John Cook, Founder and Chairperson
Mr. Cook, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is the retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PRG- Schultz International, Incorporated. As chief financial officer of a large retail corporation in the 80’s, Mr. Cook understood that technology could profoundly change the accounts payable and cost recovery services industry. Mr. Cook’s vision became a reality in 1991when he co-founded The Profit Recovery Group International, Inc. (PRG) after merging two small accounts payable audit firms that he had purchased—Roy Greene Associates and Bottom Line Associates.
Mr. Cook guided PRG from a small enterprise with $5 million in annual revenues into an international publicly held corporation with 2004 revenues of approximately $357 million. On January 24th, 2002 Mr. Cook merged the world’s two largest recovery audit firms, The Profit Recovery Group (PRG) and Howard Schultz & Associates (HS&A) to form PRG-Schultz, the global leader in recovery auditing, which operates in over 40 countries and has approximately 2,800 employees.
In June 1999 Mr. Cook was named Ernst & Young, LLP Regional Entrepreneur of the Year for the Financial Services category and was inducted into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.
Prior to PRG-Schultz, Mr. Cook held a number of top financial and management positions in the retail industry, including senior vice president and chief financial officer of Caldor Stores, a division of The May Department Stores Co., and senior vice president of finance of Kaufmann’s Department Stores, another May division.
With PRG-Schultz headquarters in Atlanta, Mr. Cook is actively involved in the Atlanta community, serving on the board of trustees of the city’s Woodruff Arts Center and on the board of directors of the High Museum of Art. He is a member of the advisory board of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, The Carter Center’s board of councilors, and the board of directors of Atlanta-based CryoLife, Inc., a biotechnology firm, serving on its audit and compensation committees.
Mr. Cook is the patron and lead donor for The Human Development Foundation, one of Asia’s most innovative health and education NGO’s, which was founded by the Reverend Joseph H. Maier in Bangkok in 1972. In addition, Mr. Cook serves as a board member for the Open Learning Exchange, a partner organization of the South Asia Children’s Fund.
Mr. Cook holds a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting from Saint Louis University. He is a member of the university’s board of trustees and serves on the executive advisory board of the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University.
Dawa Sonam Sherpa, Director
Dawa Sherpa, age 23, is a graduate of Young Hearts Boarding School, Shuvatara School, and Campion Academy in Kathmandu. He is currently a senior at St Louis University in Missouri, where he is majoring in business administration.
In 2008 Dawa had the privilege of studying in Dharamsala, India, the seat of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s government in exile, as a member of an overseas studies program hosted by Emory University. During the summer of 2009 Dawa studied at the John Cook School of Business in Madrid. Dawa is a gifted athlete, and was Junior Nepal Tennis Champion at age 16. He has volunteered extensively at Shree Mangal Dvip School in Kathmandu, and launched a tennis programme for some of the city’s poorest street children in 2004.
Peter Dalglish, Executive Director
Peter Dalglish is the founder of Street Kids International, and is a leading authority on working children, street children, and war-affected children. After graduating from Stanford University and Dalhousie Law School, Peter Dalglish organized an airlift of food and medical supplies from Canada to the starving African nation. His encounter with emaciated and destitute refugees seared him for life.
Peter Dalglish returned to Canada from Ethiopia and informed the senior partners of his law firm that he was giving up the profession to pursue a career alongside some of the world's poorest children. In an isolated desert region along the Sudan’s border with Chad, Peter Dalglish organized humanitarian relief for women and children displaced by drought and famine. In Khartoum in 1986, Peter Dalglish began the Sudan's first technical training school for street children, funded by Bob Geldof of Band Aid. Pickpockets, petty thieves and housebreakers were transformed into carpenters, welders and electricians; the graduates were hired by local businesses.
In May, 1986 Peter Dalglish set up a bicycle courier service run entirely by street children in Khartoum. The kids delivered mail and newspapers to offices that they once had broken into; along the way they learned the importance of discipline and hard work. In recognition of his efforts on behalf of destitute African children, in 1988 Peter Dalglish was selected by Junior Chamber International as one of the ten outstanding young people of the world.
Inspired by the tenacity and ingenuity of kids society had written off, Peter Dalglish returned to Canada in 1987 to found Street Kids International. Armed with $200, a borrowed office and an American Express card, he launched an agency that has become a global leader in designing creative self-help projects for poor, urban children. Between 1988 and 1990 Street Kids International in cooperation with the National Film Board of Canada developed Karate Kids, an animated film about HIV prevention; today the cartoon is in distribution in 25 languages and in over 100 countries, making it one of the largest initiatives for street children anywhere in the world. On account of the success of Karate Kids, in 1994 Street Kids International received the coveted Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-Profit Innovation.
In 1994, Peter Dalglish was appointed by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau as the first director of Youth Service Canada, the Government of Canada’s civilian youth corps. In 2002 Peter Dalglish was appointed as the Chief Technical Adviser for the UN’s child labour program in Nepal. Peter Dalglish currently serves as an advisor to Dubai Cares, the US$ 1.3 billion foundation established by the Ruler of Dubai with the aim of improving primary schooling in the developing world. He is a founding board Member of the Board of Directors of Ashoka Canada, has been awarded three honorary doctorate degrees, and is the recipient of the Fellowship of Man Award, and the Dalhousie Law School Weldon Award for Public Service. Peter Dalglish’s autobiography The Courage of Children: My Life with the World’s Poorest Kids was published by Harper Collins.
Mr. Nigel Conway, Programme Officer
Nigel, age 31 was born in Kolkata, the City of Joy. He was educated at Catholic schools in India run by Irish and Jesuit priests. Nigel graduated from St Xavier’s College in Mumbai, and received a Diploma in software programming from National Institute of Information Technology in Kathmandu. Nigel worked at Shree Mangal Dvip School in Kathmandu from 1994-2003 in the capacity of social studies teacher, and assistant to the Director. After losing his sister to cancer, Nigel worked with St. Jude’s Child Welfare Centre in Mumbai, a Sri Lankan NGO, assisting children and families affected by cancer.
Mr Sudan Chapagain, Accountant
Sudan, age 21, is serving as the accountant for the South Asia Children’s Fund. A native of Dhading district in Nepal, Sudan has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance. His younger brother Manoj, age 14, has won a scholarship at Regent’s School in Pattaya, Thailand, and is the school’s only Nepali student.
Mr. Bigendra Maharajan, Logistics Officer
Bigendra, age 31, is a native of Kathmandu. He was educated at government schools, and attended Martyr’s Memorial Campus where he completed the Plus Two programme. He trained as a mechanic, the trade of his father Dharma. Bigendra and his wife Anita are the proud parents of six year-old Bishesh who attends Ullens School in Kathmandu.
Mr. Vijay Karki, Director of Residential Education
Vijay and his wife Goma, natives of West Bengal in India, are responsible for all aspects of residential living for students sponsored by the South Asia Children’s Fund in the town of Bandipur. Together they ensure that all the students in our care benefit from a secure, stable and stimulating environment. Before joining the South Asia Children’s Fund Vijay was in charge of a student residence in Kathmandu. They are the proud parents of a three year-old boy, Sharad.