Technical Advisory Group


Dr. Shubash R. Salunke

Public Health and Social Impact Specialist

Dr. Shubash Salunke holds an M.D. (Preventive and social Medicine) and a Diploma in Industrial Health as well as Public Health. His 30 years’ experience in the Public Health Department spans from Deputy Director to Director General in the Health Services of Maharashtra State. He was also the Assistant Regional Director at WHO-SEARO. He is currently the Director of Indian Institute Of Public Health, Bhubaneswar.

Dr. Salunke has been regularly contributing to the development of Public Health in the country as part of various committees of the states and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. He was actively involved in formulating projects like “Health System Development” supported by the World Bank for Maharashtra. He led the designing of the HIV/AIDS Control special programme (AVERT) for Maharashtra State. He was one of the members of designing National AIDS Control Programme Phase II during 1999-2000 that was a major step in control of HIV/AIDS. In addition, he is a member of Task Force Committee Maharashtra State National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP); member of technical committee on NVBDCP, Govt. of India and Expert member of team for National Health Programme Assessment and Evaluation (TB, Leprosy, NVBDCP), Govt. of India.

Pankaj Baliga

Strategic Direction and Resource Mobilisation Specialist

Pankaj Baliga, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, NIT, Durgapur, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from IIM Ahmedabad and is a SPURS Fellow, Massachusettes Institute of Technology, U.S.A. He has more than 40 years of experience in management, including 35 years with the Tata Group with the last 14 years at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd during which he also was Global Head of TCS’s CSR for 5 years.

Ms. Sonalini Mirchandani

Communication and Advocacy Specialist

Sonalini Mirchandani has several decades of experience in social sector communication. Her work in communications research, design, capacity building and implementation has spanned sectors including reproductive health, child rights, gender-based violence, governance, and others. Starting her career as a diplomat, she moved on to work in the private sector and subsequently in the social sector, and held positions including that of Vice President, Operations Research Group, and Country Director, Johns Hopkins University – Centre for Communication Programmes. She is the Founder CEO of The Communication Hub, and is a member of several advisory bodies including UNICEF’s International Polio Communications Review Team, Advisory Council of Population Foundation of India, Mariwala Health Initiative, and SNEHA. Sonalini is an active founder member of the Mumbai Network of Palliative Care.

Virupax Ranebennur

Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Specialist

Virupax Ranebennur has more than 28 years of experience of working in the public health including program planning, developing monitoring and evaluation systems, conducting needs assessment, leading a team of professionals to achieve high standards of program goals with evidence based program planning. He holds a post graduate degree in Statistics (M.Sc.) from Karnataka University and Masters in Population Sciences from IIPS, Mumbai, and has worked with IPPF, Ford Foundation, USAID, BMGF, Global Fund and other international, national and local donors.

Presently he is working as Sr. Technical Advisor, Strategic Information, LINKAGES FHI360/Global supporting 30 countries in implementing HIV prevention, care and support program for key population. He has an expertise in programmatic mapping, micro planning and setting up systems for sustainable monitoring of program in HIV, reproductive health and family planning. He worked in various positions in FHI 360/India Bridge project, Aastha Project (funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), USAID funded Technical Support group in Maharashtra India, operation research project to integrate reproductive health issues with ongoing family planning program (funded by Ford Foundation) in Maharashtra. He has been instrumental in developing- a system for community based monitoring, evaluation studies through Behavioral Tracking Survey and project evaluations.