It Takes a Village

Leadership

The leadership team comprises of professionals and career managers who are passionate about our cause. They bring rigor and process to the task of managing the foundation, growing its outreach, screening applications and then delivering on the promises we make our awardees.

Monica Kachru
Monica KachruBoard Chair
Monica believes education should be a right not a privilege. She wants all college-bound students to receive the hands-on support they need to succeed in their college career and further their professional and personal lives. Seasoned executive with a passion to drive high impact solutions to accelerate socio-economic growth and advance economic inclusion. Monica has worked extensively in key areas of clean energy and technology implementing innovative and cost-effective solutions to address long standing challenges. Monica is an active member of Sloan Women in Management, which promotes greater role of women in all sectors and advancement to leadership positions. Monica is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management. Monica is the Board Chair and leads all aspects of the Foundation's efforts.
Neeta Ruhela
Neeta RuhelaBoard Member
Massachusetts native, Neeta Ruhela has believed in and worked towards everything empowering and mentoring women. Born in Calcutta, grown up in industrial town of Jamshedpur-India, Neeta moved to United States. After completing her graduate degree in engineering at University of Florida, she has been an active woman engineer for last 30 years. She has been an example to her family, friends, neighbors and community on what is possible. Mother of two bright girls, Neeta is passionate about STEM education and encouraging girls to pursue new horizons and much technology offers today. Neeta has worked in the community to raise funds for cancer patients, run bone marrow drives and mentored young girls in STEM. Neeta leads the mentorship program at the Foundation.
Kara Anderson
Kara AndersonBoard Member
Kara Anderson is Project Manager and Director of Preservation at Architectural Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Boston that focuses on historic preservation. Prior to AHF, Kara worked at the National Trust for Historic Preservation and for the Office of the Governor in her native Connecticut. Her varied experience working in government and non-profit advocacy has given her perspective on the developer’s role in the community, valuable skills in consensus building, and a passionate belief in the cultural, environmental and economic benefits of preservation. Kara earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Connecticut College and completed her Master of Arts degree in Preservation Studies at Boston University. Kara helps out with legal, accounting and event-planning activities of the Foundation.
Shailja Pathania
Shailja Pathania
Shailja Pathania is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy at University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research group focuses on breast and ovarian cancer with the goal of identifying novel prevention and therapeutic strategies for women with high predisposition to these cancers. She did her postdoctoral work at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and her graduate work at University of Texas at Austin. She has extensive experience training undergraduates and graduates, both as a teacher and a research mentor. Shailja will bring this experience to help students who will become part of the Anaya Foundation family and looks forward to working closely with them and guiding them through these critical years. She will also serve as a liaison to help build partnerships between the Foundation and other like-minded organizations.
Vijay Ruhela
Vijay Ruhela
Vijay is responsible for driving fund-raising activities for the Foundation, and help scale the reach of the Foundation. Vijay also works with corporations and partners to secure internships for our scholars. A global citizen, resident of Massachusetts, Vijay is passionate about applying engineering, technology and computing advances to real life opportunities. A graduate of University of Florida and MIT Sloan School of Management, Vijay advises startups and works on promoting financial literacy among the youth. Vijay is a long time Fidelity Investment associate and has worked in various aspects of the FinTech industry.
Justin Pelkowski
Justin Pelkowski
Justin serves as a Project Manager for the Foundation. He is responsible for all aspects of its operations and ensures the Foundation expands its reach efficiently and grows organically to better serve the community in the future. Justin cares deeply about empowering the youth and creating a holistic support network to maximize their academic, professional, and personal growth. Outside of the Foundation, Justin is responsible for leading the development of multi-billion dollar infrastructure initiatives and often works closely with governmental agencies to further clean energy policy. He currently oversees technical, financial and legal aspects of offshore wind projects. Justin is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Lucy Berrington
Lucy Berrington
Lucy Berrington, MA (Modern History, University of Oxford) and MS (Health Communication, Tufts University School on Medicine), supports the ATF’s grant writing, social media, and other communications. Lucy is an editor and writer specializing in health. She is dedicated to influencing consumers, providers, and policymakers in ways that promote social justice and inclusion. As a board member of the Asperger Autism Network (AANE) and co-chair of its legislative advocacy committee, Lucy took a leading role in developing and advocating for the groundbreaking Omnibus Autism Law in Massachusetts, 2014.
Rajeev Tipnis
Rajeev Tipnis
Rajeev is an experienced technologist, who is passionate about entrepreneurship. As a co-founder of two venture-backed software startups, Rajeev has been focused on building scalable and cutting edge technology products. He specializes in running large and distributed global engineering teams. Currently, he is working with cloud technologies to build an analytics platform for the healthcare vertical. Rajeev received an MS in Computer Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelors in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Delhi Institute of Technology. Rajeev is responsible for managing all IT, infrastructure and administration activities of the Foundation.

Volunteers

Our volunteer friends who we count on, for their time and skills to help support the Foundation's activities.

Ellie Pierce
Ellie Pierce
Ellie Pierce is the Research Director at the Pluralism Project at Harvard University and an independent filmmaker. At the Pluralism Project, she writes case studies and develops award-winning multimedia content related to religious diversity and interfaith relations in the United States. Her film projects include Fremont, USA (2008), Autism: A Somali-American Story (2013), and Les Deux (2019). Ellie serves on boards and committees for various Boston-based non-profit organizations and is pleased to volunteer with the Anaya Tipnis Foundation. Together with filmmaker Aynsley Floyd, Ellie produced “Meet Our Scholars” (2019) and "10 Scholars 10 Reasons" (2020) for the Foundation.
Maya Mukhopadhaya
Maya Mukhopadhaya
Maya Mukhopadhaya is a product and innovation strategist who finds joy in designing experiences grounded in a human-centered approach. She has worked on hardware and digital products for Bose, Autodesk, YouTube, Instagram and others. Increasingly, she is applying her design thinking skillset to projects and organizations that aim to build more inclusive and equitable societies. At ATF, she is involved with scholar and peer mentor selection and matching, as well as strategic communications. When she has closed her computer for the day, you'll find Maya walking around her neighborhood, dancing in her kitchen or cooking up a storm.
Shobana Ram
Shobana Ram
Shobana Ram is a seasoned progressive educator with 20+ years of experience in elementary classroom teaching and curriculum development, as well as K-12 Arts Education. With her extensive training and performance experience in the allied art forms of Bharata Natyam and Carnatic vocal music, Shobana has been fortunate to perform at venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Since 2012, Shobana has been a Second Grade Head Teacher at the Dalton School in New York City. Shobana holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Virginia, and an M.A. in International Educational Development/ Early Childhood Curriculum & Teaching from Teachers College Columbia University. Shobana was and will always be a huge fan of Anaya and everything she represented. She is thrilled to give her time and support to the important work of the Anaya Tipnis Foundation.
Rachel Goodman
Rachel Goodman
Rachel Goodman is a recent graduate from the University of Rochester, where she earned Bachelors of Arts degrees in both Public Health and Psychology. Rachel has always been curious about how people's environments and life experiences contribute to their behaviors and abilities. This interest has led her to pursue research and volunteer opportunities that promote the independence of individuals with disabilities. Rachel plans to return to graduate school in the near future to pursue a doctorate in occupational therapy. Rachel coordinates the Foundation's Peer Mentorship Program, and also serves as a 1:1 peer mentor.
Bill Albert
Bill Albert
Bill Albert is the Executive Director of the Bentley University User Experience Center (UXC), a consulting group housed within the university that provides project based learning opportunities to graduate students. A significant part of his role is to mentor graduate students who are starting their careers in the field of user experience research and design. Bill loves to work with students and help them realize their full potential by applying what they learn in the classroom on real-world, corporate sponsored projects. Bill is the author of two books, and serves as the co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Usability Studies. Bill received his PhD from Boston University.
Jeanne Strassburger
Jeanne Strassburger

Mentors

Bittie Behl-Chadha
Bittie Behl-Chadha
Accomplished survey and market research professional with 16+ years of experience in managing large scale quantitative research studies. Passionate, fact-based consultant focused on enhancing client relations by delivering excellence in every aspect of the engagement and exceeding expectations. Breadth of experience spans health care on the public sector side while also bringing in best practices from years spent in the private sector including retail, manufacturing, financial services, telecommunications, casual dining restaurants, and electric utilities. Bittie received Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Brown University.
Monika Mitra
Monika Mitra
Dr. Monika Mitra is the Nancy Lurie Marks Associate Professor of Disability Policy, and Director of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Dr. Mitra is a member of the Disability and Health Journal editorial board and a board member of the American Association of Health and Disability. Prior to joining Brandeis, she was Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She received her PhD and MA from Boston University, and her MS from Calcutta University, Kolkata, India.
Sumant Mauskar
Sumant Mauskar
Sumant has more than 20 years of cross-functional experience in enterprise software and has a demonstrated track record of turning around under-performing organizations, delivering exceptional growth, forging strong client relationships, and propelling enterprise valuation. As an executive, Sumant has been instrumental in driving and increasing revenue of multiple global organizations. Sumant brings the same passion and drive to the Anaya Tipnis Foundation and has been helping scholars in all aspects of their journey through college.
Sunil Lala
Sunil Lala
Pinar Kilicci-Kret
Pinar Kilicci-Kret
Pinar Kilicci-Kret is an experienced program manager specializing in programs in the higher education and non-profit industry with concentration on diversity inclusion. She graduated from Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul with BA before moving to Boston where she completed various courses in the field of human resources. Pinar is currently a program manager at Harvard Medical School Career Development Department and lives in Newton with her husband and 2 children.
Suzanne Berne
Suzanne Berne
Suzanne teaches creative writing at Boston College, where she has been for 13 years. Before BC, Suzanne taught fiction writing and freshman composition at Harvard University. Suzanne was educated at Wesleyan University and is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. Suzzane is an acclaimed, award-winning author and novelist, known for her fiction with foreboding character studies in bucolic suburban settings. Suzaane has two daughters, who both graduated from college in the last few years; she lives with her husband outside of Boston.
Morgan Mead
Morgan Mead
Morgan has spent his career as an educator working with secondary school students from a variety of nationalities and backgrounds. Most recently, Morgan taught literature and writing and served as an advisor at Concord Academy, a boarding school which draws students from all over the world. Forging ongoing connections to students from Ghana, Rwanda, China, India and numerous other nations find their footing in a new setting has been high points in his life as a teacher.
Keshal Patel
Keshal Patel
Keshal is a seasoned financial investment professional, currently working at Bracebridge Capital as a portfolio manager. Having lived in Switzerland, the Philippines and the US, he is a global citizen with a passion for travel and adventure. He can often be found at his local CrossFit gym, rooting for his favorite sports teams, or training for his next mountain climb. He is a graduate of Columbia University, where he studied Economics and Mathematics.
Susie Albert
Susie Albert
Susie is an experienced sales manager in the field of book publishing. Susie graduated from University of Michigan with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Government. She loves to read, hike, practice yoga, eat, bake, forage mushrooms, laugh and read some more. She prefers mountains over oceans, and loves to eat nasturtium flowers. Susie currently works as the New England Sales Manager at Penguin Random House. She lives in Jamaica Plain with her husband and son.
Sonya Mead
Sonya Mead
Sonya specializes in creating engaging user interfaces and visual systems and has extensive experience helping clients across multiple industries with their digital strategies and products. Sonya is currently Director of Digital Experiences at Essential Design, and has previously worked for companies such as IDEO, United Nations, Sapient and Harvard Business Review. Sonya graduated from Hobart & William Smith Colleges with a Bachelor’s in English and Studio Art and with a Masters of Fine Arts in Visual Communication from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Joanne Mead
Joanne Mead
Joanne graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor's in English and also has a graduate degree from Simmons School of Social Work. Joanne has worked for The Boston Globe for 5 years in Human Resources, and in the Case Management Department at Harvard Community. Joanne has three children and has extensive experience with education plans, accommodations and advocacy for special needs children; Joanne has been working as an advocate for her middle daughter, who has spina bifida, uses a wheelchair and has learning challenges; and will continue to help her transition to adult care and community college learning and eventually to independent living. Joanne continues to learn German as a second language, practices yoga, enjoys long walks with her dogs and cooking for her family.

Circle of Support

Gita Gopinath
Gita GopinathChief Economist of the International Monetary Fund
Gretchen Cook-Anderson
Gretchen Cook-AndersonAssistant Vice President of Diversity Recruiting & Advising at IES Abroad
Suresh Madhu
Suresh MadhuFounder & CEO, Akumo
Dushyant Shahrawat
Dushyant ShahrawatFinTech Investment Banker at Rosenblatt Securities on Wall Street
Sandeep Junnarkar
Sandeep JunnarkarProfessor at Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY
Sanjiv Chadha
Sanjiv ChadhaEngineering Program Manager at Kronos Incorporated
Amit Sen
Amit SenPrincipal, Business Development - Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Hepzi Fonseca
Hepzi FonsecaMarketing Director at Advisory Board
Siddarth Tickoo
Siddarth TickooGlobal Alliances Lead, Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Shyam Kamadolli
Shyam KamadolliManaging Director, Deep Tech Venture Capital
Monali Kamadolli
Monali KamadolliVice President, Product at Deloitte Consulting, LLP
Rama Ramaswamy
Rama RamaswamyWriter, Publicist, Biologist

Help Build Anaya's Village