Keshav Ramaswami, Senior Project Associate
Keshav Ramaswami is a graduate of the Young India Fellowship, most of which he spent honing an interest in the sociology of cities and travelling rural India as a student journalist. During his engineering days, pursuing an interest in finance, he interned at an investment bank and completed Level One of the CFA program. More recently, he has interned at McKinsey’s Public & Social Sector practice and achieved top honours in HBx CORE, a business fundamentals program hosted by Harvard Business School. He seeks to use learnings from his experiences to try to solve significant social challenges — and views the IIC as a conduit between evidence-based practices and communities that stand to benefit the most. In the coming year, he hopes to grow with on-ground challenges and to play a part in the development story.
Sanjana Mohanty, Senior Project Associate
(Rajasthan Education Project)
Sanjana Mohanty graduated from National Law University, Delhi in 2014. Thereafter she worked as a law clerk to Justice J. Chelameswar, Supreme Court of India, working on matters including public interest litigations and constitutional challenges to Government policy decisions. She subsequently joined the litigation team of Zeus Law in New Delhi, where she was involved in a wide range of cases before various Courts and Tribunals. She encountered the challenging intricacies of the social, legal and political setup of India, first in law school, volunteering for the UNDP-GoI Access to Justice Project and othercommunity outreach programmes, and later while practicing law. Through IIC she hopes to acquire skills that will enable her to contribute in innovative and effective ways towards bridging the unpalatable distances between the efforts of a welfare state on paper and their translation into reality. In her free time, she likes to sing, dance and bake tirelessly.
Jesse Orr, Project Lead
(Niti Aayog AI Project)
Jesse Orr graduated in 2015 from the University of Chicago with B.A. in South Asian Languages and Civilizations, studying Hindi for four years and focusing on modern Indian politics and policy. After graduation, he worked at the Atlantic Council, a Washington D.C. think-tank, before starting as a Project Associate with the International Innovation Corps in July 2016. Jesse spent his first year with the IIC working in Hyderabad and Vijayawada on Project S3Andhra, a multi-stakeholder consortium consisting of the Administrative Staff College of India, Ernst and Young, and the IIC, supporting the Government of Andhra Pradesh’s efforts to improve sanitation statewide. On Project S3Andhra, Jesse primarily worked on developing policies on septage and wastewater management and supporting capacity-building efforts to promote their implementation statewide. Jesse is excited to be spending another year with the IIC, and is particularly interested in looking at policy from a standpoint of enabling effective last-mile implementation.
Pooja Arvind Chavan
(Maharasthra Water De-Silting Project)
Pooja Arvind Chavan has pursued M.A. Social Work with specialization in Community Organization and Development Practices from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in the year 2017. Her graduate thesis analyzes the impact of new Skill development policy on youth in India. She believes in the potential of the governance systems to bring about change. She has also pursued undergraduate degree in Social Work from College of Social Work- Nirmala Niketan, University of Mumbai in the year 2015. In course of five years of working in diverse field settings she has keenly worked with education sector, Maharashtra prison department, BMC contract labour union and with the tribes for a couple of years in remote areas of Maharashtra on the issues related to the implementation of Forest Rights. She looks forward to put her efforts to understand linkages between policy and practice and help governance systems to be responsive, accountable and efficient.
Sai Siddharth Janapareddy
(Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana(PMJAY)Project)
Sai Siddharth Janapareddy has a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from R.V. College of Engineering, and a Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University. Prior to his Masters, he worked as a business development executive at a start up that optimizes pharmaceutical research on humans. During his Masters, he interned at NASSCOM on a project to identify administrative gaps in the Indian Government’s Smart City Mission. He also led a Capstone Project for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, where his team developed policies to raise $900 million in private investment for NYC’s Green Infrastructure Program. After his Masters, he worked at Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, where he documented the history of Manhattan’s ‘Villages’ and represented the East Village community at NYC’s Board of Standards and Appeals against NYC’s real estate lobby. Siddharth is keen to use his skills to improve the quality of life in Indian Cities.
Dhruv Gupta, Consultant
(Rajasthan Education Project)
Dhruv Gupta aims to eliminate the education inequity by working on large-scale initiatives and programs using grassroots insights. Inspired by a teaching internship while in Turkey, he returned back to join the Teach for India fellowship to pursue his passion. Based in a government school in an urban slum, he taught a 7th grade classroom of 80 students for two years where he experienced on-the-ground realities of Indian schools and saw the challenges faced by students and teachers every day. Leveraging this experience, Dhruv wanted to expand his impact through working with the government and decided to join the IIC. As a Project Associate, he worked on governance reforms, community engagement, and addressing the infrastructure gap in schools across Rajasthan. Dhruv will continue as a Project Lead with the Rajasthan government, deepening his engagement in previous projects and advancing the scope of his work through new efforts aimed at school transformation.
Disha Pandey, Project Lead
(Rajasthan Education Project)
Disha has nearly 4 years of grassroots and management experience in the development space, with her work focusing largely on education and livelihood interventions across India. She began working within the development-education nexus through the Teach for India fellowship after which she went on to finish her Masters in Sociology from the Delhi School of Economics where she continued to research on education. She received a scholarship grant to write a research paper on inclusive education that was published by the Delhi University. Thereafter, she led Program Development for Pratham's vocational skilling program as a part of which she handled the fundraising and partnerships vertical by managing key partnerships with large corporate donors, board members, HNIs and Pratham's international chapters. She also managed a team of 10+ individuals from varying professional backgrounds who handled communications, strategy and implementation for community-based initiatives and research.
Riya Singh, a San Francisco Bay Area native, received her BA in Cognitive Science from University of California, Berkeley with a minor in Human Rights. She completed an honors thesis on the social cognitive implications of safe spaces and a minor thesis on approaches to the right to quality education, both focused on northern Nigeria’s adolescent girls. During her time at the University, she engaged in mixed methods research on topics including adolescent sexual health judgments, environmental exposures among children in farmworker communities, and child marriage in rural Nigeria and Niger. Most recently, she worked as a Research Fellow at the Public Health Institute’s Rise Up program, where she played a key role in adapting advocacy curriculum and supporting the efforts of sexual and reproductive health leaders from around the world. Through the IIC, she is eager to collaborate with like-minded, diversely-skilled individuals to develop innovative solutions to critical issues.
Pranay Patil, Senior Project Associate
Pranay is returning to the IIC-SAST team for another year as a Senior Project Associate, where he intends to continue to make sustainable interventions to the existing scheme of things. Hailing from the city of Nagpur, Pranay majored in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, and subsequently worked at Flipkart for about two years. He successfully led a number of initiatives in the domain of operations development and customer experience at Flipkart, and played his part in making e-commerce happen in India. He then attained a Post-Graduate Diploma in Liberal Studies from the Young India Fellowship Programme at Ashoka University. Throughout his college and corporate journey, Pranay has tried to understand and work towards social challenges in India via various channels, like the Ministry of Railways, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC), Jagriti Yatra and The Education Alliance. In his spare time, Pranay enjoys hiking, trekking and photography.
Varun Jhaveri, Junior Engagement Manager
Varun hails from an Engineering and a Policy background and has been appointed as the Chair for Youth Committee of UNESCO led GAMAG division. In his previous year with IIC, he worked with NITI Aayog, Government of India on developing the Digital Transformation index and National Data and Analytics Portal. Prior to IIC, he has worked with Teach for India in the capacity of a Leadership Fellow for fostering academic impact and empowering communities. Also, he has led the youth element for the HeforShe campaign, a UN Women Initiative for advocating gender equality. He has delivered TEDx talks on the topics of “Youth Leadership” and “Increasing Youth Engagement and Participation”. Varun is extremely excited for his new role of Project Lead and wishes to expand his learning by navigating India’s development matrix and contributing to the vast scope of work along with his team.
(NITI Aayog Education Project)
Friedberg graduated from the University of Chicago in 2017 as a History Major, with a focus on the history of nationalism. For her BA Thesis, she conducted research at the United Nations Archives in Geneva studying the League of Nations’ refugee resettlement programs after World War I. She was active at the University’s student newspaper, following the local neighborhood politics beat and serving as Editor-in-Chief for Grey City, the paper’s longform journalism publication. After graduating, Natalie worked with Asia Initiatives as a Project Coordinator, where she helped manage women’s empowerment and livelihood programs across India, analyzed quantitative and qualitative data to write impact reports and developed concept proposals for local partners. She is excited to return to India, after studying in Pune in 2015.
(Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) Project)
Digvijay Sandhu is a graduate in Economics from Delhi University. He holds a Masters Degree in Sustainable Development Practice and a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Economics. Prior to joining the International Innovation Corps, Digvijay was working on Digital health for India project with ACCESS Health International. Previously he has interned at the Asian Development Bank and worked with the Public Health Foundation of India and Kent Business School. Digvijay is an experienced researcher, he has worked on projects pertaining to Sustainable Health Financing, Integrated Care, and Modelling action plan for Non-Communicable Diseases. Most notably, Digvijay has worked in preparing National and State Health Accounts - India. Digvijay has volunteered at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth Initiative and was previously a TeachSDG Ambassador. He is an enthusiastic basketball player and is the recipient of The Duke of Edinburgh International Award for Young People. At IIC, Digvijay will engage with the government to deliver the Ayushman Bharat - National Health Protection Mission.
(Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) Project)
Nitya Nangalia, an Economics graduate from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, aspires to work through the most impactful channel – government policy – to solve fundamentals of life – access to good health, education, livelihood and living spaces. On graduating she joined PwC to consult new age fintech companies solving basic issues of access to payments and credit. Inspired by the power of digital payments and the cause of enabling financial inclusion, she worked with a fintech company to launch a Payments bank for those un-served of the banking system. She comes to IIC with an aim to explore key areas of development, understand policy-making, and explore areas where tech solutions can empower policy to create a world with equal opportunities.
Shreya Agarwal, Project Lead
(Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) Project)
Shreya Agarwal is a an economics graduate from Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi. Post her graduation, she joined Deutsche Bank, where she was a Junior Coverage Banker for the Bank's African and Middle Eastern corporates for over two years. She also spent over six months volunteering with Sujaya Foundation, an education NGO, where she was working towards skill enhancement of the marginalized youth. In an effort to scale her impact, she joined the IIC last year and spent the year working primarily on two education projects - Systemic Transformation of Education in Himachal Pradesh and scaling impact of social enterprises in the EdTech space. After what was a challenging albeit satisfying year, she now looks forward to leveraging her past experiences so she can continue to create impact inIndia's development landscape.
(Social Alpha Project)
Akanksha Mittal graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and worked as a strategy consultant with Accenture for two years. At Accenture, she has worked on large scale implementation and strategic projects in process efficiency for the natural resources industries. Her post graduate research focused on improving the last mile delivery of Financial Inclusion in rural India, suggestions from which were also acknowledged by the Prime Minister’s Office. Her belief in creating value to the society through her work has motivated her to broaden her career aspirations from mainstream consulting to the development sector. She aspires to work at the confluence of development economics and policy making, using her expertise as a consultant to find creative solutions to developmental challenges faced by countries globally and engaging with policy makers in formulating and implementing holistic policies.
(Social Alpha Project)
Alex Nye, a recent graduate of the University of Chicago's Committee on International Relations, loves challenging work that helps public and private actors successfully engage in a globalized world. With a background in academic research as well as a management background producing (and competing in) international political simulations, Alex works using quantitative and qualitative methods to create creative solutions to transnational problems. Outside of his academic work, Alex was involved in University of Chicago's three Model United Nations organizations throughout his time at University of Chicago. This involved participating on the travel team, serving on the board of the college conference, and teaching as an executive for the university's high school conference. He loves reading history and social theory.
(Social Alpha Project)
Nayantara Nath is a public affairs and policy advocacy specialist. During a two-year stint at Edelman, the world’s largest communication marketing firm, she assisted global FMCG, electronics, defense, F&B corporations and not-for-profit organizations to understand, articulate and propagate their position on key policy issues. She collaborated with the Tata Trusts advocacy department to develop strategies in the area of education, health, nutrition, water accessibility and sanitation. She was also part of the team that established India’s stance on climate change at the historic UNFCCC COP21 in Paris, France. In 2017, Nayantara was the youngest awardee to feature on Godrej PRMoment’s list of top communication professionals in India under the age of 30 years. She holds a post-graduate diploma in advertising and public relations from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Miranda House, University of Delhi.
Priyank Hirani, Project Lead
(Water to Cloud Project)
Priyank received his MS in Integrated Circuit Design from Imperial College London in 2013. After graduation, he worked for Mullard Space Science Lab in UK before returning to India in 2015 to join the Young India Fellowship (YIF). YIF enhanced his understanding of contemporary India, its heritage, its problems and its international relations. He joined the S3 Andhra Project as an IIC project associate last year working with colleagues from Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) and Ernst & Young (E&Y). He supported grassroots level implementation of infrastructure improvement and behaviour change strategies working through the entire Faecal Sludge Management value chain in Kovvur, a 40,000 people town in Andhra Pradesh, with limited knowledge of the vernacular language. This year he is excited to lead a river water quality monitoring project using a novel approach involving cyberphysical sensor networks and cloud-enabled data dissemination capabilities. He hopes to inspire data-driven decision making and effective policy discussions through availability of such real-time data and visualisations. Some of his team's recent work can be accessed at https://thoreau.uchicago.edu