Shadhika Shadhika

Our Team

A passionate team dedicated to expanding gender equality in India and around the world

Kim Burnett, President and CEO

Kim has worked in the non-profit sector for over two decades, most recently as a private consultant advising national foundations on grant strategy and as a non-resident fellow with The Brookings Institution. She has served as a Program Director for the Surdna Foundation, where she oversaw a $7 million annual grant portfolio, and as the Executive Director for The Community Development Partnership Network. The daughter-in-law of Shadhika’s founders, the opportunity to lead Shadhika brings together her array of professional skills to advance a cause she is passionate about – girls’ rights and gender equality.

Gillian Ford, Marketing Manager

With a degree in Social Entrepreneurship and Fine Art, Gillian began her career as a freelance graphic designer. She brings a combined 9 years of marketing, branding, and design experience to Shadhika's team. Gillian has worked with both small businesses and nonprofits. She is a passionate communicator and storyteller, focusing on elevating socially conscious brands with causes such as housing access, mental health access, LGBTQ rights, and women's rights.

Kendra Nicolai, Program Officer

With a MA in International Development, Kendra is a youth advocate and experienced youth programmer. She has eight years’ experience working in the nonprofit sector with a focus on youth development programs, including developing girl empowerment programs at an all-girls school in Kenya.

Upasana Saha, Program Officer

Upasana holds an MA in Human Rights and a BA in Political Science from Presidency College, Calcutta University. She is an enthusiastic social development practitioner and a striving feminist with 5+ years of professional experience in planning, scaling, leading, and strengthening programs on gender equality and women rights with adolescent groups and women. Prior to Shadhika, Upasana worked with non profit organizations such as Raleigh International (Karnataka), Child in Need Institute ( Jharkhand), CREA (Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh), and Equal Community Foundation (Maharashtra).

Krupa Palan, Development Manager

With a Masters Degree in Public Health, Krupa has been working in the development sector for the past 5 years. She was working as a Fundraising & Communication Consultant with one of Shadhika's partner NGO's in India and after moving to Canada, joined Shadhika's team. Krupa enjoys fundraising and is very passionate about gender equality. She is a feminist at heart and wants to work on empowering girls and women. She is interested in research and wants to pursue a PhD in future. Krupa is a trained dancer and pursues choreography as her passion and hobby.

Sabah Siddiqui, Donor & Program Associate

Sabah has been a student of Vacha, Shadhika's grantee partner in Mumbai, for over 11 years. With a Bachelor's of Accounting & Finance from Mumbai University and an extensive experience in social work through her participation at Vacha, Sabah brings both practical and experiential expertise to her work at Shadhika. In her academic career she was a Joint Secretary of the Raotaract Club and the Head of the Women Development Cell's Department in her college. She loves to write poems, articles & "Gazal" in Hindi, Urdu and English. She wants to make changes in her community related to discrimination and girl's education. Her favorite lines from one of her poems is: "She is a Dreamer... She has uncounted dreams".

Vaideshwari M., Marketing Associate

Vaishu has been a part of Baale Mane, Shadhika’s grantee partner in Bangalore, for 15 years. With a degree in Journalism, Vaishu brings experiential expertise to her role with Shadhika. Her life goal is to work towards women’s empowerment and to help others to get educated and advocate for equal rights.

Aanchal Mistry, Making HERstory Fellow

Born in Bihar, India, Aanchal moved to Mumbai at five-years-old and remains there today. She is in her last year of college studying banking and insurance. She has been a member of Vacha, one of Shadhika’s grantee sites, for the past 10 years and her goal is to work with them to try to resolve social issues in her community related to girls mobility, safety, and education.

Julia Sonnenfeld, Event Outreach Fellow

With an undergraduate degree in International Studies from the University of Denver, Julia is now preparing to pursue an MA in International Administration. Julia found an interest in the non-profit sector through her time working at the African Refugee Development Center in Israel where she specialized in higher education accessibility.


Susan Herzig, Board Member, Immediate Past Chair

Susan is a professional art dealer and the co-owner of Paul M. Hertzmann Inc., dealers in fine photographs.  In her previous profession as an occupational therapist, she developed a passion for education.  Her work with Shadhika combines her commitment to education and her interest in India, where she has often traveled.

Diane Sigel, Board Chair

For 30+ years, Diane served as CEO for the family business, Duffle Bag, Inc., and knows the challenges of a woman working in a man’s world and has succeeded in establishing herself as a leader in a male-dominated field. Diane is dedicated to sharing her skills and her knowledge as a mentor, advisor, and sounding board for local, regional and national nonprofits from Hadassah to arts organizations and academic councils.

Anondo Stangl, Secretary

The son of Shadhika’s founders, Anondo is currently an Interventional Radiologist for Kaiser Permanente of Colorado. He is committed to carrying on the work of Shadhika, started by his mother and father.

Janet Gray, Board Member

Janet is a partner with Jeppesen Gray Sakai P.S., a law firm that specializes in the areas of estate planning, probate, tax and planned charitable gifting. Janet became involved in Shadhika when her family volunteered in Kolkata with one of Shadhika’s grantees, New Light. Through Shadhika, Janet can support the education of girls and young women, so that each can break the cycle of poverty and seek options other than forced child marriages, prostitution and child labor.

Nandita Geerdink, Board Member

Nandita co-founded Resolution Communications, a marketing and communications firm specializing in clean tech, green building and other sustainable services and socially responsible industries. Nandita graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison with degrees in Biology and Philosophy. Nandita lives in Madison where she enjoys four seasons with her husband and two kids.

Lisa Acree, Board Member

Lisa has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 25 years, primarily in the areas of community and economic development, and corporate responsibility, most recently as the chief operating officer at Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), where she focused on leadership and organizational development.  A world traveler, she served in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa, for three years, and has lived and worked in Japan and Mexico.

Melody Jones, Board Member

Melody is a global financial and strategy professional with 18-years of experience advising executives and Boards on acquisitions, sales, capital raises and strategic initiatives. Clients include venture backed start-ups and private and public companies. She holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania and a BS from UC San Diego. Melody came on the 2018 Shadhika donor trip which gave her an understanding of how big a difference relatively small amounts of money invested in the right programs and the right leaders can make on the lives of women across India.

Signe Kurian, Board Member

Signe has a blend of experience in marketing, public policy and technology. Her last corporate role was a product manager for Akamai Technologies. Since then, she has done strategy and marketing consulting for technology, non-profit and impact investing. She holds and MBA from Georgetown University. She has a passion for education, woman empowerment, and India. Shadhika brings together these passions and connects her family with India.

Board members