Manju Sara Rajan appointed Kochi Biennale Foundation CEO

First woman CEO of KBF will oversee Kochi Muziris Biennale and other Foundation activities

manju-sara-rajan-1Kochi: The Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) has named Manju Sara Rajan as its CEO, after the board of trustees, including Foundation President Bose Krishnamachari and Secretary Riyas Komu, approved the appointment last week.

Significantly, the top two KBF administrative posts, that of CEO and CFO, are now held by women at the groundbreaking art institution, which hosts the country’s largest art exhibition, the Kochi Muziris Biennale (KMB). The new CEO’s posting comes ahead of the third edition of the three month-long Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016, scheduled to begin on December 12.

“South Asia’s largest biennale, the ‘People’s biennale’ will now be run by the young and bright Manju,” said Bose. “The board of trustees of the KBF has observed her work at the Foundation over the last few months, and we noticed her commitment, passion, and creative and administrative ability, all of which cemented the decision to invite Manju to become the CEO of our cultural family. Her journalistic and creative writing skills along with her local, regional and international experience will bring an important dimension to KMB and make this a stronger organisation.”

Manju, 38, joined KBF as communications director in February. She is backed by a journalism degree from Sydney’s Macquarie University and over a decade’s experience of working in premier media houses, including Time magazine’s Asia edition in Hong Kong, and is the founding editor of AD Architectural Digest India.

As CEO, she will oversee the creative, financial and administrative management of various KBF activities, including its outreach and educational programmes.

“Manju’s appointment marks the formation of a formidable team that can take the foundation’s activities forward with great wisdom. She will be supported by the CFO, Treessa Jaifer, who has been managing finance since the beginning of the foundation,” said Riyas. He also noted that Manju, “a people’s person” brings great awareness about contemporary art practices.

“KBF is a pioneering institution whose activities I have watched with great admiration over the last four years,” said Manju. “I was thrilled to become a part of the organisation earlier this year, and to work as the Director of Communications for the upcoming Biennale on 12/12/16. To now to be given this immense mandate as the CEO of the organisation is a huge honour and responsibility, but we have an experienced, enthusiastic team, so I’m looking forward to working with them in a whole new way.”

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