Ramesh also serves on the Akanksha Foundation board in India and joined the Fund upon moving to New York. He currently lives in New York and is a Director at McKinsey and Company. He continues to be involved in strategic planning for the Akanksha Foundation.
Sarah lived in Mumbai, India for four years in the 1980’s. When Shaheen Mistri, the daughter of family friends, founded the Akanksha Foundation in 1990, Sarah, in partnership with others in the U.S., organized the Akanksha Fund Inc. to raise support and awareness for Akanksha in the United States. Sarah has served on the board of the Fund since it was founded.
Bharti Malkani earned her BA at the University of Pennsylvania and worked for many years in the field of Investor Relations where she represented small-cap, publicly-traded technology companies to the investing community. She then left the corporate world and ventured out on her own founding a wholesale jewelry company and, after selling that, to running a learning center for preschool and elementary schoolchildren in New York City. She serves on the Host Committee of Opening Act, an organization that provides after-school theater arts programming to underserved New York City public high schools and is a member of the Trustees Council of Penn Women. Bharti has been a member of Akanksha Fund’s Host Committee for the past two years and resides in New York City with her husband, Vijay Jayant, and two children, Arjun and Ajay.
Fally has been a supporter of Akanksha for many years. She graduated with a degree in Economics and Accounting from the University of Bombay and then went on to complete a two-year course in Design and Typography from the London College of Communication.
Colette Haider is Special Counsel for Philanthropic Ventures at Hillspire, LLC. Prior to that Colette was a Senior Counsel at the Ford Foundation, which she joined in 2006. Colette advises on a wide variety of legal issues relating to the Foundation’s governance, grantmaking, investment portfolio and global operations, particularly matters relating to the Foundation’s investment portfolio and to the grantmaking and operations of its offices in Asia. Prior to the Ford Foundation, Ms. Haider was an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where she specialized in investments work. She is a graduate of Williams College and Harvard Law School and is admitted to the New York bar. Colette is the youngest of 11 children and grew up on a farm in rural Kansas. She currently lives in Westchester County with her husband Jawad and their three children.
Shankar is CEO of Viteos Fund Services and an entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in building businesses with a global influence in the outsourcing industry. He founded Viteos in 2003, and his leadership led the company to become an international enterprise. Prior to Viteos, he served as President and CEO of Silverline Technologies.
Medha Vedaprakash is currently Head of Global News partnerships at Google. Previously, Medha worked at the private equity firm, McAndrews & Forbes where she advised portfolio companies on their digital transformation and innovation strategies. Prior to that, she was a venture capitalist for several years and held several board member roles at high growth technology startups. She is a passionate supporter of women entrepreneurs and is an angel investor in several women-founded and led companies. Medha is a deep believer in the power of education to change lives and has been a supporter of Akanksha for the past 4 years.
Punya previously worked at Mitusi & Co., India where she was responsible for Trading and Business development. Subsequently, she worked for Bearing Point Inc. and PwC, focusing on Strategy and Risk management primarily for Financial Services clients. Punya has also served as a member of the executive committee of Carnegie Mellon’s Alumni Association Board for three years.
Kate Shoemaker is currently the VP of Public Policy and University Partnerships Strategy for Braven, a non-profit that focuses on the college to career transition for first-generation and low-income college students. She has also served as Chief Operating Officer at the South Ward Children’s Alliance in Newark, and for 16 years she led public policy and special projects for Geoffrey Canada at the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ). A highlight of her tenure at the HCZ, was advising the Obama Administration and others on the federal Promise Neighborhoods program, which was inspired by HCZ. She and her husband Anand live in Short Hills, NJ with their two children.
Brande works to advance gender equity in corporate boardrooms globally as Senior Vice President, Advisory Services. Brande practiced law for 12 years prior to joining Catalyst. She serves on the board of Legal Momentum (the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund) and formerly served on the board of the New York Women’s Foundation.