Soma Pujari, Co-Founder and Executive Trustee (KT-UK & KT-Gib)
Soma co-founded the Trust to create a structured and long-term approach to the family’s charitable giving. She studied medicine at the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) in Pune, India, and continued her education in Hyderabad at various government tertiary hospitals. Over the years Soma has gained experience both funding and fundraising for several philanthropic ventures in addition to mentoring for iPartner India. She has also enjoyed being an active member of parental bodies at her children’s schools.
Being the daughter of an army officer, she had the opportunity to travel extensively within India including many remote regions of the country. Soma is motivated by a sense of social engagement and responsibility. Today she guides the Trust’s value-led grant making.
Anurag Dikshit, Co-Founder and Trustee (KT-UK & KT-Gib)
Anurag is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who lives with his wife Soma and two children in London. He went to school in the diverse town of Dhanbad, India, and studied Computer Science at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, he was also a National Talent Scholar. At the start of his career Anurag worked in R&D in India and the US before starting his own technology companies during the dot-com era. He co-founded Partygaming, a successful online gaming company which went public in 2005 and was part of the FTSE100. This enabled the family to endow Kusuma Trust with funds to support its social investments.
Currently, Anurag takes interest in various business projects and asset management. Named after his mother, the Kusuma Trust stands for the family’s engagement and investment in society, which he believes is part of the responsibility owed to the society we live in. Anurag was awarded the Gibraltar Award, for services to the Gibraltar community.
Nitin Jain, Trustee (KT-UK)
Nitin is an MBA in Finance and IT from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta and an Electronics Engineer from PEC Chandigarh. He worked as the Director of Technology for a FTSE 100 company. Subsequently, he started two e-commerce ventures and has been an active Angel investor in multiple technology start-ups.
As a Kusuma trustee, Nitin is passionate about investing in local projects especially those that use innovative technology to address social problems.
Peter Isola (KT-Gib)
Peter is Senior Partner of ISOLAS, Gibraltar’s oldest law firm and is also a trustee of the PJIsola Foundation, a Gibraltar charity. In addition he sits on various boards of regulated companies including a UK listed company. He is a Commissioner of the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission and a previous President of the Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce. Peter is a highly respected lawyer and business leader and takes immense interest in his local community.
Libby Burkeman, Head of Grants
Libby leads programme development and manages the grants team. Libby has experience developing and managing education programmes through her previous roles as Director of Education at Tzedek, an international charity, and most recently in her role as Education Director at Movement for Reform Judaism. Libby has also co-ordinated education and teacher training programmes at the Science Museum.
Roisin Blake, Assistant Head of Grants and Special Projects Manager
Roisin manages existing grants and explores new opportunities for grant making. Roisin’s background is in international development, with a particular interest in monitoring and evaluation. Before joining Kusuma, she worked at Sightsavers, evaluating education and social inclusion projects and has lived in Ukraine, working as Head of Donor Management for the HALO Trust’s landmine clearance programme. Roisin holds an BA from Cambridge University in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and an MSc in International Development from Edinburgh University.
Sharika Alam, Grants Officer
Sharika was our Grants assistant before receiving a promotion to Grants Officer. She supports the delivery of our grants as well as managing her own portfolio of grantees. Prior to joining the Trust, Sharika worked as a Producer at Big Ideas, where she designed, developed and delivered programmes across the arts, heritage, STEM and sports sector. Sharika completed both her undergraduate degree in English Literature and her MA in Postcolonial & Global Literatures at Queen Mary University of London.
Clay Kelly, Grants Officer
Clay has joined Kusuma in 2022 managing a portfolio of grants whilst supporting all wider aspects of our grant giving. Clay previously worked as a consultant grant assessor for The Fore with a focus in making the grant application process as easy as possible and gained twelve years experience as a capital projects manager and historic property director for the Trust for Governors Island in New York City. Clay is also a writer and has published fiction for middle years readers and holds a BA in History from Haverford College and an MA in building conservation from Cornell University.
Bethan Garfoot, Grants Assistant
Bethan is one of our Grants Assistants supporting all aspects of our grant giving processes. Prior to joining the Trust she worked at Evolve Housing and Support, specialising in the casework of homeless teenagers and young people, reconnecting them to their communities, creating opportunities and sourcing housing. Before moving to the charity sector Bethan worked for British Airways for five years whilst volunteering at RUILS to support local disabled people. Bethan completed her undergraduate degree in English Language at Lancaster University.
Andy Arthurson, Operations Manager
Andy has been responsible for the operations of the Trust and overseeing the work funded in Gibraltar since joining in 2012. He has over 18 years’ experience in the charity sector. Prior to joining the Trust he worked for eight years at Young Enterprise, the UK’s largest enterprise education charity, in roles including National Education Support Manager and Office and Administration Manager. Prior to starting his career in the charity sector, Andy studied for a BA in Education at Goldsmsiths College, University of London.
Michelle Tosso, Country Manager – Gibraltar
Michelle joined the Trust in Gibraltar in April 2018 and works directly with our grantees and runs the Excellence and Professional Development programmes. Since moving to Gibraltar, she has gained experience in the public and private sector working in roles for the Government of Gibraltar and most recently with Aon insurance. Michelle has an Msc in International Relations from University College Dublin.
Rachel Appleton-Metcalfe, Head of Investments
Rachel monitors the objectives, risk, and performance of the assets invested on behalf of Kusuma. Until January 2023, Rachel was a Senior Investment Director for Brooks Macdonald and lead the investment team in Leeds. She has previously worked for a single-family office for over 12 years in both Gibraltar and London, where she was responsible for managing investment strategies and a small team. Rachel has a BSc in Management Science from Loughborough University and a BSc in Financial Services from Manchester University. Rachel has a particular interest in responsible investment and has the CFA ESG certificate.
Rebecca Eastmond (KT-UK)
Rebecca is CEO of Greenwood Place, which she created to leverage the experience she gained over 20 years’ work in philanthropy. Rebecca began her career as a charity lawyer at Allen & Overy, then became CEO of The Prince’s Foundation for Arts & Kids. She was a Managing Director of J.P. Morgan Private Bank, leading the bank’s philanthropy advisory offering in EMEA for almost a decade.
Dr Sandra Sequiera (KT-UK)
Sandra Sequeira is an Associate Professor of Development Economics in the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics and a research affiliate at STICERD. Her research interests are in development economics, trade and consumer behaviour. She holds a PhD from Harvard University, an MA from the Fletcher School and a BA from Universidade Nova in Lisbon, Portugal.
Trino Cruz (KT-Gib)
Trino was a Director of Credit Suisse and was responsible for Family Offices and Ultra High Net-worth Clients at the Gibraltar office. Since leaving Credit Suisse he concentrates on cultural interests and has recently featured as a guest speaker at the Picasso Museum in Malaga.