Dr. Suryakumari (a Gold Medalist in M.Sc ), with a PhD in Botany and  Post-doctoral work  to her credit, is the accomplished Founder-Director of Centre for Peoples Forestry since inception in 2002 and has worked in many capacities prior to her current position. She is an expert in social, livelihoods (including micro-enterprises), and policy issues of community-based forest management and has been associated with the communities since 1991 through farm forestry, women’s self-help groups, participatory irrigation management, and Joint/Community Forest Management in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In her various capacities, she participated in various international meetings, facilitated organisation of training programmes and development of resource materials, and served as member for many of the Government’s policy formulation committees (Green India Mission, CAMPA, IWST, and others). She has been a member in few Appraisal and Evaluation missions of donor funded projects.  Many reports, papers, publications, Policy briefs, Designing and carrying out participatory action research are included in her work.

Her pioneering efforts of working in critical collaboration mode with Forest Department, and her leadership for several multi stakeholder collaboration initiatives –  involving NGOs, Forest Department, Tribal Welfare Department, Girijan Cooperative Corporation and Rural development departments – which helped in overcoming field level bottle necks, were much acclaimed.