Our core, foundation and support. Without them, none of this would be possible. Our team is comprised of kind, loving and empathetic people whose professionalism makes our common vision a reality.
Mandy Backen is SikhRI's HR and Finance Manager. She has Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Kansas. After growing up in Kansas she moved to Portland, OR and lived there for 10 years. Now in rural Montana she lives with her husband, three daughters, dog, cat, and salamander. She’s learned what 30 below feels like and isn’t sure she likes it.
Harliv Kaur is a Sojhi curriculum developer and teacher trainer with SikhRI. She has BA in Elementary Education from Upper Iowa University and specialized credentials in English as a Second Language from Kansas State University. At SikhRI, she has been an active courseware developer for the Sojhi Elementary School curriculum and creates programming for families and resource materials for educators. Besides her work with SikhRI, she founded Kikli, a company committed to developing fun and innovative tools for learning Panjabi including “Ik Chota Bacha & Other Sikh Nursery Rhymes,” a collaborative project involving the Ujjaldidar Singh Memorial Foundation. Harliv lives in San Antonio with her husband and 3 kids.
Inni Kaur serves as the CEO of Sikh Research Institute. An influential leader, respected artist, poet and published author, her eloquent words have been heard around the world, including presentations at Yale and Fairfield Universities, and the U.S. Office of the Pentagon Chaplin. Inni Kaur is dedicated to community and service of others, and continues to be an integral member of several faith-based organizations.
Jasmine Kaur has worked in the education field for over 20 years and holds degrees in elementary education, sociology, human development and family studies. Jasmine served as the Director of Education with SikhRI for over 8 years. She was the coordinator and chief developer of the Sojhi - Gurmat and Panjabi Education Resource. She has developed training using the curriculum to increase classroom confidence and maximize the resources in content areas of Boli and Virsa, as well as classroom management and teaching techniques. To date, Jasmine has personally trained over 750 educators and administrators. Her passion is developing creative and interactive activities for all ages, especially young children. She works with SikhRI’s newest project Sikhia and continues to consult on all pre-K-12 programming. She also conducts kids workshops and teacher training. Jasmine has published articles on the future of Sikh education and her own experiences growing up as a Sikh in Japan, India, Canada, and the US. She lives in Washington, DC area with her husband and four-year-old twins who keep her very busy and remind her every day how blessed she is.
Navneet Kaur is a Toronto artist exploring photography, theatre and writing to engage others in Sikhi and new ideas. After attending Sidak 2014, Navneet has become inspired to continue her knowledge building on Sikh History and Sikh issues. She is overseeing the coordination of SikhRI Toronto/GTA events.
Kirandeep is a certified Graphic Design and User Experience designer from Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and New York University. Kirandeep oversees SikhRI’s external communications. Creates and delivers marketing ideas and activities. She manages SikhRI’s social media channels, email, direct mail and web content. She lives in New Jersey with her two daughters and husband.
Harinder Singh is a widely respected educator and thinker who is deeply in love with 1Force, the Oneness that radiates in all. Love and Justice symbiotic paradigm propels him to leverage public awareness for social change. He currently serves as the Senior Fellow, Research & Policy, at the Sikh Research Institute. Mr. Singh co-founded the Sikh Research Institute and the Panjab Digital Library, organized the Free Akal Takht movement, and envisioned Kaur and Singh Academy. He served on the boards of the National Conference on Community and Justice, The Fellowship of Activists to Embrace Humanity, The Nanakshahi Trust, among others. He is an author and sought after public speaker, raising consciousness of audience around the world. He regularly appears on radio and television programs globally. He also consults on curriculums, exhibitions, and films. He holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering, MS in Engineering Management, and MPhil in Guru Granth Sahib. He is Guru’s Sikh, Panjab’s lover, and Begampura’s Jedi.
Khushwant currently coordinates and oversees all SikhRI events. Khushwant volunteered as the Gurduara Governance Coordinator prior to joining the SikhRI staff. He is passionate about Seva, community, and Sikhi. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Grant MacEwan University and previously worked in Management. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Seva Food Truck Edmonton. He previously served on the executive team for the Sikh Students’ Society at the University of Alberta. He has also had the privilege of attending the Sidak 2014 Leadership Development Program which was a life changing experience for him.
Preet Pankaj Singh is a sales & marketing professional having over six years’ progressive experience in field of marketing, inside sales, channel sales, business development, and customer service. He holds an MBA degree from Punjabi University, Patiala with major in Marketing and Finance. He coordinates all SikhRI fundraising activities with the focus on existing and new donors’ relationship management, annual fundraising plans & strategies and implementation. He manages SikhRI’s Salesforce software to provide best possible service to donors. He believes in simple living & high thinking. He was born and brought up in Anandpur Sahib, Punjab (India) and now lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife.
Surender Pal holds Master’s degrees in English and Religious Studies. He also is the India Coordinator for SikhRI and lead facilitator for Gurmukhi 101 at Sidak. He provides input for Sojhi, Liv, Saneha and Mahima program presentations and feels this work helps him explore his roots and identity deeper, giveing him a stronger sense of purpose. He is particularly fascinated by Sikh theology, which daily provides new perspectives and experiences to observe the world through. He is heavily involved with various religious, educational and human development organizations and currently volunteers for Panjab Digital Library. He lives in the outskirts of Chandigarh, Panjab, with his mother, wife and two sons.