Group Office

Mehrdad Baghai
Co-Founder, Chairman, and Global CEO

As Global CEO of High Resolves, Mehrdad has focused on rapid growth of the program in Australia and expansion into the U.S., Canada, China, Brazil and Africa. Mehrdad is Chairman of Alchemy Growth, a boutique strategy advisory firm. Previously, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company and co-leader of the Firm’s worldwide Growth Practice, and an Executive Director at the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. Mehrdad has degrees from Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School and Princeton University. He is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

I have seen and felt the impact of social division and hatred first hand. We need to think of prejudice, racism and hatred as public health issues and engage in immunization programs in order to eradicate these diseases.

Roya Baghai
Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer

Roya has a graduate degree in architecture but has also worked in many other experiential design fields. Throughout all her work, she has been passionate about creating transformative experiences that have personal or social impact. Her commitment to creating positive social change and empowering young people to do the same was the inspiration and driving force behind the co-creation of High Resolves in 2005 and her deep involvement since. She is also the Founder of Videos for Change: a powerful global platform that is enabling and amplifying the voice of young people to creatively engage with social issues and catalyse positive change in the world.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

I am passionate about contributing in some small way to the creation of a world with unity in diversity, and where justice and equality of opportunity is upheld and experienced by all. I am joyous and privileged to work towards this vision with the impressive and multi-talented team at High Resolves.

Nays Baghai
Director, Film & Photography Operations

Nays Baghai is an independent filmmaker based in Sydney, Australia. Originally an alumnus of the High Resolves program in its early years, Nays has been the official on-site videographer and photographer for the High Resolves Australia team since 2015. A graduate of Australia’s national film school AFTRS, Nays has worked as a corporate videographer since he was a teenager. His past clients include Telstra, Deloitte, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Raine & Horne, and the Pressure Project.
He is also the Creative Director of Running Cloud Productions, a production company that specialises in character-driven storytelling. The company’s first feature film, Descent – which Nays directed, co-produced, and edited – won the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Best Australian Documentary Film in 2020. Nays is also the company’s resident underwater cinematographer and photographer, and his work has been featured by Tourism Australia, DeeperBlue, Molchanovs Freediving, Channel 9 News, and many more.
I am passionate about High Resolves because…

I get to work with some of the most professional, inspiring and personable individuals in the world who work tirelessly to bring an innovative, well-structured program to life across the world, and create change for the greater good, sans dogma.

Paul Kelsey
Global Chief Operating Officer

Paul Kelsey was the inaugural CEO for High Resolves for ten years in Australia and is now the Global Chief Operating Officer. Prior to High Resolves, Paul was in various senior management positions in financial services for over 20 years.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

I am passionate about High Resolves more than ever now because I have three teenage children, and I see first-hand how difficult it is for young teenagers to develop a genuine sense of empathy for global issues and to feel empowered to make a difference.

Michael Hunter
Chief Investment 
and Impact Officer

Michael is the Chief Investment and Impact Officer for High Resolves Group. Michael is also currently a Founding Partner and Chief Operating Officer of Alchemy Tribridge and investor and on the Boards of a number of global Venture Capital backed technology companies. Michael is an entrepreneur in the EdTech space, former investment banker at Macquarie Capital and worked extensively in private equity and M&A at L.E.K. Consulting. Michael has a Bachelor of Commerce, with Honours in Finance from the Australian National University and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM).

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

I believe deeply in empowering the younger generation to think critically about issues and people and circumstances outside of their sphere of influence and outside of their comfort zone. High Resolves plays a critical role in this mission of unlocking the power of critical thinking in young people, across the world.

 

Gyan Kumar
Group Financial 
Controller

Gyan has over seven years of not-for-profit experience, working for in different roles in operations and accounts.  He has a Diploma in Finance from TAFE NSW and BA Accounting from the University of South Australia. Gyan also has a Post Graduate Certificate in MBA and is a current member of IPA-Australia.  Gyan has been volunteering with PCYC for over 5-years working with youths and currently volunteers at a number of sporting codes, including Little Athletic NSW, soccer and boxing.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

I love being a part of a dynamic and diverse team, who have a shared vision and dedication to empowering a generation of young people with the skills and motivation to transform our world for the better.

Anna Jordan
Group Finance and 
Business Intelligence

Anna has been with High Resolves since 2012, and is currently working to establish robust finance & business reporting processes that will support the organisation in its next chapter of growth. Through stories of the incredible hardship experienced by her migrant grandparents, she became passionate about supporting international development efforts from an early age, which led her to pursue her Bachelors degree in Global Studies and Masters in International Development. She is also a strong believer in the power of volunteering, and has contributed to development projects in both Kenya and Vietnam, as well as conservation efforts closer to home through the rescue and rehabilitation of injured wildlife in the Northern Rivers of NSW.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

I believe all young people have the power to make a positive contribution to the world. By equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to take on the many challenges we are all facing today, they can feel empowered to lead their generation through these with confidence, innovation and empathy.

Raghu Ponnapalli
Head of Product Technology, Composer

Upon graduating from Andhra University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Raghu Ponnapalli moved to the US to pursue a Master’s degree in Computer Science from UMass and an MBA in Leadership from Franklin Pierce University. Raghu held Senior-level Technical positions at Sun Microsystems and Infosys for over 10 years. His experience led him to a start-up, growing over 150 employees providing solutions to customers across the globe in 12+ years. For the past 6 years, Raghu’s interests shifted from providing IT solutions to building software products – with at least 4 products for which he was the product owner – from conception and design to managing development and delivery.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

I am fortunate to have been brought up in a family with parents who were teachers, I believe that leaders are born from having right education combined with a keen understanding of social responsibilities.