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Staff

Sohini Das, Development Coordinator, joined Sakhi as a volunteer in September 2012, and went on to become staff Summer_trees_and_sunshine_sky_JA130_photomember in January 2014. Sohini began her career at a web development shop during the 1990′s. She then helped produce the first ever Tribeca Film Festival, prior to joining the television network, Nickelodeon. She was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2004. Sohini then moved to TV Land, where she helped the network build its slate of original productions. Sohini opened the doors to her private practice television development consultancy in 2010. She is honored to have joined the amazing and inspirational team at Sakhi. She is proficient in Bengali, and holds a B.S. in Mass Communications from Boston University. She enjoys life’s simple pleasures: eating brunch with her family, baking muffins, and watching Downton Abbey. She can be reached at sohini.das@sakhi.org or 212-714-9153, x 1003.

horsesTiloma Jayasinghe, Executive Director, joined Sakhi staff in February 2010.  She was formerly a Social Affairs Officer at the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women where she was responsible for analyzing and identifying policies and practices eliminating violence against women from an international perspective.  Prior to that, she was the National Advocates for Pregnant Women’s first Baron Edmond de Rothschild Staff Attorney Fellow where she focused her legal, educational, and organizational skills on the intersection of the war on reproductive rights and the war on drugs. She is a graduate of New York University and the George Washington University School of Law. Ms. Jayasinghe’s diverse legal background includes litigating bankruptcy and financial restructuring cases, filing Habeas Corpus appeals, VAWA petitions, and preparing amicus curaie briefs before state and federal appellate courts throughout the United States. As an associate at the international law firm Mayer, Brown, Rowe and Maw, LLP, she spearheaded a pro bono project supporting the development and creation of the Asian University for Women. She is also a birth doula and a founding member of With Woman Doula Coopertiva.  Ms. Jayasinghe has served as the New York Chapter Representative to the Board of Directors of NAPAWF (National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum). She can be reached at tiloma.jayasinghe@sakhi.org or 212-714-9153, x 1010.

Maneesha Mukhi, Domestic Violence Program Advocate, joined Sakhi as a volunteer in May 2013, and went onThe-Blue-Beach-Boat to become a full-time staff member in July. After 9 years in the corporate world, Maneesha decided to shift her career trajectory and pursue her passion for women’s development/advocacy at Sakhi. She holds a BA in Economics from Gettysburg College and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is fluent in Hindi and able to communicate with Punjabi/Urdu speakers. In her free time, you can find Maneesha in line for banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery or working on survival skills of her own, most recently, learning to swim and cook. She can be reached at maneesha.mukhi@sakhi.org or 212-714-9153, x 1008.

keralaSethu Nair, Community Outreach and Media Advocate, joined Sakhi in 2010. She mobilizes New York City’s South Asian grassroots community members to take action to respond to violence against women in their lives. She uses creative community engagement tools to challenge the silence surrounding violence and abuse. She also manages Sakhi’s online marketing and press and external relations. Prior to her work at Sakhi, Sethu served in various social justice organizations in New York City, including the Coalition for the Homeless and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict. Sethu also serves as the founding board member of Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus – a community based organization dedicated to social justice through faith-based initiatives. A graduate of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, Sethu is currently training to become a conflict mediator. At all other times, Sethu can be found translating her favorite Hindi, Urdu, and Malayalam songs into English, and dancing and dancing and dancing. She can be reached at sethu.nair@sakhi.org or 212-714-9153, x 1004.

Bithi Roy, Domestic Violence Program Advocate, completed a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay CollegeNature-Wallpapers-HD in May, 2009.  While at John Jay, Bithi conducted research on domestic violence in the Bangladeshi immigrant community. Bithi also completed her Master and Bachelor in Sociology at Shahajalal University of Science & Technology in Bangladesh. She is fluent in Bengali. She finds herself happy when people around her are happy too. “Sathkahon” a Bengali novel written by Shamaresh Majumder gave her a real perception of life when she was in just high school. Growing up in a highly patriarchal society, she realized how important it is for a woman to become independent and strong first  in order to fight against injustice and to create a meaningful change in someone’s life. She still carries that spirit in her day to day work at Sakhi. She loves listening to music, reading books, watching movies and be close enough to nature to feel it. She can be reached at bithi.roy@sakhi.org or 212-714-9153, x 1006.

NYC

Reshmi Sengupta, Economic Empowerment Program Manager, joined Sakhi as a volunteer in the summer of 2010, going on to becoming a full-time staff member in September.  She has a BA from Hunter College, double majoring in Economics and History, with a focus in development Economics.  After 6 years in the finance world, she decided to go back to school and get a Masters degree in Economics and Education from Columbia University-Teachers College, focusing on women’s development in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is fluent in both Hindi and Bengali. She’s an avid cinema lover who dreams of moonlighting as a film critic for the New York Times! She can be reached at reshmi.sengupta@sakhi.org or 212-714-9153, x 1007.

Shalini Somayaji, Deputy Director, first started working around gender-based violence issues in 2000 during a summer Vancouverfellowship at Raksha, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that works within the South Asian community.  There, her passion for social justice was sparked, and she continued on after law school at Tapestri, a nonprofit dedicated to ending violence in refugee and immigrant communities, for over six years, first as a legal advocate and then as Co-Executive Director.  She joined Sakhi in July 2011. She is a graduate of Tufts University and Emory University School of Law.  She is currently on the Steering Committee of Asian Women Giving Circle.  When not trying to figure out how to make life easier with technology, you can find her hanging out with her family, looking for the best vegan meal, or writing a story based on her grandfather’s life – who first inspired her to do good without expecting anything in return. She can be reached at shalini.somayaji@sakhi.org or 212-714-9153, x 1002.

Photos represent where we feel most at peace and ease.