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Meet the Visionaries Behind HEART International

Claud Paul




With unwavering dedication and profound passion, our team has been at the forefront of empowering communities and transforming lives for over two decades.

At HEART International, our founder, director, secretary, and advisory board come together to bring diverse insights, rich experiences, and a shared commitment to fostering sustainable change and progress in underserved communities. Discover the individuals who are driving our mission to create a world where every community has the opportunity to thrive.

 Vinugopal : Secretary 

Vinugopal Rajagopal : Secretary, HEART International

With over 30 years of deep-seated commitment to the healthcare sector, Vinugopal Rajagopal has made an indelible mark in the field. His tenure at the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust in London has been marked by significant leadership roles that have emphasized patient-centered care and community reintegration. As a Service Coordinator, he played a pivotal role in managing services catering to those with long-term mental health issues, always with a vision to prepare them for a harmonious return to their communities.


Rising through the ranks, Rajagopal took on the mantle as the Head of Critical Incidents Management. His responsibility wasn’t just limited to managing critical incidents, but he also forged valuable collaborations with external agencies, ensuring top-tier patient safety and organizational transparency. Further demonstrating his versatility, he embraced the role of Cost Per Case Manager with a goal to strike a delicate balance: ensuring the best of care while being financially judicious. His efforts have always revolved around offering unparalleled care, while simultaneously optimizing resources and streamlining pathways.


At HEART International, Rajagopal, as the Secretary, is more than just an administrative pillar. He brings with him a reservoir of experience, an unyielding commitment to community welfare, and an unwavering belief in HEART’s transformative vision. Through his leadership, he aims to bolster the organization’s endeavours and deepen its impact on the communities they serve.

HEART Advisor Board

Kobena T. Hanson, PhD

Kobena T. Hanson is Principal Evaluation Capacity Development Officer at the African Development Bank, Cote d’Ivoire, and co-founder/CEO of Strategic Outlooks, a research consultancy and advisory firm in Ghana . His research focuses on issues of public policy, capacity development, natural resource governance, regional development, and disruptive innovations. He is editor/co-editor of numerous books including Sustainable Development, Digitalization and the Green Economy in Africa Post-COVID-19 (Palgrave, 2023); Disruptive Technologies, Innovation & Development in Africa (Palgrave, 2020); From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals: Rethinking African Development (Routlege, 2018); Managing Africa’s Natural Resources: Capacities for Development (Palgrave, 2014); and has severally published in journals such as Environment & Planning A, GeoJournal, Journal of African Development, African Geographical Review, and Africa Today. Since 2015 Kobena has been consulting for international organizations such as the African Development Bank, African Legal Support Facility, The Population Council, and Palladium Group.

HEART Advisor Board

Biodata: Franklyn LISK

Franklyn Lisk is a development economist and policy adviser with almost 50 years of professional experience. He is currently Professor of International Political Economy of African Development in the Politics and International Studies Department, University of Warwick, U K, where he is also an Academic Director for Africa in the university’s Executive Office. He also contributes to teaching and supervision in global public health programmes at Warwick Medical School, and coordinates teaching on the Politics and International Development course of the annual Warwick Summer School. Outside Warwick, Professor Lisk is a Senior Associate of the Center for Research on Political Economy (CREPOL), Dakar, Senegal, which he co-founded in 2009; an associate of the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Geneva; active member of the Center for Global Development, Washington DC, USA; and honorary visiting professor in Health Economics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.


Additionally, he provides technical advice on international, regional and national development strategy and policy issues to UN development organisations, including serving as a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) for the preparation of GE)-6 the UNEP’s flagship report nominated by NGO HEART International, and international NGOs, African regional institutions and national governments. Prior to joining Warwick University in 2006 as a professorial research fellow in the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), he had taught or carried out research in universities in the UK, South Africa, the Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago and native Sierra Leone. He also worked for several years at the Geneva-based International Labour Organisation (ILO) where held key positions including Senior Economist, Regional Adviser on Employment Policy for the Caribbean, Deputy Regional Director (Technical Programmes) for Africa, Director of ILO Liaison Office in New York and Special Representative to the UN and the World Bank, and was founding Director of the ILO Global Programme on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work. He has published widely on international development, global health, natural resources, and environmental issues. Professor Lisk, who originates from Sierra Leone, has degrees from UK universities, including a PhD in Economics and West African Studies from the University of Birmingham where he commenced his professional career as a lecturer in development economics in the 1973.