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Leading with vision and commitment

During a business trip to India in 1998, entrepreneur and philanthropist Vijay Goradia was persuaded to go to the Mumbai slums to see Pratham's Balwadi (preschool) program. Having witnessed the impact Pratham was making on the lives of the underprivileged, he committed financial support and also founded Pratham USA to raise awareness and funds for the work in India. Today, the organization is led by exceptional board and staff, comprising passionate individuals committed to ensuring every child is in school and learning well.

Our leaders are available for comment on Pratham’s programs and global impact. Please contact us at

Vijay Goradia, Pratham USA Founder and Chairman Emeritus

Vijay Goradia established Pratham USA in Houston in 1999 after an inspirational visit to one of Pratham’s urban literacy programs in Mumbai. He immigrated to America with a vision of developing an international chemical trading... See Profile


A former faculty member at Mumbai University. A social worker and educationist. An economist. An activist. These are Pratham’s visionaries who have been with the organization from the beginning and have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of India's children.

Dr. Rukmini Banerji, Pratham CEO

Trained as an economist in India, Dr. Rukmini Banerji completed her BA at St. Stephen’s College and attended the Delhi School of Economics. She was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and earned her PhD... See Profile

Farida Lambay, Pratham Co-Founder

With 25 years of experience as an education and social activist, Farida Lambay co-founded Pratham in 1995 with Dr. Madhav Chavan. She heads the Pratham Council for Vulnerable Children and is also responsible for Pratham’s... See Profile

Dr. Madhav Chavan, Pratham Co-Founder and President

After obtaining a PhD in chemistry from Ohio State University and serving on the faculty at the University of Houston, Dr. Madhav Chavan returned to India where he worked in the slums of Mumbai as... See Profile

Pratham USA - Board of Directors

Our board members hail from the upper echelons of a diverse range of industries and sectors within the United States. Their guidance and strategic decision-making—as well as their financial commitment—inspire us and help steer Pratham toward our goals.

Viral Acharya

Viral V. Acharya is the CV Starr Professor of Economics in the Department of Finance at New York University Stern School of Business. Before joining NYU Stern, he was professor of finance and academic director... See Profile

Avinash Ahuja

Avinash C. Ahuja is president of Magnum Producing, LP, an oil and gas exploration and production company based in Texas. Prior to founding the company in 1987, Avinash held key management positions in two oil... See Profile

Sudesh Arora

Sudesh Arora is president and chief executive officer of NATEL Engineering Company, Inc., a privately held aerospace and defense electronics design, development and manufacturing company. He founded NATEL in 1975, and his leadership led the... See Profile

Navneet Chugh

Navneet Chugh is a managing partner and founder of The Chugh, LLC and has over 30 years of experience as an attorney and a certified public accountant. A founding donor of 1947 Partition Archives and... See Profile

Dinyar (Dinny) Devitre

Dinyar (Dinny) Devitre is an international business executive who has over 40 years of leadership experience in the global consumer products and financial services industries, including positions as senior vice president and CFO of Altria... See Profile

Hemant Goradia

Hemant Goradia is president and CEO of Vinmar International Ltd., a global marketing, distribution and project development company, which markets petrochemicals in over 100 countries. Vinmar participates in the development of Greenfield Manufacturing projects by... See Profile

Dr. Marie Goradia

Dr. Marie Goradia is a past president of Pratham USA’s Houston chapter where she has been on the board since 2010. She is the co-founder and mentor of Pratham Houston Young Professionals. Marie received a Master’s degree... See Profile

Suren Gupta

Suren Gupta is executive vice president of technology and strategic ventures and a member of the senior leadership team for Allstate Insurance Company, the second-largest personal lines insurer in the United States. Focusing on innovation... See Profile

Swatantra Jain

Swatantra Jain has over 30 years of experience in international trade and is a business partner with Vinmar International, a highly successful global plastics and petrochemicals company. Currently serving as Pratham USA’s chief financial officer, Swatantra... See Profile

Jaideep Khanna

Jaideep Khanna is managing partner and co-founder of Artha Capital Management, an emerging market fund based in Stamford, CT. He co-founded the firm in April 2002 and served as president, portfolio manager and director. Prior... See Profile

Victor Khosla

Victor Khosla has a 28-year track record in distressed and private equity investments. He is Founder, CIO and Senior Managing Director of Strategic Value Partners, a $6.2 billion global alternative investment firm. After getting his start... See Profile

Sunil Kumar

Sunil Kumar is managing principal of Wembly Enterprises and senior advisor to Reliance Industries Limited. A successful businessman and engineer, Sunil has served as CEO, president and board member of International Specialty Product, as well... See Profile

Ila Paliwal

Ila Paliwal is a classically trained vocalist, composer, producer and philanthropist. Her father, the late Dr. Padma Singh Sharma Kamlesh, was a nationally renowned poet and Hindi and Gujarati scholar. Her mother, Dr. Sushila Sharma... See Profile

Paul Pandian

Paul Pandian is founder and president of Transglobal Technologies, Inc., a holding company with investments in telecom, media, oil and natural gas. He also serves as an advisor to Tech Mahindra, a software services company... See Profile

Deepak Raj

Deepak Raj is the founder and managing director of the New Jersey-based private investment firm Raj Associates with investments in real estate and public and private securities. He has extensive experience in the investment business. Deepak’s... See Profile

Jai Vardhan Saboo

An entrepreneur and an active angel investor, Jai V. Saboo is the chief operating officer for Harmonia Holdings Group, LLC, a leading provider of information technology solutions to federal agencies which he co-founded with his... See Profile

Arvind Sanger

Arvind Sanger is the founder and managing partner of Geosphere Capital Management, a global long-short equity hedge fund focused on natural resources and industrial companies worldwide. A former portfolio manager at SAC Capital where he managed... See Profile

Adarsh Sarma

Adarsh Sarma is a partner at the New York firm Warburg Pincus, where he focuses on education, financial technology and business services investments. Previously, he was a principal at ChrysCapital and vice president of strategic... See Profile

Rajesh (Raj) Shah

Rajesh (Raj) Shah is a president at MS International, Inc. and a former vice president in the investment banking division of Lehman Brothers, where he focused on the needs of financial sponsor/private equity funds (mergers,... See Profile

Dhiren Shethia

Dhiren Shethia is a managing director at Accenture, where he serves as a thought leader and strategic advisor to Fortune 500 companies. Prior to Accenture, he was managing partner and co-founder of Enaxis Consulting, later... See Profile

Gagan Singh

Gagan Singh is the chief investment officer of PNC Financial Services Group, where he also directs the activities of the economics group as well as mortgage servicing acquisition and hedging. In addition, Gagan serves as... See Profile

Manoj Singh

Manoj Singh spent 36 years in senior leadership positions with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., including head of Deloitte Consulting in the Americas, CEO of the Asia Pacific region and chief operating officer. He has advised... See Profile

Pradeep Singh

A technology veteran and serial entrepreneur, Pradeep Singh is the founder and executive chairman of Aditi Consulting. He also serves as co-chairman of Vidyanext, an educational solutions company he founded in 2009. He was previously... See Profile

Riaz Valani

Riaz Valani is general partner at Global Asset Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm. He previously served as chairman of Viventures Partners SA, president of IMDI/Sonique, and a member of Gruntal & Co.’s... See Profile

Fareed Zakaria

Dr. Fareed Zakaria is the host of CNN’s flagship international affairs program “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” contributing editor for The Atlantic, a columnist for The Washington Post and a New York Times bestselling author. He has been... See Profile

Executive Leadership

Deepak Raj, Chairman
Pradeep Singh, Vice Chairman
Swatantra Jain, Chief Financial Officer
Bala Venkatachalam, Executive Director

National Executive Committee

Sanjay Shah, Atlanta
Ashish Gupta and Vandana Kumar, Austin
Pratima Abichandani, Boston
Srinivas Reddy, Chicago
Dr. Nick Shroff, Dallas-Fort Worth
Dhiren Shethia, Houston
Ashesh Kamdar, Los Angeles


Rahul Mahajan, New York Tri-State
Dr. Sheena Banerjee, Phoenix
Sunil Shenoy, Portland CW
Rajeev Thalla, Raleigh-RTP
Riaz Valani, SF Bay Area
Darshana Shanbhag, Seattle
Madhu Chawla, Washington, DC
Yogi Patel, Past President