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.
Carolina Abalos – Saheli Women International Manager
Carolina Abalos is the international manager for Saheli Women. She is from Cologne, Germany and joined the IPHD team in 2019.
Carolina received her Bachelors in Engineering in 2016 from the Netherlands and is now in pursuit of her Masters in Fashion Anthropology. Through her studies, Carolina has gained experience in design, pattern drafting, marketing, production, and international buying. Her experience has made her an invaluable member of the IPHD team.
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
Madhuri Gujje – Girls’ Education Program Advisor
Madhuri Gujje is a Political Economy student at the University of California, Berkeley. In Summer 2018, Madhuri worked as the IPHD Girls’ Education Program intern for two months, during which she assisted the Education Advocates with outreach and school enrollment, distributed supplies to students in the IPHD Girls’ Education Program, and developed a teacher training to implement creativity into the classroom subjects. She also helped create a promotional video for Saheli Women.
After graduation, Madhuri hopes to earn an MBA and continue working in sustainability and creativity fields.
Kathleen Breuninger – Health Program Advisor
Kathleen Breuninger is a graduate of John Hopkins University with a Masters in Nursing-Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Masters in Public Health. She worked with IPHD as part of the Globally Established Multidisciplinary Site team from Johns Hopkins during Summer 2018. As a Health Program Intern, Kathleen performed a community health assessment in Bhikamkor with a focus on the social and cultural norms that contribute to anemia in women. She also conducted a free hemoglobin screening for women at the Saheli Clinic to quantify the prevalence of anemia in this community.
Kathleen is passionate about public health and reducing health disparities for women and other vulnerable populations.
Paul Gallagher – Health Intern
Paul has spent his entire professional career in education – in indoor and outdoor classrooms and as a counselor. Paul worked for IPHD for two months in 2018, primarily on an anemia health project and the Saheli social enterprise project. He will soon complete a master’s degree in education at Johns Hopkins University. He is an enthusiastic advocate for community development, experiential education, and travel. Paul would be happy to talk to anybody considering partnering with or working for IPHD.