President Siddhartha Kaul
The President of SOS Children’s Villages International assumes overall leadership of the global federation of 117 member associations, supporting consistency and cohesion. He leads the International Senate and ensures a common approach among the governance bodies of the Senate, Management Council and Management Team. The President represents the federation externally and internally.
Siddhartha Kaul was elected President of SOS Children’s Villages International in June 2012, and re-elected for a second four-year term in June 2016. His association with the organisation goes back to his childhood in India where, in 1964, his father became the Founder and Director of the first SOS Children’s Village in India after meeting Founder Hermann Gmeiner.
Mr Kaul’s own career of almost 40 years with the organisation started in 1978 when he was appointed director of SOS Children’s Village Chennai in South India. Since then, he has provided support and leadership in many roles within the organisation. He established SOS Children’s Villages in Sri Lanka, and led the rebuilding of the organisation in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia after the conflicts in these countries. He was also in charge of SOS Children’s Villages International’s biggest emergency relief programme to date after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.
While representing Asia as Deputy Secretary-General from 2001 to 2012, Mr Kaul was a member of the senior management team of SOS Children’s Villages International and played an active part in the organisation’s strategy processes. Having worked in diverse social, economic, religious and political systems in Asia, he appreciates and values diversity. As President, his focus and strength remains the meaningful interaction with families in SOS Children’s Villages International’s family-based care and family strengthening programmes. He strongly believes that “no child should grow up alone” and “the success and impact of our work is and shall be reflected in what the young people in our programmes achieve”.
Born in Pilani, Rajasthan, India, Mr Kaul studied architecture in Ahmedabad-Gujrat and liberal arts at the Delhi University. He speaks English, Hindi and some Sinhalese and Kashmiri. His efforts to improve the lives of children across the globe have earned him recognition in the form of numerous awards, including highest civilian Honours in Cambodia and Vietnam.