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.
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.
Jasleen is a double UVA grad in Religious Studies, focusing on South Asian Religions through the lens of literature and poetry. She is currently working as a Research Assistant with Sikhri. She is passionate about projects that create comfortable spaces for community members of all ages and backgrounds to engage in dialogue and learn from one another. She also loves singing in her free time, whether on stage with her friends or alone in her kitchen. She hopes to eventually go back to school in pursuit of a PhD in either religious ethnography or history, and fulfill her dream of teaching and learning from others.
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 currently continues to work with SikhRI developing and conducting Children’s workshops, webinars, and online courses as well as creating materials for Gurmat and Khalsa schools and Individual learning. 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 twins who keep her very busy and remind her every day how blessed she is.
Kirandeep Kaur oversees SikhRI’s marketing projects. She attended NYU, FIT, Cornell University and University of Vermont to learn the emerging trends and techniques in Digital Marketing. She manages SikhRI’s social media channels, email, Liv webinars and web content. Playing Badminton/Tennis and living an active life is her craze. Kirandeep currently lives in New Jersey with her two daughters and husband.
Parveen Kaur is currently a Masters Student at The University of British Columbia in the Masters of Data Science Program. Having completed her undergraduate degree also at UBC as a Major in Biology. She is currently working as a Research Assistant with Sikhri. Besides being passionate about bringing an academic lens to her community in an accessible way, she is involved in several community youth programs. Also dabbling in oil and water painting, you can usually find her nursing a 3 hour old coffee pretending to do assignments while actually browsing Pinterest.
Albel Singh works as a research scientist as a profession and as a nature photographer as a hobbyist. He studied Agriculture Science from Punjab Agricultural University. Currently Albel resides in Birmingham with wife and three kids. He keeps Bhai Gurdaas ji as inspiration, strives to develop as gurbani scribe, and spends time with Guru.
Harbhajan Singh is an exponent of Pakhawaj and Tabla from the Panjab Gharana (Lahore Baj). He serves as Senior Research Fellow for the Sabad Kirtan Musical Heritage program, at the Sikh Research Institute. He is an expert percussionist and researcher, who has published several articles on the importance of rhythm, Tabla and Pakhawaj. For the last thirty years he has been under the guidance of Ustad Lachhman Singh Seen and has developed a deep understanding of the Indian classical and folk music tradition. He holds Masters degree in Music from Panjab University (Chandigarh). He lives in Dhariwal (Panjab) with his parents, wife, and children.
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.
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.
Imroze Singh is a multidisciplinary designer with a background in marketing and communications. He is currently working out of Vancouver as a Content Producer. Besides working at SikhRI, he’s involved in a lot of community-related projects. You can spot him rocking floral dastaar and making bad yoda impressions. He’s a firm believer in the power of #7Bachan
Khushwant currently manages, coordinates and oversees all SikhRI events as it's Program Manager. Khushwant is also the coordinator of SikhRI's flagship Leadership Development Program, Sidak. 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. He previously served on the executive team for his local Sikh Students Association. He has had the privilege of attending Sidak and other SikhRI programming, which were life-changing experiences 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.