Heifer International has named Surita Sandosham, a Singapore native with more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, its next president and CEO.
Sandosham was previously executive director of Heartland Alliance International, the humanitarian and human rights nonprofit based in Chicago. Before then, she was vice president of programs at the global nonprofit Synergos in New York, where she built partnerships on behalf of small-scale farms and vulnerable populations.
Sandosham takes over at Heifer on Oct. 1. She follows Pierre Ferrari, who is retiring after 12 years leading the organization.
Under Ferrari's leadership, Heifer expanded its animal gifting model with a focus on community partnerships and measures with long-lasting impacts. It has also established an investing division to increase access to affordable financing for farmers and fund farmer-focused infrastructure.
Randi Hedin, Heifer board chair, said Sandosham brings a "fresh perspective" to the organization, along with deep knowledge of working in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the U.S.
"Under her leadership, we are excited to build on what we have already accomplished to support smallholder farmers around the world," Hedin said in a news release.
Sandosham is a lawyer by training who graduated from City University London and the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University. She has served in leadership positions at Amnesty International, Equality Now, Rockefeller Foundation, Synergos, and Heartland Alliance International, working to accelerate agricultural growth, address maternal and child malnutrition, improve retention rates in education and support economic development for marginalized communities.
She joins Heifer as the nonprofit transitions to a hybrid work model and decreases its physical footprint in Little Rock. The organization has agreed to sell its campus downtown but plans to remain in the top two floors of the four-story, 94,000-SF building under a long-term lease.
OneHealth Education Group of Little Rock, the company working with Lyon College of Batesville to create Arkansas’ first dental and veterinary schools, is purchasing the campus. Plans are for the new schools to occupy most of the property.
"Heifer International is a venerable organization with a long history of serving the world's poorest farmers," Sandoshan said. "I am excited for the opportunity to lead the organization into its next chapter of addressing global hunger and poverty, and caring for the earth, and to become a part of a team making an impact at such a scale."