Board of Directors

Mr. Venkat Chalasani 

Chairman of the SBIC Board

Mr. Venkat Nageswar Chalasani (Venkat) serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the State Bank of India (California) since 2018. Mr. Venkat is also Deputy Managing Director, of the International Banking Group (IBG), with the State Bank of India (SBI). IBG has operations across 209 offices in 35 countries with a business portfolio of more than USD 55 billion and a staff of over 3000. With over 34 years of banking experience, Mr. Venkat has held various positions across a wide range of domains including Corporate Banking, Retail Banking, Treasury, Trade Finance, Risk and Compliance. He served as the Deputy Managing Director in-charge of the `Global Markets’ vertical of SBI and was charged with the responsibility of the treasury portfolio of India’s largest bank with significant exposure to various market segments such as foreign exchange, money market, equity, venture capital, strategic investments etc. Mr. Venkat holds a Bachelor of Science in Botany, PGDJ from Bhavan’s Institute and CAIIB.


Mr. Ashwini Tewari

Director & Vice Chair of SBIC Board

Mr. Ashwini Kumar Tewari is the Director and Vice Chairman of the State Bank of India (California) Board of Directors and has been serving in this position since July 2017.  Mr. Tewari is the Country Head of the US Operations of State Bank of India (SBI) since April 2017, which includes its offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC and Sao Paulo (Brazil), with a total balance sheet of USD 14 bn and a headcount of nearly 175. He is a career banker with over 27 years’ experience with SBI in India and outside. Mr. Tewari has been in banking since 1991, and has expertise in driving business, administration and HR. He has diverse expertise in the areas of Credit, International and Retail Banking including Business Process Re-engineering. He was involved in the Bank technology upgrades in Core Banking and Internet Banking platforms and acquisition of a new Trade Platform. Prior to his current assignment, he was Regional Head and GM, East Asia of SBI, Hong Kong and oversaw the business development and control of SBI in Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea and the neighboring region. His prior roles include Deputy General Manager, (Operations & Information Systems), IBG, Mumbai, Head of SBI’s Cash Management, Regional Manager, Branch Head etc. Mr. Tewari has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Electrical), has a CFPCM certificate, and ACAMS certified.


Mr. Dhananjaya A. Tambe


Mr. Dhananjaya A. Tambe serves as a Director in the Board of Directors of State Bank of India (California) since 2018. Mr. Tambe is the Deputy Managing Director & Chief Information Officer of State Bank of India (SBI) and heads the entire I.T. vertical of the SBI. Prior to this, he was Chief General Manager (IT-Transformation, Collaboration & Marketing) and Chief General Manager (IT-Operations) in the Bank’s Global IT Centre. During his career of 33 years, he has gained wide exposure and expertise in diverse disciplines covering International Banking, Credit, HR, I.T. and Retail Operations, besides overseas experience in SBI’s New York branch. Mr. Tambe has a Post Graduate degree in Agriculture and a Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Management.


Ms. Kathleen James


Ms. Kathleen James serves as a director on the Board of Directors of the State Bank of India (California) on the Board of Directors and has been in this role since early 2017. Ms. James has extensive experience with her work at the FDIC. She currently works with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors to help improve state banking departments. Ms. James was an FDIC and Congressional Legislative Advisor. Prior to that she was the Assistant Regional Director of the FDIC and was responsible for supervisory actions of state-chartered banks in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Ms. James has led in many positions within the FDIC and has extensive experience as an FDIC Legislative Advisor. Ms. James has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Immaculata College, she completed Stonier Graduate School of Banking, and she has an MBA in Finance from George Washington University.


Mr. Suresh Kumar


Mr. Suresh Kumar serves as the lead independent Director on the Board of Directors of the State Bank of India (California) and has been on the Board since 2017. Mr. Kumar has over 25 years of senior executive management experience in the areas of finance and banking. He served as Managing Director of the $6 billion asset Mizuho Bank Ltd, Los Angeles and exercised day to day oversight responsibilities for Risk Management, Legal and Regulatory Compliance, Human Resources management, Information Technology, and Finance and Accounting functions. Earlier he was Chief Financial Officer and Director on the Board of Mizuho Corporate Bank of California, and President & CEO of an independent community bank in California. Mr. Kumar brings prior Board and executive operational experience in US banking as well as expertise in M&A, US GAAP and Japanese GAAP, strategic planning, regulatory compliance and risk management aspects of the business. Mr. Kumar has an MBA from the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.


Mr. James Neckopulos


Mr. James Neckopulos is a Director on the Board of the State Bank of India (California), which he joined in March of 2019. Mr. Neckopulos has over 30 years of senior executive management experience in banking and financial services. Most recently, he was an Executive Director in Ernst & Young’s Banking and Capital Markets practice. His expertise includes business strategy formulation, P&L management, digital business transformation and enterprise risk and compliance adherence developed through positions in industry and senior consulting positions at Ernst & Young, Hitachi Consulting, Arthur Andersen and Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting). Mr. Neckopulos has worked with management and boards of leading community and regional banks, Fintechs and wealth management firms to solve complex business issues, deliver digital business transformation strategies, identify and realize profit improvement opportunities and advise on regulatory risk and compliance matters.

Mr. Neckopulos has an MBA from the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business of DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois and a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois, Champaign- Urbana, Illinois.


Mr. Rama Mohan Rao Amara

Director, President & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Rama Mohan Rao Amara, who is currently P&CEO of the Bank, has been serving as Director in the Board since April 2016. Prior to his appointment at State Bank of India (California), Mr. Amara served as CEO of Chicago office of parent bank viz. State Bank of India. He has 27 years of experience in Commercial Banking, having worked in different geographies. Mr. Amara is a strong change agent with expertise in business strategy, risk management and helped the bank achieve balanced growth, improved earnings, while complying with all applicable regulations. Mr. Amara is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Financial Risk Manager (FRM).


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