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Jiva Board of Directors

Dr. Vijaya Nair Co-Founder / CEO JIVA—Essence of Life, LLC 

Dr. Nair has served as an Assistant Professor at Columbia University, School of Public Health, New York and holds an MD degree from the National University of Singapore (MBBS, MMed ), and a Masters in Epidemiology from Columbia University. She did her post-doctoral work at Harvard Medical School. For the last 6 years Dr. Nair served as Director of Research at the Haelan Research Foundation where she was involved in a number of research endeavors with scientists/doctors in research institutions in the US, UK, Germany, Singapore and Malaysia, examining the role and benefits of consuming fermented based products in healthy volunteers as well as in malnourished individuals diagnosed with terminal cancers and other chronic degenerative illnesses. Dr. Nair is a recognized expert in the field, has authored numerous research publications and articles, and, have appeared on television and radio presentations in connection with the benefits of using fermented soy in the health and well being of individuals.

Senator Omer L Rains Co-founder and Member Board of Directors 

Sen. Omer L. Rains, Esq. is an attorney, financier and investment advisor with extensive experience in the international finance and capital marketplace. Prior to formation of The Marshall Plan Venture Capital Fund, of which he serves as President, he maintained offices in both the United States and Switzerland. He previously served three terms as a California Senator. While in the Senate, he served as Chairman of both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Business and Professions Committee, and as a member of the Senate Finance and Banking & Commerce Committees. Sen. Rains has served as Chairman of the Board or CEO of several corporations, and he has raised venture capital for several early stage ventures, both in the U.S. and abroad. One of the companies he formed, Capitol Information Management, was later sold to EDS and subsequently became a subsidiary of General Motors. As a result of his expertise in global financial matters, he also served as international advisor to the Center for New Venture Alliance of the California State University School of Business and Economics. Active in civic and philanthropic affairs, Sen. Rains has received the “Distinguished Service Award” as his community’s “Outstanding Citizen,” as well as many other academic and professional awards. He is a frequent lecturer regarding international business and financial matters, and is the author of several published articles of distinction. He has also served as Judge Pro Tempore on both the Superior Court and Municipal Court in California. His professional ratings are the highest attainable for both “legal ability” and “for faithful adherence to ethical standards and professional reliability.” B.A.; LL.B.; J.D., University of California (Berkeley).

Dr. Bharat B. Aggarwal

Senior Strategic Consultant & Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board

Bharat B. Aggarwal is a world-renown Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and Chief of the Cytokine Research Section of the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. His primary area of research involves Cancer Immunology and more recently the effect of Indian spices on the prevention and treatment of Cancer. He has authored over 200 original papers and six books, trained over 50 scientists, and been invited to lecture in over 30 countries around the world. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, did his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, and worked for almost ten years in Genentech Inc., a biotechnology company in South San Francisco before joining the research faculty of the University of Texas Medical School in 1989

Mr. Sharnia “Tab” Buford Member, Board of Directors

Mr. Buford currently serves as President or Chief Executive Officer of Buford and Associates, Inc., providing financial services to profit and not for profit organizations on a national and international basis. Mr. Buford previously served as President or CEO of numerous banks and financial institutions including Memphis Bancorp (TN), Douglass State Bank (KS), Freedom National Bank (NY), Gateway National Bank (MO), and City National Bank (NJ). He has also served as a consultant to the United States Aid for International Development (US AID), as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Bankers Association, as Founder of the Harlem Business Alliance, and as Board Member of the Madison Square Garden Boys Club (NYC). In addition, Mr. Buford, whose college degrees are from Tyler College (Tyler, Texas) where he serves as Trustee and from which he received an Honorary Doctor of Law degree, and the University of Colorado, Boulder. In addition, he previously served as a Director of the United Negro College Fund. Mr. Buford has been listed as one of the “100 Most Influential Black Americans” by Ebony Magazine, has served on the White House Fellow Selection Committee, and has received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award.

Dr. Barry Kistnasamy Member, Board of Directors

Formerly Dean of the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine, Durban, South Africa, Dr. Kistnasamy now serves as a Health Management Consultant to the World Bank and to several other international organizations and academic institutions. Universities attended and degrees are from the University of Natal (S.Af.), York University (U.K.), University of Michigan (U.S.), and Cambridge University (U.K.). Dr. Kistnasamy also previously served as Deputy Director-General and Head of the Department of Health, Welfare and Environment in South Africa and, before that, as the Coordinator of Health Programs of the National Medical and Dental Association. He has published on such topics as “Global Chronic Diseases” (published in Science Magazine). Dr. Kistnasamy has also served as a Member of the Commission on Health and Science of the International Federation of the Red Cross Society, representing the African Region. 

Dr. Margaret Ritchie Member, Board of Directors

Dr. Ritchie received her PhD in Chemistry from University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland. She is the author of numerous publications dealing with biological markers and the derivation and validation of food content. After previous service on the faculty of the University of St. Andrews School of Medicine, she is now associated with Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland. She has also served as a consultant to companies focused on the development of medicinal plant products. Among her publications and courses are those dealing with such matters as “Better Health Through Functional Foods and Complementary Medicine”, “Vegetarian or Omnivorous Diet” (published in Soy and Health Journal), and “Concentrations of Isoflavones as Biomarkers of Phyto-Oestrogen Intake Following Dietary Soy Supplementation” (published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine).



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