driven and impactful organization looks like.

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Marissa Doiron 

Project Hearts – Dominican Republic

I’ve always wanted to travel and live outside the U.S. while helping people. While my life and ways I impact have evolved, leading Project Hearts allows me to transform communities by providing people with the knowledge and resources they need to make a difference. I work with community to ensure everyone can participate in making the world healthier for generations to come. Surge is special, as they give us partners the freedom to implement the projects we know will best benefit and transform our communities, while offering us the support we need to be successful.

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Camille Tahura

Clean Water Philippines – Philippines

As a trained Emergency Nurse at a huge Government Hospital here in Davao that received patients from very rural parts of Mindanao, I have seen several cases of water-borne diseases, leading to a poor prognosis or death. This problem hit me hard because it’s preventable. I want to provide better holistic solutions for children and their families to have access to clean and safe water, sanitation and hygiene that’s easy, long lasting and appropriate for them. In 2015, our organization met with Surge for Water and even with the short amount of time working together, it is as if we’re already the best of friends. We loved their transparency and their passion in their commitment towards helping others.

US Advisory & Associate Boards

Associate Board

Kevin Armstrong

Suvai Gunasekaran

Miranda Lynn Creech

Amal Isa

Advisory Board

Lisa Ballantine

John Casmon

Kimberly Miller

James Hagen

Harleen Singh

Robert Walsh

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