President of SOS Children's Villages International

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.

Numerous honours have been bestowed on Siddhartha Kaul and these include:

Dec 1984
SOS Ring of Honour by Professor Dr. Hermann Gmeiner

Jan 1992
Friendship Award - Government of Vietnam

Dec 1994
Award for outstanding contributions Youth Union Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam

Dec 1997
Award for the cause of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs - Government of Vietnam

Dec 2002
Medal of the Kingdom of Cambodia Class SENA - Royal Government of Cambodia

Jan 2003
De Commender de la Medaille du Sahametri - Royal Government of Cambodia

Feb 2007
"MONISARAPHON" ranked a "MOHASENA" - Royal Government of Cambodia

Mar 2007
People's Committee of Ca Mau province awarded Certificate of merit

Dec 2007
Prime Minister of Socialist Republic of Vietnam awarded Certificate of merit

Dec 2009
People's Committee of Dien Bien province awarded Certificate of merit

Sept 2009
Vietnam Federation of Friendship awarded the campaign medal of “Peace and friendship among nations"

Jan 2010
Award for recognition of services / 1990-2000 to City of Dien Bein Phu, Dien Bein Phu Province - Vietnam

Jun 2010
Certificate of merit awarded by People’s Committee of Hai Phong - Vietnam

Jan 2011
Goodwill Ambassador for Child Development awarded by Sri Lanka – United Nations Friendship Organisation – Sri Lanka

Sep 2011
Certificate of merit awarded by People’s Committee of Da Nang - Vietnam

Nov 2011
Certificate of merit awarded by People’s Committee of Quang Binh - Vietnam

Dec 2011
Hung Vuong campaign medal awarded by People’s Committee of Phu Tho - Vietnam

Dec 2011
Certificate of merit awarded by People’s Committee of Ben Tre – Vietnam

Dec 2011
Campaign medal for the sake of Education awarded by Minister of Education and Training

Jan 2014
Award for active contributions to humanitarian aid in Da Nang City, Da Nang City Vietnam

Apr 2015
Third Class Labour Medal Recognizes positive contribution in caring and nurturing of Children - Government of Vietnam

Mar 2017
Sri Lankan National Honour for foreigners or non-Sri Lankan nationals, for “distinguished service of highly meritorious nature" – Government of Sri Lanka

Feb 2018
Medal of Labor Class II Development of SOS Children's Villages in Laos

July 2018
Commander of National Order, Republic of Benin Highest national honour a foreigner can get in the Republic of Benin

Oct 2018
Tyrolean Golden Eagle Award Honour for foreigners whose friendly relations to the Province of Tyrol –Austria are of specific political, economic or cultural meaning

Nov 2018
Award of Merit of the People's Commitee of Gia Lai Province, Vietnam