Akshaya Pātra USA

Unlimited food for education

Our Team

Advisory Board

   Deepak Chopra, Founder, The Chopra Center for Wellbeing

  Narayana Murthy, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Infosys Limited

  Nitin Nohria, Dean, Harvard Business School

 Vandana Tilak, CEO, The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA




 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.

B.V. Jagadeesh, President and CEO, KAAJ Systems
B. V. Jagadeesh is a successful serial entrepreneur in the field of technology, a Venture Capitalist and a philanthropist. He co-founded and was CTO of Exodus communications in 1993 that pioneered the concept of Internet data centers. He was instrumental in successful IPO of Exodus in 1998. Jagadeesh seed funded NetScaler and became President and CEO in 2000. NetScaler was successfully sold to Citrix for $325M and Jagadeesh served as Group VP and GM for Citrix application networking division. Jagadeesh has served as CEO and President for 3Leaf Systems. Currently Jagadeesh is a Managing Partner at KAAJ Ventures.
Vandana Tilak, CEO, The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA
Vandana is the founder of Bombay Pictures, the Oshan Center and Almex USA, Inc. a family owned engineering firm. Vandana began working for Akshaya Patra since 2012, started the Los Angeles Chapter in October 2014. Under her leadership, the chapter has consistently raised over $1 million dollars every year. Vandana was appointed to the Akshaya Patra USA board in 2015.



Vandana Tilak, CEO - vandana@apusa.org

Vandana is the founder of Bombay Pictures, the Oshan Center and Almex USA, Inc. a family owned engineering firm. Vandana began working for Akshaya Patra since 2012, started the Los Angeles Chapter in October 2014. Under her leadership, the chapter has consistently raised over $1 million dollars every year. Vandana was appointed to the Akshaya Patra USA board in 2015.

As a, pro bono CEO for an exemplary organization, Vandana overseas a team of 4 development officers a marketing director and a lean admin team. Vandana works with thirteen Akshaya Patra chapters across the USA, planning and implementing brand strategy, fund raising and fostering donor relationships. She collaborates with Akshaya Patra India for establishing new kitchens in order to expand the scope of the organization from feeding 1.6 million children to 5 million children daily by 2020.

Vandana is a trained ayurvedic practitioner, an avid reader of philosophy and enjoys travel, poetry, music, portraiture and photography. She has grown married children Anjani and Kedar, and a grand-daughter, Jiya. Vandana lives with her husband Ravi (class of 1980, IIT Bombay, Metallurgy) in Manhattan Beach, CA.

Geeta Kulkarni, Director of Development, West - 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.

Ankita Narula, Director of Development, East - Ankita@apusa.org

I am open-minded, fun loving, an easy-going, caring, adventurous and sincere woman.


I am honest and give 100% in everything I do. I enjoy exploring new places such as- historical spots, cruise with friends, hill stations, mountains. Fitness - Yoga/Meditation, Music, and Fashion are some interesting subjects to me.


Helping others really matters to me. I saw a worthy cause with an emotional appeal in Akshaya Patra. I feel proud to be a part of this exceptional effort. The cause is huge – almost infinite. I believe better education leads to a better quality of life.


Healthy, happy and knowledgeable children are essential for prosperity and progress. Akshaya Patra’s focus on food and education goes a long way towards helping to achieve that.


Shivani Patel, Director of Marketing - Shivani@apusa.org

Shivani is new to the Akshaya Patra Team. She has over ten years of experience in graphic design and marketing. She has worked with a variety of companies spanning industries like entertainment, health & beauty and medical education. In this process she has gained much experience in various areas which she can now apply in this vital role with Akshaya Patra. Shivani currently resides in Southern California with her husband, young daughter and 2 dogs. She loves to spend her free time with her family and friends. Shivani is involved with the local Indian community and in her spare time enjoys dancing, traveling and being creative. She is very excited to join the AP family and is looking forward to this beautiful journey of helping our future.

Piyali Dutta, Donor Liason - 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 has a B.A from SUNY Buffalo.

Hallie Stohler - Project Lead 

Hallie is a passionate advocate for human rights, social justice, and sustainable development, with particular commitment to initiatives that improve education, health, and social security. She has over 10 years of professional experience spanning international human rights activism, research, and publication, including work with Amnesty International, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation, and local nonprofits. This experience also includes work in health care, with a focus on maternal and neonatal health and precision medicine in cancer diagnostics. Hallie joins Akshaya Patra because it is excellent model for addressing one of the largest stumbling blocks to education and social mobility – extreme hunger and poverty. She has a Masters in International Affairs and Public Policy from the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego.

Sarabjeet Gajwani - India Project Manager

Krista McCarthy - Honorary Ambassador, Technology - Krista@apusa.org

I have been with the Akshaya Patra Foundation USA since 2012.  For the past four years, I have been the Marketing Manager for the organization.  While I have moved on from Akshaya Patra, it is a cause near and dear to my heart.  I look forward to continuing as a volunteer and assisting with Team Technology. 



Darshana Merchant - Honorary Ambassador, Graphic Design

Darshana is the creative director of Darshanadesigns a media company. She has 25 years of experience. She worked with Forefront Advertising and Grades Advertising in India before starting her own company.

Darshana has also taught aerobics and has been doing pro bono work for Akshaya Patra since 2014.
There are children out there who just need an opportunity so that they can go to school instead of resorting to child labor to earn two square meals a day. All kids need is a little help, a little hope and someone to encourage them. If feeding a child for $15 a year brings children to school, gets them an education, promotes health and make a better life for themselves as well as their family is a program that I am proud to support. Akshaya Patra’s meal program enables children in need to receive nutritious hot and fresh food every school day.


Adriana Sanchez, Director, Finance & Human Resources - 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. 

Liz Magliozzi - Adminstration

I have been working for Akshaya Patra for over two years now and I must say it has been very rewarding. I come from a financial background working for start up businesses which I enjoyed as well.

I have always wanted to work for a non-profit and since I semi-retired I couldn’t have found a better organization to join. It’s so heart warming to know that I can give aid to help the children. That is what life is all about.


Philip Quinn - Administration

Recently retired from a career in financial services operations and project management. Now associated with Akshaya Patra to fulfill my desire to assist a nonprofit organization on a part-time basis.