As Ashoka U's Program Associate, Beeta supports all aspects of their programs, including social media outreach and tracking impact metrics. Introduced to Ashoka through Ashoka Travel Experience in Argentina to visit Ashoka Fellows, Beeta is committed to inspiring others to learn about social entrepreneurship through both stories and numbers. Beeta worked as a Procurement Manager at a tech startup and tutored students at KIPP Academy in Houston. Beeta graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BA in Economics.
Asha Aravindakshan is the Operations Director for Global Talent at Ashoka. She has over a decade of impact in the private, governmental and philanthropic sectors leading strategic, financial and operational initiatives. Previously, as Chief of Staff to the Chief Technology Officer for Washington, DC, Asha created the award-winning TechStat performance management program and led critical citywide initiatives related to public safety, health and economic development. She is passionate about the potential of applying innovative solutions across sectors and their ability to strengthen governance, improve education, and transform lives. She serves as Vice President for The George Washington University Alumni Association, Advisor for Blue Tiger Labs and GovLoop, mentor for SXSW edu/V2V and Mentor Capital Network. Asha holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Finance from The George Washington University.
Raisa is the Africa Liaison for Global Venture and Fellowship. Her passion for social change work developed during her childhood in South Africa, and was deeply inspired by her parents' contributions to the anti-apartheid struggle. Raisa graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Economics, specializing in social entrepreneurship and private-social sector partnerships. Raisa was a founding member of The Capital Good Fund- a microfinance institution that delivers financial coaching and microcredit products to low-income residents in Providence, RI. Raisa is fascinated by the intersections of business and social change, and spreads the spirit of Ubuntu wherever she goes!
Thomas serves as Director, Integrated Technology Initiative at Ashoka where he develops technology solutions in support of Ashoka’s operations globally. Thomas has over 10 years of experience in the Information and Communication Technology for Development space. Prior to joining Ashoka, he served as Technical Project Manager at the Grameen Technology Center where he worked on a variety of programs including the Village Phone and Village Computing initiatives leveraging microfinance and technology to expand access to voice and data services in rural communities. Thomas has also served as Director of Technology and Communication with Digital Partners where he was instrumental in developing the Social Enterprise Laboratory, Global Classmates, and e-Inclusion Forums programs and the technological systems that supported them.
Jason leads Ashoka's global People Talent Initiatives. Previously, he served as Ashoka's Director of Learning, Integration & Change on the Integrated Technology Initiatives team and of Operations for Youth Venture. Jason holds an MS in Positive Organization Development from Case Western, and graduated from Duke University's International Honors Program for Engineers. Earlier Jason opened a transitional home for street youth with his wife, Caroline, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Next, Jason joined an Ashoka Fellow at Samaritan Inns, offering recovery to people homeless because of addictions. Jason enjoys co-raising four burgeoning changemakers – Thomas, Nicholas, Alexia and Celine.
Bruno Borges joined Ashoka in January 2008, and now works as Global Director for the Ashoka Support Network (ASN). Prior to his role with ASN, Bruno worked as Managing Director for Strategic Partnerships, overseeing Ashoka's corporate engagements and pro bono initiatives. He is the founder of Ashoka's Executive in Residence Program, a global initiative focused on fostering an innovation and system-change mindset among the company’s leaders through collaborations with Ashoka Fellows. Prior to joining Ashoka, Bruno worked for 7 years as a corporate attorney in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and 2 years as Coordinator of the Outside Interests Division at The Johns Hopkins University - School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. He holds a Master of Science in Organization Development with a concentration in nonprofit management from Johns Hopkins University – Carey Business School.
Tia Johnston Brown
Tia's passion and expertise lies with empowering young people to make change in their lives and their communities. Before coming to Ashoka Tia mobilized youth in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In 2003 she joined Ashoka's Youth Venture where she helped expand YV to 19 countries- working hand in hand with Fellows to create unique and innovative program delivery methods. Tia currently focuses on Corporate Relationships (Starbucks, Nike, and Staples) as well as YV's expansion strategy through global franchise development. Tia graduated with her MBA in 2002 and is constantly striving to link the business and social sector towards a common good.
Tina Choi leads Ashoka's Global Media and Communications Team. She brings over 20 years of multi-sector experience, with previous positions in policy, communications, and business development at the United Nations, Random House, the Bertelsmann Foundation, and as a White House Fellow. She started her career as an Echoing Green Fellow and has remained a serial social entrepreneur. She has been selected as one of the "100 Global Social Entrepreneurs" by IDC and received the "Women Redefining Leadership" Award from the State of the World Forum. Tina has lived and travelled in over 50 countries and speaks several languages. Tina holds degrees from Wellesley, Harvard, and Oxford.
Amy Clark leads the Ashoka Fellow selection effort for Ashoka in the United States, which brings to Ashoka 20 new social entrepreneurs each year. These US–based Fellows join Ashoka's global network of 3,000 social entrepreneurs who are working in many fields and over 70 countries. Amy joined Ashoka in 1999 and has played many roles as Ashoka has evolved, including strengthening the selection system for social entrepreneurs globally and deepening a culture that selects for and supports entrepreneurial staff across the organization. Amy is especially interested in Ashoka's role in bringing its vision of "Everyone a Changemaker" to a world where the pace of change is picking up all the time, and the frameworks for action are more open and transparent, giving everyone – no longer a select few – roles to play in guiding change.
Elena directs Ashoka’s Fellowship program which is dedicated to supporting leading social entrepreneurs in over 80 countries around the world, linking them to a powerful network of 3000 of their peers. Elena joins this global role in 2013 after almost 4 years in Ashoka Spain leading a number of programs including the Venture Program that identifies and selects Ashoka Fellows. Elena first joined Ashoka after 5 years at McKinsey and United Nations Development Programme. At UNDP Colombia, Elena was in charge of the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit, working with civil society organizations, local communities, indigenous people and local, regional and national governments. She travelled extensively, meeting true social entrepreneurs working for their communities. At McKinsey she engaged in banking, telecommunications and non-profit sector related projects. Elena holds an MBA from Instituto de Empresa in Madrid, a Masters on International Cooperation and BSc in Environmental Science.
Scott is an Operations Associate for Ashoka’s Global Talent team. He joined Ashoka's Global Search Team in 2014 and managed Ashoka’s worldwide hiring process and internship program. Prior to coming to Ashoka, Scott served as the Local Committee President of AIESEC in Washington DC and was later selected as the National Director of Talent Management for AIESEC in Australia. Scott holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University. He currently resides in Washington, DC where he enjoys running, traveling, and learning American Sign Language.
Lynsey Farrell is a Senior Change Manager at Ashoka and Manages the Future Forward project. After college, Lynsey won a Fulbright student fellowship to Kenya where she was drawn to work with activists advocating for youth rights and political participation. Her doctoral dissertation (Boston University), entitled “Hustling NGOs: Coming of Age in Kenya’s Kibera Slum,” is based on seven years of ethnographic research with youth self-help organizations in Nairobi’s largest informal settlement. In East Africa she worked as a consultant on a range of strategic planning and capacity strengthening assignments and served as the director of American University’s program in sustainable development, also based in Nairobi.
Stéphane is Director of Operations for Ashoka Changemakers, where he combines his passions for social innovation, systemic solutions, team-building and community engagement. Stéphane is a 2009 Echoing Green Fellow and founder of Fosfo, a movement to illuminate business behavior and empower ethical consumers. Stéphane also helped launch and managed operations for Oxfam America’s R4 Rural Resilience Initiative, a multi-sector collaboration that delivers drought insurance and other risk management services to farmers in Ethiopia and Senegal. He holds a 2007 Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he co-led the student Corporate Responsibility Council and joined the Social Enterprise Collaboratory. More >>
Cynthia McKinney Drayton
Cynthia works with Ashoka Changemakers’ Project Management team helping lead global partnerships in support of social entrepreneurs throughout the world. Before coming to Ashoka, Cynthia founded and built a children’s and ladies’ clothing business, with product manufactured primarily in the Philippines. She worked with women in rural villages, helping them transfer their indigenous craft and handwork skills to create globally marketable products. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A in Political Science and French and received her M.A in Communications from New York University. A former competitive figure skater, she is a National Judge for US Figure Skating. Cynthia is currently based in Philadelphia. More >>
Claire directs Global Venture and Fellowship, Ashoka’s core program to identify and support leading social entrepreneurs. Claire initially joined Ashoka in 1998 as the Latin America program officer, evolving to take on new leadership roles as Brazil Venture Coordinator, interim Brazil Director and Youth Venture Brazil pilot leader. During her hiatus from Ashoka, Claire led a UNICEF initiative resulting in the first inter-agency programming guidelines for adolescent girls and served as Country Director for Mozambique of Oikos-Cooperation and Development between 2006-2009, launching innovative programs at the intersection of livelihoods (agriculture and fisheries), HIV prevention/mitigation and disaster risk reduction.
Kris Herbst is Director of Community for Ashoka's Changemakers, leading a team that mobilizes participation in scaling-up social innovation and manages content and communications channels using traditional and social media. Prior to that he was Creative Manager, supervising creation and distribution of content for Changemakers, and was a founding member of the Changemakers website team beginning in 1998. Prior to joining Ashoka in 1998, he developed websites for clients including National Press Club and Biotechnology Industry Organization. Journalism experience includes: Saturday Review magazine assistant editor; BioCentury newsletter contributing editor; freelance journalist and television news producer for clients including Nippon TV Network and NHK Television. He received a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. More >>
Kate Herrod, Change Leader, oversees the People Team-Talent group (Human Resources), guiding policy and practices that impact Ashoka's 300+ employees around the world. She also is responsible for oversight of Ashoka's Community Greens initiative. Through Ashoka's Community Greens, Kate helps various stakeholders catalyze the development of new urban commons, transforming underutilized spaces to community places. Kate is also creating the infrastructure necessary to support Ashoka's global integration and evolution toward Everyone a Changemaker World. Prior to Ashoka, Kate was with The Nature Conservancy and was a VP at money center banks where she financed large, commercial real estate projects. She has BA from Amherst College and a MBA from the Wharton School of Business.
Rebecca joined the Ashoka U team in 2013 and is managing the campus pipeline for the Changemaker Campus program. She also manages social media for Ashoka U and is bringing new creativity to telling stories of changemakers in higher education. Rebecca is a recent graduate of Changemaker Campus Brown University, where she received a BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics with a focus on the nonprofit sector. As an undergraduate student, she worked on several social enterprise startups. In 2009-2010 she helped run Rainwater for Humanity, a startup building rainwater harvesting structures in a village in rural India. She is also a co-founder of the Food Recovery Network, an award-winning student nonprofit fighting food waste on college campuses that has expanded to over 30 chapters nationally within its first two years.
As part of the transcription team, Danielle works in the Correspondence Office, ensuring timely and accurate transcription for Chairman and CEO Bill Drayton. Danielle joined Ashoka in September 2006 with years of transcription and administrative experience in various fields. Originally from the Orlando, Florida area, Danielle has lived in the Washington, DC, area for over 10 years. Her outside interests include vegan activism, learning American Sign Language, and the practice of yoga.
Marina leads Ashoka U, bringing together university partners from around the world to increase the quantity and quality of social entrepreneurship education. Having been at Ashoka for six years, Marina helped to found the University Network for Social Entrepreneurship, and more recently, Ashoka U. At Stanford University, Marina led both the Future Social Innovators' Network and the Social Entrepreneurs' Challenge, and co-founded the university's first minor in social innovation. Her involvement with Ashoka dates back nearly a decade, when she spearheaded Ashoka's first efforts to formalize outreach to universities. Marina has worked with the Nonprofit Enterprise Self-Sustainability Team (NESsT) and the Flora Family Foundation, and her work has been featured on Social Edge, in the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the New York Times.
Hanook manages the strategy and finances of the Global Venture and Fellowship program. Prior to coming to the U.S. for his MBA, Hanook grew up in Seoul and started out his career in finance as a fixed income trader at Deutsche Asset Management, going on to manage large mandated fixed income funds. After several years in finance, Hanook yearned to align his values with his work and decided to set out to fulfill new goals. He entered the not-for-profit sector working as a project officer at the Korean Sharing Movement, an NGO that provides humanitarian and development aid to North Korea, while spending his free time collaborating with a former colleague to set up the Korea branch of The Climate Project. Hanook chose to pursue an MBA at Columbia Business School to delve deeper into the intersection of business and development, specifically supporting entrepreneurs as a catalyst for social change. Before officially joining Ashoka, Hanook had briefly interned with the Global Venture & Fellowship team and then spent a few months at the World Bank working with mobile entrepreneurs from Africa and the Caribbean. In his free time, he enjoys freshwater lure fishing, biking and playing guitar. Hanook currently lives in Washington D.C. with his wife.
Min Ki Kim
Min-Ki is the Director of Strategy & Finance for the Global Venture and Fellowship Program. He entered the citizen sector in 2006 as General Manager at Goodwill Industries of Korea, where he established its head office in Seoul. Previously, he worked at NCsoft as a finance manager who managed a $350 million budget across seven countries. Prior to that, as an investment banker at Samsung Securities, he advised companies on their financial challenges including $3 billion bank M&A deal. Min-Ki obtained his MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and his BA in Business Administration from Yonsei University.
Before coming to Ashoka, Erin served as Program Director for Escuela Nueva International, a partner of Ashoka Fellow Vicky Colbert's Escuela Nueva located in over 14 countries in Latin America. Prior to Escuela Nueva, Erin evaluated program effectiveness for MobileMetrix, a community-based data collection company in Brazil, and as an Eben Tisdale Fellow, contributed to Hewlett Packard's Global Citizenship Program. Erin's passion for experiential education and performance management drives her role at Ashoka as a co-leader for the Changemaker Campus Initiative. Erin graduated from Stanford University with a BA in International Relations and an MA in International Educational Administration and Policy Analysis.
Maggie Lemere, Senior Communications Specialist—Framework Change, is passionate about storytelling: she compiled and edited a book of oral histories about Burma, composed refugees' stories in West Africa, and wrote a “people’s history” of successful U.S.-Cuban educational collaborations. Her book, Nowhere To Be Home: Narratives from Survivors of Burma’s Military Regime (McSweeney’s & Voice of Witness) gives an intimate look into the lives of 22 human rights abuse survivors from Burma, including migrant workers, journalists and youth activists. Maggie also previously worked as a trainer for Ashoka fellow Katie Redford’s organization, EarthRights International, based in Thailand. Maggie received her M.A. in International Peace & Conflict Resolution from American University.
Samara Lemke is the Executive Manager of the Ashoka Board of Directors and a key member of the Global Media and Communications team. She started her career working directly as Bill Drayton’s Executive Assistant and then transitioned to head of the Executive Office. She is currently focused on co-building the Framework Change Team whose goal is to ignite a worldwide changemaking movement. She holds a degree in Political Science from Carleton University in Ottawa and currently resides in Washington, DC where she enjoys cooking, painting, and learning dances from around the world.
Sachin is Director of Product for Ashoka’s Changemakers, leading the team that is designing and building it online platform. Before joining Ashoka, he co-founded Inclusive Planet, a venture working to enable online collaboration amongst the world’s visually impaired; and two education ventures in India: Law School Tutorials, the leading law test prep, and Rainmaker, the leading talent search and development firm for the legal industry and manager of India’s Bar examination. He is passionate about the history and culture of India, teaching, and working with design, technology, learning and young people. Sachin is an INK Fellow and graduate of the National Law School in Bangalore. More >>
Lauren Parnell Marino
Lauren is a Community Manager on the Changemakers Team. Prior to Ashoka, Lauren supported social entrepreneurs throughout Uganda, including as the Communications Director for Uganda Crafts 2000 Ltd., a fair trade business in Kampala. In the US, she has worked to make interfaith cooperation a social norm while at the Interfaith Youth Core, started by Ashoka Fellow Eboo Patel. Lauren has a MA in Gender, Globalization, and Rights from the National University of Ireland, Galway, where she was a George J. Mitchell Scholar, and a B.S. in Social Policy from Northwestern University. She enjoys photography and baking and lives in Washington, DC.
Jonathan was hired as the first in-house legal counsel for Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. Jonathan oversees all of Ashoka’s in-house legal matters for its global headquarters located in the Washington, D.C. metro area and works closely with its numerous country offices. He also manages Ashoka’s global pro bono legal relationships with small and large firms. Jonathan is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center where he co-teaches a new course called Social Entrepreneurship & The Law that focuses on the new legal forms for social enterprises and provides an overview of impact investing. Prior to joining Ashoka, Jonathan was at White & Case LLP in its New York office practicing project finance for several years.
Stephen is the Web Developer/Administrator for Ashoka's Integrated Technology Initiative. He is responsible for building and maintaining Ashoka's multi-site web architecture using the Drupal content management system. Stephen also trains and guides Ashoka's distributed network of content managers and aggregators to drive the organization's mission through the strategic use of technology. Stephen has been working for social change for nearly two decades and realizes the important role technology plays in helping advance the goals of citizen sector organizations. He also has a passion for travel, music, DJing and the outdoors.
Laxmi Parthasarathy is a Change Manager and Global Media Manager for Ashoka’s Framework Change and Global Communications team. Prior to joining Ashoka, she worked in Manzini, Swaziland as a Communications Officer for a gender based violence prevention NGO where she developed and executed a national media campaign and led media trainings to build local capacity. She is also an Executive Board Member of Canadian Crossroads International and was selected as Canada’s Top 20 Under 20. Her own community organization and newspaper, was Ashoka Canada’s first Youth Venture. She has worked on media, communications, and development projects in Canada, Swaziland, India, Rwanda, Mexico and the UK. Laxmi received an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Linda is the founding entrepreneur of the Ashoka Caribbean Chapter. She joined Ashoka in 2007, and before launching the Caribbean Chapter, she worked for more than five years on high-impact collaborations in Mexico, Brazil, and DC, contributing to a world where business and citizen sector organizations leverage their complementary assets to generate social and economic value at large scale. Linda has an MPA in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School, speaks 6 languages, and is a Goldman Sachs Global Leader. In her spare time, Linda loves to speak and write about topics at the intersection of behavioral economics, entrepreneurship, and changemaking skills.
Maria Clara Pinheiro
Since 2003, Maria Clara has worked extensively to select, support and promote collaborations between leading social entrepreneurs in different parts of the world. After launching Ashoka’s Senior Fellows program in 2008, she moved to India to set up the first hub for Ashoka in Bangalore and to build the new leadership team in Asia. Back in Washington DC, she co-created the Wellbeing Project in 2013 and now leads Ashoka’s efforts in building a culture of wellbeing for changemakers globally. Maria Clara is a meditator at Isha Foundation, and is passionate about Yoga and Ayurveda. She graduated from Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil.
Sudeep Poudel is Ashoka Changemakers Finance Manager. He joined Ashoka's Finance team in April 2007 after completing an MBA at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, and was Ashoka Youth Venture Director of Finance for three years. A Nepal native, he has an MBA in Finance from Kathmandu University. He worked in commercial banking as a branch manager for Nepal Bangladesh Bank Ltd., and helped manage a bank $36 million Power Development Fund for Nepali micro-hydropower projects, with World Bank backing. He also worked with the World Bank's Private Sector Enterprise Study group, and helped run a community loan fund in Kathmandu. More >>
Reem Rahman is Ashoka Changemakers Product and Knowledge Manager. She is passionate about creating open-source tools for learning and designs products to increase collaboration, impact, and sustainability. Prior to joining Ashoka, Reem was one of the Managing Directors for the innovative Rethinking Islamic Reform forum in the UK, which has reached more than 100,000 viewers to date, and she directed communications and public relations for a civil rights group in Chicago. Reem graduated with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s in Cognitive Neuroscience and received a Master’s in Management Research from the University of Oxford, focusing on strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship. More >>
Tim is a Project Manager with Ashoka's Changemakers Program. Prior to arriving in Arlington, he served as Innovation Manager for International Bridges to Justice, where he conceptualized and managed collaborative competitions specific to the human rights sector. From 2001 to 2005, he served as Communications Manager for GlobalGiving, where he helped launch, publicize, and populate an online marketplace for international philanthropy. He has BAs in English Literature and Political Science from Bucknell University and an MBA from Duke University, where he was a Center for Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) Social Sector Scholar.
Dan joined Ashoka in 2013 and currently serves as a global project manager for the Ashoka Support Network. He previously worked as a business journalist, writing about consumer health product trends and regulatory issues for Elsevier. In May 2013, Dan earned an MBA with a concentration in sustainability management from American University. Dan has held leadership roles in both student and professional chapters of Net Impact, helping to bring together members of Washington, D.C.’s sustainable business community.
While studying Plant Biology at UC Berkeley, Gorav researched biological hydrogen production while nurturing an interest in agroecology and sustainable development. This drew him to a diverse array of projects in the USA, Honduras, India, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean. In 2004, with an MBA in International Business from the George Washington University, his work began shifting towards the nexus of technology and development. Now Ashoka’s Salesforce Platform Manager, Gorav is also an expedition sea kayaker who has kayaked the 1,000 miles of Baja California and circumnavigated the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. He now has a 2 year old daughter, who he hopes will soon be ready for some trips on the water!
Vipin is currently working with the Global office in Washington DC. Before moving to DC, he was heading the Youth Venture program in India for the last 5 years. With their work in both the urban and rural communities, Vipin and his team built an 'eco-system' of support for young entrepreneurs. Vipin has been instrumental in engaging with a variety of stakeholders ranging from schools and universities to business entrepreneurs to provide young people the resources they need to become effective citizens. Before joining Ashoka, he co-founded Tulir - Center for the Prevention & Healing of Child Sexual Abuse in Chennai, an organization which works on the prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA).