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Board of Directors

2024 Friends of Ridhwan Board of Directors

Vaishali Chadha

San Francisco, California, USA

[email protected]

Vaishali has her own coaching and travel company, Adventures For My Soul LLC. She takes her private clients on historical and spiritual tours to India. She is also on the board of trustees for California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and Asian Art Museum. Her previous career was with Accenture and JP Morgan in consulting. She has been a member of DH9 since 2012.


Laurie Chestnut, Treasurer

Boulder, Colorado, USA

[email protected] 

Laurie is an economist who worked for over 30 years for a private consulting firm managing research and policy analysis in environmental and natural resource economics for federal and state regulatory agencies. She has been a member of the Ridhwan School in Colorado for nearly 40 years where she helped to establish the Colorado Operations Committee that oversees the maintenance and operation of the Ridhwan property there. She has served on the Ridhwan Board since 2006, has been Treasurer of the Ridhwan Foundation since 2009 and chairs the Finance Committee. She has also served on Ridhwan’s Strategy Planning Committee.


Rob Gussenhoven, President

San Diego, California USA

[email protected]

Rob is a leadership and brand development consultant with a global client portfolio. He has served on the Ridhwan Foundation Board of Directors since January 2022 and is a member of the Feature and Decision Body that oversees the implementation of the IT Infrastructure & Website Project. Rob joined the Friends of Ridhwan Board in 2019. He was previously Board Chair and Interim Executive Director at the Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Institute. Born in Holland, he is happiest on a bicycle. He lived and worked in Switzerland, Italy, South Korea, Malaysia, China, and Hong Kong. He speaks four languages. As an explorer he climbed in Europe and Alaska and crossed the Greenland ice cap on skis. Rob has been a student of DHR3 since 2002, completed five years of Seminary, and is currently a member of DHROmega. He lives with his wife Joan in San Diego, California. 


Claus Friedrich Haalck

Hamburg, Germany

[email protected]

For 25 years Claus has worked for an international airline in the field of change & health management. He is involved with the development of the Ridhwan Stiftung, the German nonprofit foundation and affiliate of the School in Germany. As part of the team, he is involved in outreach in German-speaking territories. Claus is 55 years old and a member of DHR4, DHROmega, and DHE2.


Michael Ohr

Surrey, UK

[email protected]

Michael has worked in the financial markets / investment management industry for over 30 years.  He's had experience in startups as well as Merrill Lynch, UBS and Credit Suisse.  Born in Chicago, he moved to the UK in 1994.  He's a big fan of detective stories.  Michael is a member of UK4 as has been part of the school since 2015


Alexander Verdegaal, Vice President

Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

[email protected] 

Alexander was born in a small village on the Dutch border with Belgium, has an M.B.Sc. from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, and now lives in the old heart of Amsterdam. He enjoys traveling whenever possible and is independently employed. His work includes in person guiding of ceremonies and special events as well as consultancy projects in areas of fundraising, public relations and training. He joined the Ridhwan School in 2004 and is a member of the DANS1 group in Europe. 


Richard Wallstein, Ph.D., Secretary 

London, UK

[email protected] 

Born in New York City, Richard moved to the UK in 1987. He has lived in London all but the initial 8 months of that time.  He is a psychotherapist, psychotherapy supervisor and trainer with both Gestalt and Systemic backgrounds. He also has a coaching practice for people in senior roles in small and large UK and international organisations; initially in the UK he worked as a management consultant. Earlier in academia he worked on early instantiations of commercially oriented AI at The Robotics Institute and the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University; he received his PhD in Cognitive Science from The University of Chicago. He joined the Ridhwan School in 1998 and is a member of EU2-3, the combined second and third groups to form in Europe. He joined the Friends of Ridhwan Board in 2016 and currently serves as Board Secretary.


Seth Schapiro

Berkeley, California USA

[email protected]g 

Seth is the Executive Director of the Ridhwan Foundation. He has been a student in the school since 1996 and he has over 20 years of experience leading a large non-profit with a 50-million-dollar budget. Also, as a consultant for both private and governmental agencies, he has diagnosed organizational needs and the strategic steps to implement change, and has facilitated processes with large groups of diverse stakeholders to support development in effective decision-making, organizational transparency, and strategic planning. 


FRIENDS OF RIDHWAN PO Box 10174 Berkeley CA 94709           Phone: 510-269-8033 Contact Us

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