Board of Directors

Sakhi’s Board of Directors helps to drive the organization’s strategic programming, growth, and mission fulfillment. Our board actively assists in Sakhi’s development through regular meetings, project-based support, brainstorming, and sharing resources. The current board members enhance Sakhi’s work by bringing forward a diversity of professional and life experiences. Each of Sakhi’s board members serves 1-year term, renewable up to 6 years.

Beesham A. Seecharan | Board Chair

Being thankful for the opportunities afforded him from his youth in New York City, Beesham has used his role as an international corporate lawyer to be a supporter of diverse communities and impactful entrepreneurship in the public, private, and nongovernmental sectors. He has been a consistent supporter of Sakhi and other impactful local, national and international organizations across a variety of fields since embarking on his legal career.

Beesham A. Seecharan is Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel, and a Client Advisor at Matthews South. Previously, Beesham advised the equity derivatives and convertibles businesses of Goldman Sachs for over fifteen years as a Managing Director and Senior Counsel, where in addition he lead through a number of other committees including as co-chair of its Legal, Compliance, Internal Audit and Executive Office Asian Professionals Network. Beesham previously worked as a vice president and assistant general counsel at JPMorgan Chase and in the New York and London offices of Davis Polk & Wardwell. Prior legal experience includes work at Shearman & Sterling, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Department of Education.

Beesham also serves on the Board of Visitors of Columbia Law School, on the Advisory Boards of the Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia University and the Center for Leadership at Florida International University, on the Legal Advisory Committee for the New York City Urban Debate League, and on the Private Sector Steering Committee of the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY). He previously served as secretary on the Board of Directors of SAYA! – South Asian Youth Action and on the Board of Directors of The Columbia Law School Association and of SABANY.

Beesham received a JD and the Parker School Certificate in Foreign and Comparative Law from Columbia Law School and earned at the same time an MS in Mathematics and an AB in International Relations from Stanford University. His passion for philanthropy and the law are complemented by his passion for partaking and supporting all forms of the arts and innovative small businesses.

Sabrin Chowdhury | Vice Co-Chair

Sabrin is an Executive Vice President and Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity at PIMCO, where she focuses on driving the design and implementation of internal and external programs, policies, and strategies to foster greater inclusion and representation across PIMCO’s businesses globally. Prior to joining PIMCO in 2021, Sabrin was an Associate Partner at McKinsey and Co., leading the firm’s performance management research and designing organizational health and talent strategies and capability-building programs for clients.

Sabrin holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, and an undergraduate degree in Business Honors and Finance from the University of Texas. Sabrin has 14+ years of investment and financial services experience and also gained experience in international economic development while serving as a project economist on the U.S. Treasury’s International Affairs desk.

Sabrin also has extensive research and activism experience in gender violence – she founded and ran Out Against Abuse, a nonprofit focused on educating young men and women on gender violence and bystander interventions.

Sabrin lives in New York with her husband and her two young children.

Radhika Nayar | Vice Co-Chair

Radhika Nayar is a philanthropy professional and credits her formative experience serving as co-chair of Sakhi for South Asian Survivors’s young professionals committee (2007-10) for sparking her interest in philanthropy and inspiring her career path.  She currently serves as the first director of a non-public facing foundation. Prior to her current role, she served as a director at Arabella Advisors, a philanthropic consulting firm, where she supported business development and advised individuals and families across the country to achieve their philanthropic goals.

Radhika began her philanthropic career in India, working at Dasra, a nonprofit intermediary focused on making philanthropy to India more effective. She encouraged donors within India and globally to prioritize adolescent girls in their philanthropy – keeping girls in school and increasing their age at marriage and pregnancy – to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, and to join collaborative giving platforms to multiply their impact. In 2014, Radhika launched Dasra’s US presence to drive greater funding and attention to improving the lives of adolescent girls in India.

Radhika has a BA from Wellesley College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and did research at the Wellesley Centers for Women on gaps in domestic violence services for South Asian immigrant survivors in the US.  She is honored to serve as co-vice chair of Sakhi’s board to advance its work with survivors and to build a community committed to ending all forms of gender-based violence.

Bushra Mannan | Treasurer

Bushra is a Certified Public Accountant and an Executive Director at J.P. Morgan Chase, where she leads the Privacy Office for Asset Management across the North America and Latin America regions. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Bushra worked at KPMG, providing Audit and Advisory services to large financial conglomerates. With more than 15 years of experience in Program Management, Audit, and Accounting in the financial services industry, Bushra is eager to contribute her technical expertise to Sakhi’s vital mission in our community. Bushra is a strong advocate for women’s rights and empowerment and understands the importance of addressing these social issues in the South Asian diaspora. Bushra is a NYC local and graduated with honors from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ. She was nominated for Ernst & Young’s South Asia Women’s Forum in 2019 and is a member of Armstrong Wolfe Women in the COO Community.

Nilufer R. Shaikh | Secretary

Nilufer R. Shaikh is Assistant General Counsel for Business and Corporate Development at Bristol Myers Squibb, where she supports U.S. and global product and facility divestitures, mergers and acquisitions, corporate venture investments and licensing and collaboration transactions. Prior to her role at Bristol Myers Squibb, Nilufer was a New York-based partner at Troutman Pepper, a national law firm, where she represented companies, private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies in buy and sell-side mergers & acquisition transactions, joint ventures, minority investments and other complex commercial arrangements. Nilufer began her legal career at two international law firms in New York. She is passionate about supporting women’s economic empowerment and advises non-profits supporting such missions. Nilufer is Co-Chair of Corporate Transactions Group at the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) and previously served on the Women of Leadership at the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG-NY). She has taught corporate contract drafting as Adjunct Professor at American University School of Law. She is a 2017 Fellow of the Legal Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD).

Nilufer received a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, a M.A. degree from Harvard University in Middle Eastern Studies and a B.A. degree from Rutgers University. A long-time resident of New York, she now resides in New Jersey with her partner and two children where she enjoys gardening, furniture making and adventure travel. Nilufer is multilingual with varying degrees of written and spoken proficiency in Hindi/Urdu and Arabic.

Kavita Mehra | Executive Director

Kavita first joined Sakhi as an intern in 2002 while in her third year of university. After her experience, she hoped to come back to Sakhi, specifically to lead the organization, and in June 2017 was named its sixth executive director.

Under Kavita’s leadership, Sakhi has grown over 800% and has launched a trauma-informed mental health program, a housing program, and a food justice program for survivors in the community. Her deep commitment to building a survivor-centered movement, positioned Sakhi to open its second office in Queens, NY in March of 2020 and its third office in Brooklyn, NY in 2023. Most notably, Kavita has successfully stewarded Sakhi through the COVID-19 pandemic, providing critical, life-saving services to survivors across New York City, while also ensuring its financial stability and growth.

While in her role at Sakhi, Kavita was instrumental in convening her fellow co-founders of South Asian SOAR and securing the $1million in seed funding for its launch. She is now a proud board member of the organization that represents 40+ South Asian member organizations across the United States.

Kavita has written opinion pieces for Inside Philanthropy, City Limits, Ms. Magazine, the Huffington Post, Brown Girl Magazine, and Act To Change. She has also presented at the Women’s Economic Forum in Delhi, Harvard University and Columbia University and has been quoted in leading media outlets, including The Associated Press, WNYC’s The Takeaway, NowThis, CNN, The New York Times, and Vice.

Through her over two decades in the non-profit sector, Kavita has served in leadership positions at the Boys & Girls Club of Newark, GlamourGals Foundation, and South Asian Youth Action. She has been featured in “Roshni: Emerging Indian Global Leaders and is the recipient of the 2021 Changemaker Award from Institute for Nonprofit Practice, 2022 Social Impact Women to Watch by Nonprofit HR and in 2023 received the Epic Women’s Award from the New York Bar Association.

Kavita completed her Bachelor of Arts from New York University with a double major in History and Gender Studies. She also holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, with a concentration in South Asian Studies, from Columbia University, as well as a certificate in Business Excellence from The Columbia Business School. She is currently part of the Allstate Foundation’s Nonprofit Leadership Center Executive Leadership Program’s Class of 2023 at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. In 2016, Kavita completed the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Advanced Leadership Program and in 2014, she was a Lead New Jersey Fellow and an Athena Mastermind at Barnard. In 2013, Kavita was a New Leaders Council-New Jersey Fellow.

A proud New Jersey native, she lives in Jersey City with her life partner and son.

Nalini Tiwari Greenan

Nalini Tiwari Greenan was born and spent most of her youth in Guyana. She finished out her secondary education at Richmond Hill High School in Queens, NY and began a whole new adventure at 16 years old, studying a range of disciplines and majoring in Psychology at Barnard College, Columbia University, while exploring the vastness of New York City.

Her background in psychology, her immersion into the diverse cultural offerings of NYC, and her continued thirst for knowledge and desire to engage in new experiences lead her to the wild world of advertising, starting out her career at Young and Rubicam and then, needing to incorporate her passion for social change, moved to Partnership For A Drug Free America. In 1996, Nalini had the unique opportunity to work on Art, Architecture, Ballet and Opera based tours to the newly opened markets in Eastern Europe. This experience solidified her passion and commitment to working in community based specialized tourism based on the heritage of a destination. This led to Nalini starting her own Marketing Company, Adya Communications LLC, in 2002, and Adya Global LLC in 2018.

Nalini’s driving force in her work seeks to bring beauty to all of us in ways we can not only see, but also feel, touch, taste, smell, and experience even beyond our sensory perceptions. Nalini hopes to bring her knowledge and experience to fellow adventurers and travelers, though never losing sight of the need to remember our histories, and to face the uglier parts of those histories, as well. Nalini is a member on several non-profit boards such as the Indo-Caribbean Alliance, Friends of RPCV’s of Guyana, and We are GUTSY and her ongoing support of other non-profits that work tirelessly to help marginalized communities. Through and beyond her work, Nalini is committed to advocating for equal rights for all, and to share some of the beauty in this world with others.

Dr. Diksha Mishra

Diksha Mishra is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Diksha received her medical degree from Drexel University in Philadelphia and completed her medical residency at Weill Cornell and Columbia University’s EM program where she also served as chief resident her final year. She chose the field of emergency medicine for its vital and unique role in community advocacy and public policy. She wants the emergency department to be at the forefront of initiatives related to gender and intimate partner violence, especially within the South Asian community. Diksha has uplifted women in her field by founding and running the Women in Emergency Medicine Program (WomEM) for her department. This program provides a safe space for the EM community to overcome the obstacles women face in their personal and professional growth through research, QI, and advocacy, as well as social and professional development events.

Apart from her work above, Diksha has been involved in advocacy work through global health initiatives. She performed a gap analysis on the current scope and capacity of emergency medicine practice in primary health centers and first-level hospitals in Addis Ababa, working in the country for a month with the Department of Health. Apart from this she also created recommendations and guidelines for a trauma assessment tool— created in conjunction with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and World Health Organization (WHO)—for government, hospital, EMS, and management officials in lower middle-income cities globally to assess their preparedness and ability to care for their population adequately and appropriately in the immediate aftermath of a mass casualty event.

This is Diksha’s first time serving on a board, and she is excited to focus and apply her leadership, advocacy, and program development skills towards Sakhi’s mission.

Rupal Patel

Rupal Patel is a Senior Manager for the Global Reverse Logistics team in Bloomberg’s Supply Chain department in New York. An industrial engineer by training, she has 20+ years of experience working across multiple industries in both the public and private sectors. Her skills in management, supply chain disciplines, engineering, and overall people development — combined with her experience in the U.S. and overseas — has made her an adept cross-cultural communicator and a nimble problem-solver. She has led companies from concept to implementation, including developing new products, implementing of new systems, and forming new functional teams.

Rupal is a team builder and mentor for women in the workplace. She is committed to improving the financial literacy of young women and teaching them the steps towards attaining financial independence. Rupal completed her MBA from Rider University while working full time and holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial and manufacturing engineering from Penn State. She was born in Toronto, where she spent her early youth before moving to the U.S. She is multilingual, with spoken proficiency in Hindi/Gujarati, and she is currently learning Spanish. Rupal has volunteered for multiple organizations in New York City before joining Sakhi’s Board. She is keen to leverage her professional skills and personal experiences to contribute to Sakhi’s mission and advance the cause.

Vasanta Pundarika

Vasanta has spent nearly two decades working as a healthcare investment banker in New York City, focused on healthcare services sectors. She is Head of Healthcare Investment Banking at Matrix Capital Markets Group, a boutique, advisory-focused investment bank, prior to which she worked at Raymond James, Morgan Keegan, and Shattuck Hammond Partners, a healthcare boutique. She works across all healthcare services sectors, but especially focuses on the behavioral health and women’s health sectors. Vasanta is a frequent speaker at industry conferences as a panelist or moderator and has also been a guest on various webinars and podcasts. Vasanta graduated with Honors from Princeton University with an A.B. degree, majoring in Anthropology, and is Co-Class Agent for her class for Princeton’s Annual Giving. Vasanta is also a member of Chief, an organization of women leaders, and Women Business Leaders of the US Healthcare Industry (WBL), which is an organization of women leaders working to drive the healthcare industry forward. Vasanta is especially passionate about Sakhi’s mission and the way in which it is harnessing the South Asian diaspora community’s energy and power to address gender-based violence.

Leela Ramnath 

Leela Ramnath is Senior Vice President and Global Head of Sustainability Strategy at Warburg Pincus, where she leads global sustainability and ESG strategy for the firm, collaborates with investment teams and portfolio companies to drive and optimize implementation, and manages key partnerships. Leela has twenty years of experience working across capital markets, emerging markets, and ESG. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, she led innovation and sustainability at an impact-focused investment firm and worked in international development as a Technoserve Fellow in East Africa and at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. She previously worked at Barclays covering emerging markets and in securitized products at a global insurer. Leela is a board member at ClimeCo, LLC and Ownership Works. She is a former Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations and holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Sumeet Salwan

Sumeet has spent the last 30+ years working on connecting human capital with business value. As co-founder and CEO of a global Strategy and Human Capital advisory firm, he leads the business with a vision toward the future of Human Capital management. He is passionate about working with CEOs, Founders, and PE firm partners to deliver their value ambition with a Talent Edge while inventing new HR 3.0 models, methodologies, and practices along the way.

Sumeet Salwan served as global head of HR for two of Johnson & Johnson’s business units: their worldwide consumer business and their medical device company.

Previously, he spent over 20 years with Unilever, rising through the ranks from intern to director to leader of the global program office of HR in Rotterdam. He helped build Unilever’s talent strategy for emerging markets and then led its execution as head of HR in the Asia Pacific region. In his final role, he moved to the US as the Head of HR and drove a significant transformation for Unilever.

He formerly served on the advisory boards of Lee Hecht Harrison, a firm that specializes in talent development and transitions management, and HR People + Strategy, the executive network of the Society for Human Resource Management. He also served on the advisory board of Strategic Value Partners, a global investment firm with more than $18B in assets under management, and Talen Energy, a PE-owned energy and infrastructure company.

Sumeet currently serves on the Board of Sakhi for South Asian Survivors, representing the South Asian diaspora in a survivor-centered movement for gender justice and survivors of violence. Sumeet has also served as a board member for Enactus, USA, which strives to enable students and the next generation of leaders to make a social impact by leading and creating entrepreneurial ventures. His continued dedication, involvement, and charitable contributions to other nonprofit organizations include the Jackie Robinson Foundation,, Pratham USA, Diamond Sports Foundation, and the Leitner Center for Justice at Fordham University.

Dr. Dina M. Siddiqi

Dr. Dina M. Siddiqi is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Studies at New York University. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a BA from Wellesley College. She has published extensively on women in the global garment industry, non-state gender justice systems, and forms of cultural nationalism in Bangladesh. Professor Siddiqi is on the advisory board of Dialectical Anthropology, and serves on the editorial board of Routledge’s Women in Asia Publication Series. She sits on the Executive Committee of the American Institute of Bangladesh Studies (AIBS), the Advisory Committee of the Saida Waheed Gender Initiative, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and the Advisory Group of Sangat, a South Asian feminist network. She has frequently collaborated with Bangladeshi human rights organizations including Ain o Salish Kendra, Nagorik Uddyog, and Bangladesh Legal and Services Trust (BLAST). Through her scholarship and activism, Professor Siddiqi seeks to bring into conversation feminist theory and practice.

Dr. Sejal Shah 

Sejal K. Shah, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist in private practice in Manhattan. She is the founder and medical director of SmarterSkin Dermatology and serves as a medical advisor for health and beauty start-ups.

Sejal graduated from the University of South Alabama with a BA in sociology. She continued her postgraduate studies at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York where she earned her medical degree. After completing an internship in internal medicine at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, she went on to complete a two-year clinical research fellowship at the Skin of Color Center. She subsequently completed her dermatology residency at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt where she served as chief resident during her senior year. She has published numerous articles and book chapters and presented at several national and international meetings and is frequently featured in mainstream online, print and TV media for her expertise.

Sejal serves on the P&T of her children’s school as well as a co-chair of the school’s fundraising committee. In the past she has volunteered with various non-profit organizations. She is passionate about Sakhi’s mission and excited to continue to advance the work it has already accomplished. She resides in Manhattan with her husband, 3 children and dog.