Deepak Chopra, Founder, The Chopra Center for Wellbeing
Narayana Murthy, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Infosys Limited
Nitin Nohria, Dean, Harvard Business School
Vandana Tilak, Chapter Chair, Los Angeles
Satya Tiwari, President, Surya, Inc.
Fareed Zakaria, Author, journalist and Host of CNN’s “GPS”
Board of Directors
Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, Board Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA
Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande has been the Chairman of Akshaya Patra USA since 2008. Dr. Deshpande is the President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC and has founded several successful companies including Cascade Communications and Sycamore Networks. Dr. Deshpande holds a B. Tech. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology - Madras, an M.E. from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and Ph.D from Queens University in Canada. Dr. Deshpande serves as a life-member of the MIT Corporation.
Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chairman, Akshaya Patra Foundation India
Madhu Pandit Dasa has been a member of the Akshaya Patra USA Board of Directors since 2006. He completed his B.Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT-Mumbai in the year 1980. While he was doing his Masters in Technology in IIT-Mumbai in 1981, he became a full-time member of ISKCON. In 1994, he initiated an integrated social development project for the benefit of the rural people of Mysore and Mandya districts. A model, prototype organic farm based on natural and earth-friendly farming methods along with an internationally accredited farmer-training center has been setup in the 110-acre land on the banks of river Kaveri in Srirangapatam. He designed the first centralized and mechanized kitchen of Akshaya Patra, to provide school meals to underprivileged children in the Government schools of Bangalore Rural District during July 2000.
Chanchalapathi Dasa, Vice Chairman, Akshaya Patra Foundation India
Chanchalapathi Dasa, known to many as “CP Ji”, was among the first founders of the Akshaya Patra Foundation. While in college, he embraced the mission of Srila Prabhupada, founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and became a full-time dedicated member in 1984. Inspired by Srila Prabhupada’s message of compassion and self-less service, Chanchalapathi Dasa helped found Akshaya Patra as a pilot program serving school meals to just 1,500 children in 5 schools in Bangalore. Together, the founders combined their own knowledge of engineering to transform Akshaya Patra into one of the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programs that today serves 1.3 million children daily in over 9,500 schools from 19 kitchens in nine states across India. Today, Chanchalapathi Dasa manages the executive operations of the Foundation.
Prabhakar "PK" Kalavacherla, Partner, KPMG USA
Prabhakar "PK" Kalavacherla is a partner with KPMG in San Francisco, CA, beginning in February 2014. From 2009 to 2013 he was a Board Member for the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the organiztion responsible for issuing international financial reporting standards. Previously, he was a partner with KPMG USA in San Francisco, and has done rotations with KPMG in London and India.
Emily Rosenbaum, CEO - Emily@apusa.org
Prior to joining Akshaya Patra Foundation USA, Emily served as Executive Director of a community development corporation (CDC) serving Lowell, Massachusetts and the neighboring Merrimack Valley as well as the Executive Director of a community development corporation in Fitchburg and Leominster Massachusetts. By eliminating blighted buildings and neighborhood eyesores, preserving historic and key catalyst properties, increasing and stabilizing homeownership and small business investment and engaging residents in the work, Emily’s leadership of these organizations helped transform neighborhoods with dramatic improvements for both their residents and the local economy. For a period between her Fitchburg and Lowell Massachusetts positions, Emily also served as Program Director of the Jewish Organizing Initiative (JOI), training young leaders in the Jewish community and building their skills, energy and voice in their aspirations to work for positive social change. She has over 28 years of experience in non-profit management, program design and execution, public policy, community organizing and community development and fundraising and holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Wagner School of Public Service at NYU and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Vassar College.
Ankita Narula, Director of Development - Northeast - Ankita@apusa.org
As the Director of Development for the Northeast, Ankita will be faciliate and coordinate the activities of our Volunteer Chapters in Boston, New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia. Ankita brings extensive experience in global business development, project management, and strategic communications. Ankita recently completed her MBA from the Hult International Business School in Boston. Ankita has previously worked for global brands, including Accor, Hilton, and Shangri La. Ankita has also volunteered with Art of Living for five years.
Adriana Sanchez, Manager of Finance & Operations - Adriana@apusa.org
Adriana has been working as a Finance Manager in the non-profit sector for over 12 years. After having worked in both the corporate and non-profit environment, she quickly realized working for a cause was so much more fulfilling. In her previous management roles, due to her accuracy and attention to detail she reduced the costs of the organization by having flawless audit prep work. Adriana joined the team in November 2013. She graduated from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing.
Piyali Dutta, Director of Donor Relations - Piyali@apusa.org
Piyali brings over 16 years of corporate financial sales and marketing experience. Prior to joining Akshaya Patra, she worked at Putnam Investments, MFS Investments and Hartford Life Insurance. She was in charge of a $40 million territory and her roles included sales and marketing of financial products, developing new and managing existing client relationships, along with event planning to increase territory sales. Piyali was a multifunctional manager recognized for researching and developing innovative marketing strategies that drive sales, build high quality brand reputation, and increase customer loyalty. She is has a B.A from SUNY Buffalo.
Geeta Kulkarni, Director of Development - West Coast - Geeta@apusa.org
Geeta has been associated with Akshaya Patra almost since inception due to her passion to do something transformational for society. She started working as a volunteer in December 2001 and was one of the founder member of the fund raising team in India. She has deep expertise in fund raising and has extensive experience in creating different products, avenues for fund raising. She was instrumental in creating various unique programs for engagement and volunteering for the corporate sector. She also has played transformational roles in Human resources by defining engagement drivers and strategy for our employees. Geeta has a Masters in Software Engineering from Brandeis University, and is based in the Bay Area.
Manisha C Gandhi, Director of Development - Southeast - Manisha@apusa.org
Manisha C Gandhi joined the Akshaya Patra USA team as the Director of Development for the Southeast in January of 2015. Manisha is a long-time supporter of Akshaya Patra having produced a documentary on our school meal program for the Houston Television Network and TV Asia. She says of her new role, "I am honored to join Akshaya Patra and be someone who can further grow the movement of "Unlimited Food for Education", an undeniably noble goal. This new opportunity is fully aligned with my hopes for making a difference in lives of millions of children in India each day"
Krista McCarthy, Manager of Marketing - Krista@apusa.org
Krista joined the team as the Executive Assistant in March of 2012 and became Manager of Donor Relations in 2013. In this position, she works with our Youth and Grassroots supporters, maintains the website and social media, performs grant writing, and maintains community outreach. Krista graduated from Northeastern University in May 2011 with a BA in Political Science. She has completed three internships in human rights non-profits and in a congressional office, where she learned essential skills in non-profit development, administration, and operations.
Geetika Tewari, Advancement Officer - Geetika@apusa.org
Geetika Tewari joined Akshaya Patra USA as Advancement Officer in 2015. She engages with Corporations, Foundations and Individual donors across USA.
Prior to joining Akshaya Patra Geetika was the Chief Development Officer, West Coast for Pratham USA. Pratham is one of the largest education sector non-profit organization in India working in 20 out of 28 states, reaching 5 million children annually. She has been a non-profit professional for over 12 years and has worked for various non-profits in Bay Area including Hesperian Foundation, American India Foundation (AIF), National Equity Project (BayCES), APIA Health Forum and World Reader. She has honed her domestic as well as international experience by working for both program as well as development departments of non-profits. Her expertise is in international program management, corporate fundraising (CSR), private foundations, grant writing, board development, individual donors, crowd funding campaigns, partnership development and volunteer management.