GBC Fills Newly Created Leadership Positions: First Steps of ISKCON`s International Strategic Plans Put in Place
By Anuttama Das
Mumbai, India–ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC), during its international meetings this past week in Mumbai, selected personnel to fill four new and historically important positions as part of gradual unfolding of the GBC Strategic Development Plan.
Those positions include Executive Director; Divisional Director for Divisional Director of Administration/Systems Development and Divisional Director of Devotee Care; Divisional Director for Divisional Director of Legal, Accounting, and Regulatory Compliance; and Divisional Director for Community Relations. In total there are nine Divisional Directors positions planned to serve under the GBC, each of whom will report to the new Executive Director.
The GBC Body has defined three primary directives: To follow Srila Prabhupada’s directions, to carry out its own resolutions, and to follow through on the GBC’s Strategic Plan for the development of ISKCON.
To help them increase their own accountability in these areas, the GBC Body appointed Tamohara dasa, a member of the GBC from the southeast United States, as their new Executive Director.
Hrdaya Caitanya das, Belgium-based chairman of the GBC, said, “We were searching for the best candidate, from either inside the GBC or another ISKCON leader. We needed someone with both strong administrative and relationship skills and an acute ability to get things done, and Tamohara was selected by a unanimous vote.”
Tamohara has been involved in ISKCON leadership for many years. In addition to serving as a temple president, BBT manager, and Director of two gurukulas, or parochial schools, he served for several years as the Director of the ISKCON Child Protection Office. He has been on the GBC for the past five years. He served as North American Executive Chair and is currently on the Executive Committee of the International GBC.
Tamohara has a doctorate in Educational Psychology and worked as a faculty member and administrator in several graduate schools and universities. He also served as Dean of the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.
Tamohara is enthusiastic to take up his new service. “Taking the instructions of Srila Prabhupada, the GBC body has developed exciting and far-reaching strategic plans and enacted a number of significant resolutions,” he said. “The aim of these efforts is to spread Krishna consciousness and to support and care for the devotees.”
Tamohara pointed out that he feels the challenge will be to “put these plans into action.” He also commented that the new executive structure is a “significant step” in carrying GBC plans and decisions to the world of the temples, congregations, and all devotees. While his primary service will be GBC Executive oversight, much of his work will be interfacing with the GBC members and other constituencies within ISKCON.
The other appointments announced will fill newly established roles of Divisional Directors, who report to the Executive Director. The first Divisional Director named was Gauranga dasa, of Mumbai, India, who took on two roles: Divisional Director of Administration and Systems Development, and Divisional Director of Devotee Care.
Gauranga currently serves at the Radha-Gopinatha temple in Chowpatty, where he oversees youth outreach and manages major construction and other projects. Radhanatha Swami, the GBC of Chowpatty, spoke highly of the new Director, extolling his deep study of ISKCON’s Founder-acarya, Srila Prabhupada’s books.
Radhanatha Maharaja noted that Gauranga is “extremely inspirational, powerfully motivated, organized, and managerially expert. And most of all, he is a humble Vaishnava and very surrendered to Srila Prabhupada’s mission.”
Gauranga service will include offering a “systems thinking” approach to all areas of the GBC’s Strategic Plan and work to ensure that those systems are employed and achieve their intended results. He will also provide ongoing analysis and updating of procedures as the various initiatives move forward.
The second Divisional Director appointed – Director of Community Relations –was South African based, Anuradha dasi. Anuradha is a disciple of Giriraja Swami, and was active in the production and editing of the Toshani magazine for the Prabhupada Centennial effort in the mid 1990s. She has taught seminars about Waldorf-inspired Krishna conscious parenting in Europe, India, and South Africa, and leads youth retreats in South Africa.
When asked to define her new service, Anuradha replied, “To help the GBC communicate to, better connect with, and hear from ISKCON’s members.” A website, along with other tools and resources, is in the works to assist in this effort.
The third appointment – Divisional Director of Legal, Accounting, and Regulatory Compliance was Kuladri das. US based Kuladri served as Srila Prabhupada’s servant, and is a talented artist as well as seasoned manger in ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada himself said of Kuladri: “He is an expert at everything.”
Kuladri was a long-time president of New Vrindavana, and he currently serves as the legal liaison for the North American GBC. “I will work to ensure the Society’s compliance with legal, accounting, and regulatory requirements as well as overseeing the incorporation of ISKCON’s affiliates, among other services.”
Other progress on the GBC Strategic Plans are expected to be put in place during the Annual General Meeting of the GBC at ISKCON’s international headquarters in Mayapura, West Bengal, next February.
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