Col. Gopal Karunakaran

Col. Gopal Karunakaran is the CEO of Shiv Nadar School. His belief in education being a tool for social transformation has driven him to absorb a rich and diverse experience across all facets of school education, including policy, academic leadership, operations, and business; and has helped him gain important perspectives on the key drivers of the education sector in India. He has been a member of the National Committee of Education of the Confederation of Indian Industries since 2008 and was also a part of the team which formulated draft proposals to the Government on the Right to Education Act.

A graduate of the National Defence Academy, Col. Karunakaran spent thirty years in the Indian Army – ten of which were in the insurgency region of Kashmir, including the Siachen Glacier. While with the Army, he was chosen for the United Nations Mission in Kuwait in a multilateral and multicultural environment.

He is an M.Phil. and an M.A. from the University of Madras, and began his civilian journey in the Education space in 2008 as Vice-President, Indus World Schools of the Career Launcher Group, where he headed the group’s K-12 school expansion drive. He joined Shiv Nadar School as Director in 2011 and played a pivotal role in laying down a firm foundation for the institution

Along with an obsessive compulsion to read and write, he is a prolific public speaker. Fanatical about sport, he still wistfully believes he can play competitively at 62.


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