Saheli is run by 8 dedicated staff, 8 Board Members, 10 Advisory Committee members, and community volunteers.
Please click on the Team Member’s name to read their bio.
Divya is Saheli’s new co-executive director. She holds an MPA degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). She brings more than 12+ years of global non-profit management experience passionately working on a range of gender issues from microfinance, domestic violence and gender research, to leadership development at a number of world’s leading international organizations and academic institutions like UNDP, UNIFEM, Ford Foundation, and Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) to name a few.
Divya has managed budgets of over $1 Billion at New York City Office of Management and Budget, managed a Ford Foundation and CGAP global microfinance project working with organizations in over 31 countries, and has developed and delivered leadership training programs for women executives and professionals in the non-profit sector at Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Divya has a long-term commitment to the cause of reducing domestic violence and the economic empowerment of women. Prior to accepting her current role at Saheli, she served as a volunteer for many months where she has offered financial management training to domestic violence survivor and assisted survivors in obtaining full-time employment.
Write to Divya:email@example.com
Rita Shah, MSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Senior Domestic Violence Advocate
Rita Shah works with clients, provides referrals and support, and connects clients to services. Rita has a Master’s degree in Social Work in Leadership and Management from Simmons College and 20 years of community organizing experience. She was the past president of India Association of Greater Boston, and a Vice President of Indian American Forum on Political Education. Rita has taught at Shishu Bharati Language School, organized ESOL and Citizenship classes in Burlington and Lowell for senior citizens, assisted in the cultural awareness training for police departments. She is an active member of the Satsang Center in Woburn and works at the Arlington Housing Authority. She participates actively in programs for South Asian elders at the Burlington Council on Aging.
Write to Rita : firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Domestic Violence Advocate
Renu Tewarie is a domestic violence prevention advocate at Saheli. She has degrees in psychology and Hindi. She served as an educator for 15 years as the Principal at Shishu Bharati, Walpole, a school for Indian languages and culture. At various times Renu has been a professor of Hindi at Brandeis University, and a class dean and teacher at an international school in Geneva, Switzerland. Having taught children and adults of all ages has enabled Renu to develop strong communication and counseling skills in her role as a domestic violence prevention advocate.
Renu has provided domestic violence response services to women and connected them to resources, conducted outreach to women in six towns and cities, helped run support groups for mothers at Faxon Commons, organized games and activities for children at support group meetings, distributed brochures and materials about Saheli to raise awareness about domestic violence. In addition, Renu has assisted with managing the Saheli helpline, translated literature for Saheli from English to Hindi. She currently coordinates Saheli’s activities on South Shore and provides support, referrals to survivors and connects them with other agencies. Renu is certified Hindi Medical Interpreter and freelances for the Catholic Charities.
Write to Renu at email@example.com
Domestic Violence Advocate - Worcester Region
Usha Verma, M.A., LSW is a domestic violence prevention advocate at Saheli. She graduated with distinction from Punjab University in Chandigarh, India, with a Master’s of Liberal Arts degree specializing in music. She was a Music Professor for 6 years at Arya College in Ludhiana. Usha immigrated to the United States in 1982, raised a family and continues to follow her passion for sitar education and performances at many venues. She speaks Punjabi, Hindi and English.
Usha is a licensed social worker who has worked several years serving elders in the local Worcester community and assisting adults with special needs. She has been an active member of the India Society of Worcester where she served as the Chairperson for the Crisis Committee for more than 15 years.
Write to Usha: firstname.lastname@example.org
Domestic Violence Advocate - South Shore Region
Nijal Popat is Domestic Violence Prevention Advocate at Saheli. She is a 2017 graduate of Salem State University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Criminal Justice. She is the past president of Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society.
She has previously interned at Quincy District Court. She served as the Secretary of the Criminal Justice Academy at Salem State where she assisted in setting up the DV Conference at the State House. She has also created a poster for the White Ribbon Campaign with Jane Doe.
Nijal interned at On-Point, a collaboration between Salem Police Dept and the Essex County Juvenile Probation Department, the program keeps troubled youth from entering juvenile detention & foster care. Nijal is currently a member of the Attleboro Cultural Council.
Write to Nijal at email@example.com
Communication and Development Coordinator
Priya is the Communications and Development Coordinator at Saheli. She received a Masters in Communication, Culture and Media Studies from Northeastern University, and a Bachelors in English Literature from Stella Maris, India. Her understanding of gender-based violence has broadened with master’s level sociology courses on Gender and Violence, and Urban Sociology from Northeastern University. Her experience in research and academic writing comes from being a Research Assistant for the Sociology Department, and a Teaching Assistant for the Communications Department. Priya has a keen interest in gender politics and advocacy.
Priya has worked as an internal communications consultant in India which included employee engagement and shareholder communications for brands like 3M. She worked as an advertising intern with Ogilvy and interned with the ITC Corporate Communications department.
She is a mother to a two-year-old and a five-year-old. They keep her busy, but when she does find time for leisure, she enjoys reading and writing. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Chair of Saheli’s Annual Fundraiser
David Ludwig, Ph. D, MD
David is a physician at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is the Director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center, and the Director at the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program. David is also the John Fielding Crigler, Jr. & Mary Adele Sippel Crigler Chair in Pediatric Endocrinology.
Jayashree is an Independent Consultant at Late Stage CMC Program Management at Biogen Idec. She is the current President of the India Association of Greater Boston in Burlington, Mass.
Manju Sheth, MD
Co-Chair of Saheli’s Annual Fundraiser. Manju is a physician with Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, MA. She is also the director and producer of INE Media.
Neelam is the President & CEO Printing and Graphic Services. She is a business owner in printing and graphics services. She is also the President of the Billerica Adventure Series, a member of the Board of Directors at Billerica CARES, Billerica Partners for Education, Billerica Community Alliance and Billerica Lions Cub. She is also a member of the India Association of Greater Boston, IAFPE, ISW, United India, and the India Leadership Network.
Rajendra Trivedi, MD
Rajendra is a Psychiatrist at Baldpate Hospital. He is the Medical Director and CEO at CCA and The Pain Center. He is also a member of the Blind Peoples Association of India.
Chair of Saheli’s Men’s Programs. He is an independent consultant.
Ranjani is a consultant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the owner of Lokvani.com. She is a member of VisionAid, TIEBoston, Udavam Karangal, Boston Pledge and the Co-Chair of MITHAS. She is currently the President of Ekal Vidyalaya.
Sweta is the Senior Director of North America Delivery at NTT DATA, Inc. She is a member of the Indian Circle of Caring, LearnToLove Inc., JSNE, JCGB, and a Life Member of Gurjar.
Trupti Patel, Esq
Trupti is an Attorny at Trupti N. Patel & Associates in Burlington and Boston. Trupti specializes in immigration law, transnational cases, and H1 visa issues.
Board of Directors
Supriya has been associated with Saheli for many years and actively participated in community Outreach events, Support Groups, Computer Literacy Classes and Media Communications. She previously served as a Board member for Saheli. She is an engineer by qualification and worked as Assistant Professor with Kurukshetra University in India. She previously collaborated with a professor at John Hopkins University as Research Scientist in the field of Neuroimaging and Neurospectroscopy. An advocate of of gender equality and women empowerment, she is passionate about Saheli’s mission. She lives with her husband in Andover, MA and works as Quality and Compliance leader in a Health Technology company.
Please write to Supriya at: email@example.com
Divya Chandra is a Board Member who is actively involved in fundraising, outreach events and internal process reviews. She has 15 years of diverse experience in Financial Risk Management, Consulting and Auditing with organizations such as KPMG, Standard & Poor’s and Barclays Bank. She has lived and worked in India, Singapore, Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Divya is qualified Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a Masters of Commerce from Mumbai University, India. Divya worked with “Hope for Exceptional Needs”, a school for children with special needs in Jeddah-Saudi Arabia; “Dream School Foundation”, an organization that follows an Integrated Education and Development Model for students in Bangalore India; and “Social Service League”, an association mobilizing college students in community development work in Mumbai India.
Write to Divya at firstname.lastname@example.org
Usha Vakil co-founded Saheli in 1996. Usha has been a board member since its inception in August 1996 and served as the Chair of the Board of Saheli for 18 years. Under her leadership Saheli grew from a small volunteer run community organization into a multiservice agency serving a diverse state wide population. In 2015 Usha transitioned to the role of a board member and leads the community fundraising efforts. She has taken the Domestic Violence Training program and supports the Domestic Violence team, as needed. She is a Senior Project Manager at Iron Mountain.
Write to Usha: email@example.com
Gouri Banerjee, Ph. D.
Gouri co-founded Saheli in 1996, and has served on the Saheli Board for many years. She supervised the domestic violence portfolio and has successfully raised funds from many foundations to support Saheli’s work. Gouri took leadership in starting the computer literacy classes in Cambridge, Waltham, and Quincy and Saheli’s Support Group Gup Shup, Parenting classes in Burlington and Saheli’s Legal advocacy program. Over the years, she has done consistent work in outreach to universities, colleges and community organizations on behalf of Saheli and connected Saheli to student groups such as those at Harvard, Boston University, Northeastern University, Brandeis University and Emmanuel College. Gouri is an Associate Professor Emeritus at Emmanuel College in Boston and holds a Ph.D. from Boston University. Gouri leads the domestic violence portfolio at Saheli.
Write to Gouri at firstname.lastname@example.org
Write to Shweta: email@example.com