TSLS announces new Board of Directors

October 14, 2023
TSLS Board of Directors (L-R) Dr. Penuel Emi, Mr. Nilesh Lal, Ro Teimumu Kepa (Board chair), Ms. Kirti Patel

The Tertiary Scholarships and Loans Service (TSLS) wishes to announce the appointment of three new members to its Board of Directors.

Ro Teimumu Vuikaba Kepa has been appointed as the new TSLS Board Chair while Mr. Nilesh Lal and Ms. Kirti Patel have been appointed as board directors in accordance with Section 4 of the TSLS Act 2014. Dr. Penuel Immanuel has been reappointed under the same provision.

The TSLS Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Hasmukh Lal, has welcomed the appointment of new board members.

“The newly appointed chair and the board members bring valuable expertise and perspective that will help provide effective strategic direction and oversight to TSLS.”

Ro Teimumu Vuikaba Kepa was first elected in 2014 as the head of SODELPA and became the first Fijian woman to serve as Leader of the Opposition. She was re-elected in 2018 and continued as a Member of Opposition in the Fijian Parliament. Prior to her election following the 2006 coup, Hon. Ro Teimumu Kepa held the position of Minister for Education in the SDL Government from 2001 to 2006.

As a traditional leader, Hon. Ro Teimumu Kepa is the paramount chief of the Burebasaga Confederacy. She holds the title of Roko Tui Dreketi. She began her political career in 1999 and has since served on various capacities as Senator, Minister for Women, Culture and Social Welfare and Minister for Education, Youth and Sports.

Mr. Nilesh Lal is the Executive Director of Dialogue Fiji, a civil society organisation in Fiji. His research and work focus on democratic consolidation, electoral processes, ethnic relations, development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and media politics. He has published articles, books, and reports on various aspects of elections in Fiji. Lal has a history of work and research contributions to the tertiary education sector including publications on higher education in peer reviewed journals, serving as member of various programme advisory committees at USP and FNU, prior teaching engagement at FNU, and contribution to establishing adaptive and peer learning education systems in the tertiary sector. This wealth of experience positions him to make well-informed decisions that will greatly benefit Fijian students in pursuit of higher education. Lal possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching, a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health, a Postgraduate Diploma in Governance, and a master’s in governance.

Ms. Kirti Patel served as a member of the Government’s Fiscal Review Committee. She was a former director of the Unit Trust of Fiji Ltd. Ms. Patel is a former school librarian at the Central College Lautoka and is an ardent contributor to the editorial column of the Fiji Times raising issues affecting ordinary people including governance, poverty, economy, healthcare, infrastructure, education, housing etc. Ms. Patel graduated from the University of the South Pacific in Library Information Services.

Dr. Penuel Emi is an experienced Senior Consultant Specialist Physician practicing in Internal Medicine carrying out medical admissions and in-patient care and specialist clinics. Performing Internal Medicine patient cardiac screening by doing procedural Echocardiogram and Stress Test besides performing other internal medicine procedures and services as required. She previously worked at CWMH Divisional Hospital, Taveuni Subdivisional Hospital, Ba Mission Hospital, Fiji Care Medical Centre. From 2003 till the present, she has worked at Oceania Hospitals Pte Ltd. She is a former FMA executive and member of PSC of Medical Council and Fiji College of General Practitioners.

Dr. Penuel has held Senior Clinical Management posts in both government hospital and private sector health care facilities as Consultant Specialist and a short stint as Medical Director at MIOT Pacific, now known as Oceania Hospitals Pte Ltd. She is a member of a couple of statutory and government appointed boards and councils and is currently the President of IMOP – Internal Medical Organisation of the Pacific, which is made up of physicians from around the Pacific Region. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), a governance training institute of Australia. She was also a former member of the FNU council.

The TSLS Board of Directors and CEO also extend sincere appreciation and thanks to the outgoing Board Chair, Mr. Rakesh Ram, and Board member Mr. Vijendra Singh for their service. Mr. Ram and Mr. Singh have provided invaluable expertise, leadership, and governance to TSLS and helped achieve key achievements during their term.


Skip to content