Board biographies

Deepa Patel, Independent Consultant (Chair)

Deepa Patel is an independent consultant, whose main areas of interest are the arts, campaigning, working with young people and the process of interdisciplinary collaboration. Her work involves strategic planning, fundraising, managing people, resources and facilitation.

She started as a part-time education officer at a music venue in Norwich and then went on to train as a youth worker and counsellor in Portsmouth. She has worked with young offenders and those at risk of offending, young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and those living in rural settings. She developed an award-winning magazine for young people in Portsmouth and worked on citizenship projects in schools for Common Purpose. Deepa was Co-Managing Director of Creative Partnerships, a national government initiative that was set up to foster creativity in educational settings. She also worked for the BBC learning team on music learning projects for the Proms, Radio 1 and Radio 3. Deepa helped establish an audience development and music education programme for Serious at the London Jazz Festival.  

Her interest in issues facing young people led her into the field of sexual health and HIV/AIDS where she worked with the Terrence Higgins Trust and for Action Aid setting up its UK campaign on HIV/AIDS. She has been a mentor and trainer for the Sheila Mckechnie Foundation, which supports campaigners to develop their skills.  Her past roles also include developing major donor fundraising strategies for Cancer Research UK, Brook Advisory and Prisoners Aboard. In addition, she has worked in the field of cultural diversity developing training and advising organisations on equal opportunities and cultural diversity for organisations such as EDF energy, the British Science Association and the BBC. 

Currently she is Co-Director of Slow Down London that brings together the theory and practice of adopting a new pace of living to enable us to enjoy our lives in this great city and an Associate for People United, a creative laboratory and arts charity, which explore how the arts can inspire kindness, community and social change. 

The art and skill of collaboration and facilitation is one of Deepa’s main interests and she works with boards, staff teams, young people and strangers! She was a facilitator for Free Radicals, a NESTA funded project on innovative collaboration which brought together academics from eight different universities in the UK. Currently she collaborates on issues around sustainability with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the London College of Fashion and works closely with the Helen Storey Foundation.  

Volunteering has played a major part in Deepa’s life. She has worked with Theodore Zeldin on the art of conversation and volunteered at a children’s hospice in West Sussex. At present she is the Interim Chair of Tamasha Theatre Company, on the board of the Hope Project, in New Delhi and is a member of the Wisdom Council for Seven Pillars, a contemporary house of wisdom based in the USA.

Mohit Bakaya
, Commissioning Editor, BBC Radio 4.

Mohit Bakaya is Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual, at Radio 4. He takes lead responsibility for current affairs, politics, science, ideas and religion documentaries on Radio 4.

Mohit grew up in Battersea, London, and went to Pimlico School.  He studied PPE at Keble College, Oxford, and joined the BBC as a Production Trainee in 1993.  He worked on the Radio 4's arts programme, Kaleidoscope, before going on to launchFront Row in 1998.  In 2001, he become editor of Night Waves - Radio 3’s daily arts and ideas programme, before becoming a Commissioning Editor in 2008..  

He has made documentaries on subjects as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, the history of pain, Nokia, picture frames, and the death penalty. His documentary 'Ashes in the Ganges' - presented by theatre director Jatinder Verma - won a Sony award.  

When he manages to escape the clutches of the BBC he enjoys wine, football and indie music. He also enjoys cooking and is on a mission to make the perfect far without success!

Shernaz Engineer, Founder / Managing Director, Veracity Education Ltd

Shernaz began her recruitment career at the age of 19 and after several years in the industry decided to branch out on her own.  She started Verity Appointments, a niche Legal Secretarial Agency.  Later on she diversified into education which offers supply teachers to schools throughout London and the South East.

Shernaz is active in the Zoroastrian Community in the UK and chairs the Zoroastrian Chamber of Commerce – UK Chapter.  She is on the Board of Governors of Charlotte Sharman Primary School, Vice-Chair of ‘learning for Life’ a charity which promotes primary education and is active in eradication of child labour in South Asia and committee member of the City Branch of Lady Taverners.  She also mentors young people for the Mosaic ‘Enterprise Challenge’ competition.

Shernaz was awarded the ‘London Day Business Award’ and the Asian Achievers Award in 2011 for Business in the Community.

Sumantro Ghose, 
Managing Director, London Design Biennale

Sumantro Ghose is an Arts Producer, Curator and Cultural Strategist with over 20 years’ experience in museums and exhibitions, festivals, audience development and cultural diplomacy.  He is Managing Director of the London Design Biennale, an exhibition and gathering of the world’s leading designers at Somerset House in London, 4-23 September 2018.  Sumantro was previously responsible for exhibitions and museum programmes at Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, where he worked on the development of the new Etihad (Union) Museum in Dubai, which opened in January 2017.  Prior to joining Dubai Culture, Sumantro was Deputy Director, Cultural Diplomacy Programmes at Qatar Museums in Doha, where he was responsible for the strategic management of the ‘Years of Culture’ projects including Qatar-UK 2013, Brazil 2014, Turkey 2015 and China 2016. In the UK, Sumi has worked and consulted for a range of cultural and educational institutions including Tate, National Portrait Gallery, Frieze, Sotheby’s Institute, Richmond University and the American Institute for Foreign Study.  From 2009-13 he was Acting Chief Executive and Director of Cultural Programmes at Asia House, the UK’s leading pan-Asian NGO, where he developed public programming across arts, business and policy including two cultural festivals, the Pan-Asia Film Festival and the Festival of Asian Literature. 

Sumi is a trustee of both Shubbak Festival of Contemporary Arab Culture and Tamasha Theatre Company. As an educator and writer, Sumi specialises in modern and contemporary art and cultural relations.  He has had features published in the Independent, the Guardian and Modern Painters and he was the winner of the Guardian/Modern Painters Art Writers’ Prize in 2004.  He has an MA in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.  

Nishma Gosrani, Director at Deloitte Consulting 

Nishma is a Director at Deloitte Consulting. She has won a number of prestigious business awards - including Young Achiever of the Year, Asian Professional of the Year and Overseas Female of the Year. She was invited to participate in a blue-chip trade delegation to India designed to increase trade with the UK and been elected as probably the youngest Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). 

Nishma works with a wide range of financial services clients specialising in banking and capital markets. As well as strong commercial expertise, she has an impressive understanding of organisational change and design, leadership, culture and global business strategy. She finds that the best way to get results for her clients is to understand their needs, foster creativity and focus on delivery.

She is often quoted in the press on current issues in the financial services sector. She has authored a number of publications and articles relating to banking and capital markets, strategic and behavioural change and gender diversity. She serves as a board member and trustee of two public sector organisations.

Described as ‘remarkable’, ‘strikingly ambitious’ and ‘a high flyer to watch’ by business and political leaders, Nishma has featured in the Movers and Shakers' Survey as one of Britain's most influential young women. She's also been quoted by Management Today as a rising star under 35.  (Source: Women of the Future Supplement (Sunday Times - Jan 2013). 

Anne Torreggiani, Executive Director and founder of The Audience Agency

Anne is Executive Director and founder of The Audience Agency (TAA), a national not-for-profit organisation helping cultural organisations develop the size, diversity and quality of engagement of audiences. Anne has led the agency, and its earlier regional incarnation, for the past ten years. TAA is a specialist agency which provides insight, research, consultancy and training based on a unique overview of audiences and effective practice, acting as a hub for collaboration, shared learning and experimentation in audience development.

Anne has 20 years experience in the arts, as director of marketing and audiences with numerous progressive arts companies (including Stratford East, West Yorks Playhouse and LIFT), and as a consultant, facilitator and commentator specialising in audience strategy and public engagement for cultural providers and policy-makers. She works across all artforms and museums and has special interests in non-traditional audiences, contemporary work and organisational change. She is an experienced company director and trustee.

Hannah Miller, Head of Casting, RSC

Hannah Miller is currently the Head of Casting at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Having studied Drama at the University of Hull  and produced work at the National Student Drama Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival she went to work at Cheek by Jowl. This was followed by five years as the Casting Assistant at the National Theatre. She then moved to the RSC as Deputy Casting Director, was Casting Director for the Birmingham Rep and then returned to the RSC in 2008. She has also cast theatre productions for Northampton Theatres, Hampstead Theatre, the Young Vic, Cardboard Citizens, Treatment Theatre and Sheffield Theatres. 

Additionally, Hannah works regularly in drama schools and with other industry organizations advising actors on professional development. She has previously been a school governor in Northamptonshire, been elected to the committee of the Casting Directors Guild and is currently on the Board of Trustees for Tamasha Theatre Company and Northampton Theatres Trust. 

Anshu Srivastava, Architect & Director, MRA Architecture and Interior Design

Anshu grew up in a working class Northern town, studied architecture in London and was politicised through the Anti-Apartheid movement. He holds an MA in Psychoanalytic Studies and for the past fifteen years has run his own international design studio MRA Architecture & Interior Design. MRA has grown to become a world renowned practice in the field of fashion retail design, working for a host of international clients, such as Nike, Jimmy Choo and Agent Provocateur –

Anshu is committed to an active civic life which avows his political and cultural identity, formerly as a state school governor and today as a board member of Tamasha and his local community charity Bold Vision. Anshu is often invited to speak at seminars and participate in round-tables.


Shawab Iqbal, Learning and Participation Producer of the Olivier award winning hip hop dance company, Boy Blue

Born and bred in East London, Shawab graduated with a first class honours degree from the University of Kent. He has held producing and administrative roles at Theatre Royal Stratford East and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures as well as developing a freelance portfolio. 

Shawab is also a qualified teacher and has been a counsellor for ChildLine. He is on the board of governors at Newham Sixth Form College, one of the largest sixth forms in the UK. Here, he leads on Equality and Diversity as well as sitting on the Audit and Scrutiny Committee. 

Shawab has been a regular guest speaker on the MA Creative Producing course at Birkbeck, University of London and is currently completing an MA in Culture, Diaspora and Ethnicity exploring race, racism and post-colonial theory.


Daniel Alicandro, Head of Digital, English National Ballet

Since joining the company in 2015, Daniel has overseen the development of the company digital presence, content strategy and broadcast initiatives, acting as Executive Producer on the cinema release of Akram Khan's Giselle

Previous posts have included Digital Communications Manager at the Roundhouse Trust for four years, Head of Sales and Marketing at Digital Theatre and Deputy Sales Manager at the Royal Court Theatre.