Madhu Vaishnav – Founder & Executive Director
Madhu Vaishnav was born and raised in Jodhpur, India, where she founded IPHD in 2013 in response to a need for women’s empowerment. She has ten years of work experience in civic and social organizations, including five years as the local program coordinator at the international nonprofit Foundation for Sustainable Development. She also founded the ethical fashion social enterprise Saheli Women in 2015.
Madhu has a master’s degree in Indian history and Hindi and completed her postgraduate studies in community and social welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. Her expertise spans multiple areas of community development, including microfinance, skills training, HIV/AIDS awareness and sex worker education.
Suzanne Blair – Business Consultant & Advisor
Suzanne Blair founded, ran and sold several businesses in her home city of Melbourne, Australia. Since 2009, Suzanne has worked as a business consultant for four months each year at organizations in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Central America. She began advising IPHD in 2014.
Suzanne holds graduate and postgraduate degrees from universities in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Her chief working areas of interest are business development, marketing, microenterprise and microfinance.
Pukhraj Vaishnav – Advisor
Pukhraj Vaishnav is a chartered accountant working in the city of Noida with expertise in indirect taxation and accounting. Pukhraj was born and completed his primary schooling in IPHD’s adopted village Bhikamkor.
Pukhraj went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in commerce and another bachelor’s in law in Jodhpur. He passed his chartered accountant course in Delhi, where he now lives. Throughout his life, Pukhraj’s heart has remained with Bhikamkor and its children. He is passionate about education and hopes to give back to his home village by expanding educational opportunities to all girls and boys in Bhikamkor.
Jhansi Mangal – Internship Program Coordinator
Jhansi Mangal is from Hyderabad, India. She moved to Jodhpur in 2013, and joined the IPHD team in 2017.
Jhansi studied at Osmania University in Hyderabad and worked in telemarketing and quality assurance at Vibatel Solutions for the multinational banking company HSBC for five years. She also worked for one year at Global Innovsource for the State Bank of India in the credit card section.
Jhansi is fluent in Hindi, English and Telugu. Her language skills along with her welcoming personality and ambition make her the ideal internship coordinator.
Rukiya Bano – Saheli Community Center Manager
Rukiya Bano lives in IPHD’s adopted village Bhikamkor. She joined the Livelihood Program as an embroider on the first day of our Saheli Women project in 2015. Since then, Rukiya has become a pivotal member of IPHD as the Saheli Community Center manager and an education advocate.
A Muslim mother of four daughters, Rukiya moved to Bhikamkor when she was 16 years old to live with her husband. She is often seen at the community center laughing or cracking jokes, leading other women in the village to nickname her “spicy chili.” Rukiya is passionate about girls’ education, and she believes her daughters will grow up to be engineers, doctors or the mayor of Bhikamkor.
Alumni Advisory Board
Abby Kolenbrander – Girls’ Education Program Advisor
Abby Kolenbrander is a senior psychology and law student at Northeastern University in Boston. In spring 2017, Abby worked as the IPHD Girls’ Education Program intern for four months, during which she designed and implemented training for five women in Bhikamkor to work as IPHD education advocates and teachers.
After graduation, Abby hopes to attend law school and work in the field of policy development.
Sydney Donley – Health Program Advisor
Sydney Donley is a senior studying behavioral neuroscience at Northeastern University in Boston. In spring 2017, she worked as the IPHD Health Program intern for five months, during which she designed and implemented training for women in Bhikamkor to work as IPHD health outreach workers for the Health Literacy Project.
Sydney is passionate about women’s empowerment and education. In Boston, she is a mentor in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program for young girls. After graduation, she aspires to provide medical care to underserved populations as a physician assistant.
Uma Gaddamanugu – Health Program Advisor
Uma Gaddamanugu is a senior public health major with a concentration in health, policy and management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In summer 2016, Uma worked as the IPHD Health Program intern for two months, during which she worked on the Menstrual Hygiene Project and a women’s health scan. She returned in summer 2017 to help set up the Saheli Health Clinic.
Uma’s professional interests include reproductive rights, women’s health, interpersonal violence eradication and global health disparities. After graduation, Uma hopes to work on a health intervention for vulnerable populations for a few years before going to medical school.