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 and helps strengthen local capacity so these community members can achieve their dreams. This mission deeply relates to my core values. In my role with Surge, I apply my professional and educational experience with donor relationship management and strategy development to grow the organization.


Channa North-Hoffstaed

Board Chair, USA +

VP Professional Services NA, Kinaxis

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

Associate Director, Business Compliance at Abbvie

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

Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at LeafLine

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

Director of Administration for the Village of Barrington Hills

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.

Board Member, USA

Emily Lawrence

Board of Directors, USA

North American Director of Sustainable Investing, Northern Trust Asset Management

As a tenured sustainability professional, I am responsible for client engagement and partnership on sustainable investing trends, concepts and capabilities at Northern Trust Asset Management. An advocate for long-term sustainability in both my personal and professional life, I am excited to serve as a Governing Board member for Surge for Water, bringing a passion for a transition to a just, equitable and resilient low carbon economy through sustainable access to water. I’m committed to contributing to local and global initiatives that support equity, inclusion, and long term sustainability.


Scott Minger

Development Chair, USA

Senior Vice President of Development at Vitamin Angels

I believe access to clean water is a human right. I love how Surge provides sustainable solutions to communities with the goal of ending the cycle of poverty. I am passionate about leveraging my 20 years in the retail industry and nonprofit management experience to help provide access to clean water to those in need.


Chris Beukenkamp

Governing Board, USA

Certified Distinguished Enterprise Architect at Salesforce

Chris has spent over 25 years in software and IT working across the globe.  He has lived in London, Canada, China and Taipei while managing teams and traveling with family all over APAC.  Currently, he advises some of the world’s biggest retailers as a Distinguished Enterprise Architect at Salesforce.  His family mantra and giving focus is “God, Kids and Animals” and is very excited to join the board at Surge and bring his expertise to help bring clean water and sanitation to children around the world.

Suvai Gunasekaran, PhD, Radiology

Suvai Gunasekaran

Board of Directors, USA

Postdoctoral Researcher, Northwestern University

I have been a champion for clean water access since college where I was a founding member of SPOUTS of Water and was fortunate enough to travel to Uganda to help build a ceramic filter factory there. Once I came to Chicago for grad school, I was got connected to Surge and it’s been a perfect fit since then. All the team members of Surge are amazing and so dedicated to the cause for accessible clean water for everyone. I am proud to be a part of a team that puts people first and am excited to see all that Surge will accomplish the in the upcoming years.  Professionally, I am a post doc researcher at Northwestern where I study MRI of the heart.



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

Partner at PlumSheep


Laila Al-Yousuf

Development Director, UAE

Design Director at Say Studio

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.


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 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.


I Made Chakra

Tri Hita Karana – Indonesia

I love that I’m able to create water systems for the villages that need it most here in Bali. That’s where my heart is… Surge for Water feels like the missing puzzle piece, the missing part we needed to get a project like this off the planning stages, off the ground, and finally into action.”


Ibu Anit

YLRA – Indonesia

The most exciting thing about this work is that it will encourage people to make a better life for themselves.

Camille Tahura Photo

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.


Pak Gatot

YLRA – Indonesia

We understand that doing work in social development is not an easy task. It often requires a lot of time and energy. That’s why collaborations are so important and we’re lucky to be in partnership with such a committed team in Surge for Water.

US Advisory & Associate Boards

Associate Board

Advisory Board


Elizabeth Settle

Strategy & Analytics at Salesforce

John Casmon Picture

John Casmon

Acquisition and Investors Relations at Casmon Capital Group

Amal Isa

Amal Isa

Partner Business Manager at VMware

Harleen Singh

Harleen Singh

Corporate Relations & Events Officer at Shriver Center on Poverty Law


Begench Amangeldiev

Global Compliance Risk Monitoring & Analytics at Google in Health


Kim Miller

Vice President of Programs at Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE)

Chris Kayondo

Chris Kayondo

Lead Engagement Manager at Corptax

James Hagen

James Hagen

Co-founder/CEO at BOKA


Meg Ryan

Senior Energy Analyst at JLL


David Linnear

Project Manager at US EPA


Jennifer Leong

Director, Wealth Advisor, CFP, CIMA at BakerAvenue Wealth Management


Lisa Sheppard

Director of Marketing at Hilmy Wines

West Monroe Partners WMP Portrait Shoot. Chicago IL. November 1, 2019. Photo by Andrew Collings.

Saba Khalid

Senior Consultant, Energy and Utilities at West Monroe Partners


Jonathan Kingsbury

President and CEO, Insta-Pro International


Dan Kubis

Project Manager at Roland Berger

Rob Walsh

Rob Walsh

Senior Director Supply Chain at James Hardie Building Products


Mitali Shah

Pediatric Infection Preventionist at Advocate Children’s Hospital


Kamal Sundar

Supply Chain Professional

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