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Vijay Chitnis

During my youth, I was a top ranked Canadian junior squash player and All-American college athlete. As a freshmen at Brown, I was Athlete of the Year. This experience forms the very core of who I am as an individual.  My belief is that sports have the power to change lives. Following college, I was the Head Squash Coach at St. Lawrence University where I successfully bid, organized and raised funds for the 2004 NCAA Championships. Wanting to bring my passion and organizational skills to a national audience, I joined US Squash, the national governing body. During my time there, I created, developed and executed their first fundraising campaign for young athletes. Additionally, I organized multiple large-scale international sporting events including the largest junior squash tournament in the world. I attended and raised funds for the national team traveling to the 2007 Pan-American Games in Rio. In my last year at the organization, I participated in the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid, engaging in conversations about how we might bring the sport of squash to an Olympic level.  I also developed US Squash’s High-Performance training model in conjunction with the United States Olympic Committee.

Following my time at US Squash, I returned to my alma mater, Brown University, to work in their International Development office. During my time at, my principal gift fundraising experience included the cultivation of 10 multi-million-dollar gifts, ranging from $1 million to $11 million. During my six years at Brown University, I successfully closed a total of $48.4 million USD, with many major gifts from previously undeveloped prospect pools, such as India and Pakistan. I represented Brown at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, staffing then Brown University President Ruth Simmons on multiple international trips, and have organized print, television and radio press coverage of her pre and post travels. My principal gift fundraising experience includes the cultivation of both domestic and international prospects. I have also cultivated donors from Turkey, Brazil, UK, India, Pakistan, Jordan, UAE, Greece, Philippines, Mauritius and international alumni and parents located in New York City. As Director of International Initiatives in Brown’s Education Department, I created and secured two international partnerships focusing on education management and pedagogy with high schools internationally securing $3.4 million dollars funding for this project. In addition to my fundraising experience, I was responsible for creating the BrownInternational Advisory Council, which helps to guide strategic University initiatives. The Council members are among the wealthiest, most influential businessmen, including many on the Forbes billionaire list.

Creating educational opportunities has always been my passion. As a young child my family lived in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, forcing my family to flee to Greece and eventually settle in Canada. My most vivid memory of the Revolution is that I no longer had the freedom to attend school. I carried this experience with me throughout the rest of my childhood in Canada and it motivated me to pursue an Ivy League education, followed by a M.A. in Education at St. Lawrence University. I have built a career around providing opportunities through fundraising. It is my greatest joy to find donors willing to support worthy causes and initiatives. Having spent seven years in Assam, India as a young man, I have personally experienced a wide range of cultures, which has not only helped in my international and domestic fundraising efforts but understanding human nature.

Since becoming a Strategic Initiatives and Development Consultant in 2014, I have successfully created comprehensive fundraising initiatives for numerous private not for profit clients both domestically and internationally.  From assisting the Himalayan Research Institution ICIMOD (International Center for Integrated Mountain Development) in its Climate + Change Initiative, to guiding a private day school in the Caribbean as it prepares to launch its first organized fundraising International redevelop their Board and High Net Worth Individuals, my vast network and international experience coupled with an innovative approach to development creates a value based approach in the overall strategic direction of any small or large not for profit organization.

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Safari Activities

Chimpanzee Tracking

Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. So although the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness.

Chimpanzee tracking is also available in nearby Kalinzu, a forest reserve 30 minutes drive from Kyambura Gorge Lodge where there is a community of about 40 habituated chimpanzees.