We are excited to welcome our new Co-Executive Director, Nadia Madden. Nadia oversees finance, strategic planning and development. Before joining Saheli, she co-founded and served as a board member of WatSan Action, a nonprofit dedicated to helping women and their families access safe water and a healthy environment in Jakarta’s slum communities, and volunteered for the Conservation Commission in Groton, MA. Nadia holds a B.S. from MIT, as well as an M.S. in energy and resources from the University of California–Berkeley.
The following is an interview with Nadia.
Q: Please tell us a little about your background.
A: I grew up down the street from Saheli, just off Route 62 in Bedford. Growing up we were one of the only South Asian families in the area, so I am very happy to see how our community has expanded over time. I have two children: Laila (5) and Kian (2), my youngest just started pre-school. I also have a wonderfully supportive husband Jon.
Q: What volunteer and nonprofit experiences did you have before joining Saheli?
A: Several years ago I co-founded a non-profit, WatSan Action, that funds work with Indonesian women and their families to help improve water and sanitation conditions in slum communities. I gained a lot of experience in nonprofit operations and financial oversight there that I hope can benefit Saheli.
Locally, I volunteer for the Groton conservation commission and my most recent job was working at the Shirley Town Hall as their conservation agent.
Q: What inspired you to join Saheli?
A: I’d like to help build a world without violence. Saheli recognizes that non-violence starts in the home and the family, and then spirals out from there into society.
Q: What is your vision for Saheli? Where would you like to take the organization?
A: I want the organization to run a tight ship financially. Saheli is growing along with the South Asian population in Massachusetts, and we need to be able to harness our resources to serve the women and families in our community.
Q: Do you have any advice for our readers?
A: Read books! It’s one of the best things you can do for your mind and it’s a great way to relax.