Shadhika Shadhika


The Board of Directors is pleased to announce My Lo Cook will be Shadhika's Executive Director. 

Announcing Next Executive Director

May 5, 2020

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Dear Friends,

In June of last year Kim Burnett, Shadhika’s long time President and CEO, announced to the Board of Directors she would be stepping down this spring. This news was relayed to the Shadhika community in the January 2020 newsletter.  While the board was saddened by this news, we immediately formed a Transition Committee and got to work. The first step was to develop a set of priorities and values for the position, with the goal of guiding Shadhika into the future while maintaining the strong organization, programs and community in the US and India, built so lovingly by Kim and her team. The entire board, staff and some stakeholders were involved with this process. Once these priorities and values were delineated, the position was posted on several websites focusing on international gender-based issues. Over 60 resumes from  around the world were received. The Committee had initial interviews with 11 candidates and narrowed the field to four finalists. 

It is with great pleasure to share that we have found a wonderful new leader who embodies Shadhika’s priorities and values. My Lo Cook will begin her tenure on May 11. My (pronounced Mē) has spent the past 1½ years with Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network as the Director of Development. She previously spent several years with the Polaris Project, working to combat and prevent modern day slavery and human trafficking in Mexico and Southeast Asia. Her experience with these and other organizations have given My a deep background in managing and administering international grants. Having been brought up in France as a refugee and travelled extensively in Southeast Asia and Mexico as part of her job responsibilities, My has a unique outlook and understanding of women’s rights issues and the importance of educating girls. 

It has been difficult to complete this letter because it makes Kim’s impending departure real, not just a date in the future. How can we express our gratitude for 7½ years of selfless dedication? Kim has poured her heart and soul into building Shadhika into the organization it is today, making countless personal sacrifices along the way. Beginning in 2013, Kim brought Shadhika from a small, family run organization funding a single project with no staff support to what it is today. To date, we partner with 7 women-led Indian NGO’s, have awarded more than $1.4 million in grants and have supported over 6,000 young women through programs to provide girls’ rights and leadership training. These are just a few of the many accomplishments led by Kim and her wonderful staff. None of this would have been possible without Kim’s vision and passion.     

As the current Board Chair and Chair of the Transition Committee, I am excited to be a part of this next chapter in Shadhika’s history, or should I say herstory.  The board wishes Kim all the best in her next chapter and a warm welcome to My.


Diane Sigel
Chair, Shadhika Board of Directors 

Meet My Lo Cook

My Lo Cook brings over fifteen years of experience working around the world with diverse stakeholders across disciplines and sectors, with institutions like The Center for Victims of Torture, Human Rights Watch, and Polaris to address the world’s most pressing and complex issues, ranging from torture rehabilitation to refugee protection and human trafficking. She emphasizes grassroots leadership development and systems thinking to design capacity building programs and human systems that lifts up indigenous innovation, leverages existing government infrastructure, and engages the private sector.

She has extensive experience building coalitions to catalyze social movement and to create systemic change, including cultivating like-minded funders to support long-term strategies and objectives. She currently lives in CO and enjoys the outdoors with her young family.

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