Board Members

Meet the board members for the The Jay & Sylvia Sobhraj Foundation

Jay Sobhraj
Jay Sobhraj was born in Guyana in 1948. He is one of 10 siblings and the son of a rice farmer. Jay Sobhraj currently is the Senior Vice President of Zara Realty, leading operations and renovations across the company’s apartment buildings. After spending 14 years working as a professional engineer in Guyana and Abu Dhabi, Jay co-founded Zara Realty with his two brothers Ken and George, bringing his expertise in engineering, field operations, and leadership that fostered lasting relationships to the helm of the company. Jay knows what truly drives success: it’s how well you communicate, show respect, and learn from others. Jay unofficially formed The Jay and Sylvia Sobhraj Foundation in 2007, and officially registered it in 2018 He built a team of professionals to envision, plan, and execute projects to further support educational programs in a variety of neighborhoods. Over the course of the last decade, the foundation has established ten state of the art computer centers and four libraries. All of the libraries along with seven of the computer centers are located in his native country of Guyana with the remaining computer centers located in NYC. Additionally, the foundation has partnered with various governmental organizations to provide free computer training to thousands of students. The foundation has also provided scholarships and specialized test preparation courses to students in both Guyana and New York. In addition to the educational support, the foundation has also donated sports equipment to the Guyana Police Force and other local community based organizations in an effort spearhead community wellness. Jay is a Chartered Engineer and member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in the United Kingdom. He holds a diploma of Mechanical and Production Engineering from Polytechnic of Central London and a diploma of Mechanical Engineering from Middlesex Polytechnic of Central London, England. Jay is married to his best friend, Sylvia, of 43 years. He is the proud father of Amir, Zarah, Anurag, and Manisha, and grandfather to Niam and Naina. He is consistently able to make a witty remark, tell a funny story, make everyone laugh, and finds the humor and joy in everyday life.
Sylvia Sobhraj
Sylvia Sobhraj was born and raised in Guyana, and immigrated to the United Kingdom in her early 20s. She studied at The Charingcross Group of Hospitals Nursing School, and earned her nursing certificate to practice nursing in the United Kingdom. She worked as a surgical nurse for a decade, in several hospitals in London, including St. Mary’s Hospital, the Lindo Wing, in Paddington, before moving with her husband, Jay, to the United Arab Emirates. Sylvia was a strong supporter of Jay in the early years of his career, and devoted herself to raising her two children, Zarah and Amir. Throughout their childhood, Sylvia placed an emphasis on their education, ensuring that it was a well-rounded education complete with musical instruction, exposure to sports, and various extra-curricular activities. Sylvia was an active member of the school system, participating in the parent-teacher association (PTA). Eventually, she became the president of the high school PTA from 2001-2003. During this time, she worked closely with the school administration, teachers, and parents to introduce new ideas, shape protocols, and be an active member of the community. In 2007 Jay and Sylvia unofficially formed The Jay and Sylvia Sobhraj Foundation, and officially registered it in 2018. Through the foundation, Sylvia has continued to share her commitment to education and providing educational resources to those less fortunate. Sylvia is married to her best friend, Jay, of 43 years. She is the proud mother of Zarah, Amir, Anurag, and Manisha, and grandmother to Niam and Naina. She can often be found gardening in her backyard, reading a book, and spending time with her grandchildren. She has a widely generous heart, and everyone who knows her love is simply blessed.
Nardeo Singh
Nardeo Singh was born in Albouystown, Georgetown, Guyana. He migrated to the United State States in 1977. He is the holder of Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and mathematics, and a Bachelor of Art in Accounting. Nardeo is also a Microsoft Certified Professional with over thirty years corporate experience in Information Technology covering various areas such as IT management and consulting, software development and training, computer systems design and implementations, computer networking, and financial systems. Nardeo is brainchild for the design and implementation of the computer centers donated by the JSSF Foundation. He travels to Guyana every year to provide training for the computer instructors and students. In addition, he conducts an evaluation on each center to ensure that the centers, course curriculums, and training are in line with today technology needs. Nardeo is married to Runicka Singh who holds a Master of Science in Mental Health and together they have three children: Kristin Singh a graduate of George Washington University, Brandon Singh a graduate of University of Southern California (USC) and Jason Singh a graduate of Baruch College. Nardeo’s quotes of the day “It’s not what you have that matters, but it ’s what you do with what you have that matters the most, regardless of how little it’s”. “let’s all do small things with a big heart as oppose to big things with small a heart.
Seelall Persaud
Seelall Persaud was born in 1963 in the Essequibo Coast, Guyana and the 5th of his parents 7 children. He is currently the holder of a Masters degree in Business Administration, a Graduate Diploma in International Studies and a Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences (Public Management), all from the University of Guyana. He also a graduate of a Certificate Course for Senior Executives in National and International Security from Harvard University. He joined the Guyana Police Force in 1984 where he served for 33.5 years. During his tenure he held several appointments inclusive of Head of the Narcotics Branch (10 years), Crime Chief (7 years) and Commissioner of Police from 2014 to 2018 when he retired. He also served as Guyana’s expert on the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism of the OAS, as Chair of the Caribbean Working Group of the International Drug Conference and Chair of CARICOM Standing Committee on Intelligence . He is a member of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police and has been awarded the Disciplined Services Medal. He is married and has 2 daughters.
Sravan Kumar Budhu

Sravan Kumar Budhu was born in Georgetown Guyana. He migrated to New York in 1989 and is the principal of a startup exterminating business. Over the last 10 years, he has made several trips to Guyana working selflessly for the foundation. His passion for children and educating them is amazing. He believes in teaching a man to fish as opposed to giving him the fish. He was instrumental in establishing libraries annexing to the computer centers built by the foundation.

Sravan’s Quote of the day “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today”

Amir Sobhraj
Amir Sobhraj is the Financial Controller at Zara Realty Holding Corp., a large Queens-based owner-operator of multifamily assets. Amir is a graduate of the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University where he double majored in finance and management, and minored in computer science. He later pursued a Master’s degree in real estate science from the Schack Institute of Real Estate at New York University, specializing in real estate finance and real estate development. Amir’s career in finance stretches back before his time at Zara Realty Holding Corp., when he held roles at Credit Suisse in the banking capital markets group and also at Ernst & Young in the structured finance and credit analytics groups. He currently serves on the board of the historic King Manor Museum, located in Jamaica, New York, where he is also heavily involved in charitable outreach initiatives. Outside of work, Amir is an avid runner who recently crossed the five minute mile threshold, a personal best. He is also a voracious reader with an insatiable thirst for memoirs. He is father to Mr. Winston, his English bulldog, and is married to Manisha Sobhraj, the love of his life. Both xenophiles, Amir and Manisha love traveling the world together, exploring and immersing themselves in all the beautiful cultures, cuisines, and countries around the globe.
Manisha Sobhraj
Manisha Sobhraj is a native of Guyana, who immigrated to the US in the very early years of her life. She is a finance professional currently working for the Global Financial Crimes Project Management Office of MUFG. Manisha holds a M.S. in Enterprise Risk Management, as well as a B.B.A. with a concentration in Corporate Finance from Queens College, City University of New York. Manisha credits her accomplishments to her mother instilling a passion and appreciation for education. She strongly believes that education is a lifelong journey, as evidenced by her 2018 CFA Level III candidacy. You can often find Manisha playing tug of war with her furry friend, Mr. Winston, an English bulldog she owns with her husband, Amir Sobhraj. Manisha also loves traveling the world with Amir, as they learn about different cultures and celebrate the diversity that surrounds us all in everyday life.            
Zarah Sobhraj Gupta
Zarah Sobhraj Gupta is an ASHA certified Speech and Language Pathologist, wife to Anurag Gupta, mother to Niam & Naina Gupta, and daughter of Jay & Sylvia. Zarah earned degrees in speech-language pathology and education at New York University followed by a Master's degree in speech-language pathology at Queens College. Having worked in a variety of therapeutic and educational settings, including special education schools in NYC and the public schools of Massachusetts, Zarah currently runs a private practice in New York, guiding children ages 2-16. Her clinical experience includes working with children across a variety of communication diagnoses and disorders, in the preschool and school age years. These include: articulation, autism, fluency, language, literacy, phonology, and pragmatic language. In her free time, Zarah enjoys spending time with her family, going to the park, and trying to keep up with two small children.          
Anurag Gupta
Dr. Anurag Gupta is the Founder and CEO of a Healthcare Startup seeking to revolutionize healthcare delivery, and is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at both the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra Northwell. He received his MMSc in clinical informatics from Harvard Medical School, earned his MD and MBA degrees from the University of Michigan and, after training in emergency medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in NYC, completed a postdoctoral NIH/NLM research fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He is board certified in both emergency medicine and clinical informatics.