Sumita Bose (Chair)
Sumita is a software engineer with 15 years of experience working in computer networking. She has a Masters Degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Toledo and a Bachelors degree from Birla Institute of Technology, India. She is passionate about issues related to domestic abuse and empowering and helping those in crisis.
Rekha Parikh (Vice Chair)
Rekha Parikh helps in running an Orthopaedic practice for her husband. She is the chair of the Fundraising committee and joined the Kiran Board in June 2014 and brings years of experience in coordinating the Hindu Society of North Carolina health Fair and other community events. She has worked over 250 hours on the Kiran hotline and helped many Kiran clients with different services. She volunteers for many of the Kiran events and is also a well established member of the community.
Vandana Shah is the Co- founder of Kiran. She is currently the Director for South-East Asia for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and heads up their policy change efforts in India, Indonesia and Bangladesh. She was formerly the Executive Director of the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF). Vandana has law degrees from Duke University and Calcutta University, India and is entered into practice in North Carolina and India. She has a passion for working on women's rights as well as issues related to the right to life and health.
Kailas Thakker has served for the past 13 years as the President of Analytical Solutions Inc. (ASI), a contract services organization, which she founded in 1994. Under her direction, ASI offers CMC related services with emphasis on dissolution and drug release testing. Prior to that, Kailas served as the associate Director of analytical chemistry at Sphinx Pharmaceuticals. Kailas worked at U.S. Pharmacopiea for 12 years in the Drug Research and Testing Laboratory where she was involved in many monograph revision of dissolution methods. Kailas received her Ph.D. degree from University of Kansas and M.S. from Columbia University.
Ritu Kaur is committed and has worked on Gender Based/Human rights issues since the 1990’s. She is the program consultant at Direct Action for Women Now (DAWN) Worldwide and works with programming and monitoring programs in India. She has a “Master’s Degree” in “Social Work” from “Tata Institute of Social Sciences” and a “Post Graduate Diploma” in “Development Policy” from the “University of Antwerp”. She was the “Executive Director” for Kiran Inc for about 2 years and now does consultancy work. She was instrumental in Kiran Inc getting its first grant in 2008 and helped revitalizing and developing its new mission and programming. Ritu has been on the Kiran Board for 8 years. Ritu started her career in the US with InterAct (mainstream Domestic Violence Advocacy agency) in 2002 and was in a leadership role. She left InterAct in 2013 to focus on bringing more visibility to Kiran, Inc. She has lived, studied and worked in India, Australia and Belgium.
Dr. Benu Chatterjee
Dr. Benu Chatterjee has been a solo internist in Raleigh for over 30 years. She was nominated as one of the youngest fellows of American College of Physicians and has contributed numerous volunteer hours for the indigent in the triangle area. She is on the board of Kiran and You call it Yoga (a Yoga program for the disabled) and has fundraised for HSNC, CRY and RKMission. She is deeply involved in an NGO in India for the Adivasis where she pioneered a cancer unit. She has been a cultural ambassador for India in this area having organized Indian Classical Arts events in both Indian and American venues. She has been married for 35 years and has inspired her two children as well as many others in the next generation, to follow her footsteps in Medicine and serve humanity.
Rashmi Shah is an attorney that specializes in immigration and nationality law. She earned her bachelor and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Rashmi works with a boutique law firm in Raleigh and is recognized as one of the Top 40 under 40 practicing immigration by national law advocates. She is passionate about advocating for women's rights. She regularly works with survivors of domestic abuse and assists them with navigating the immigration process.
Sangeetha joined Kiran in the fall of 2014 and previously held the position of Senior Program Director. During her tenure at Kiran, Sangeetha conceptualized and led the first ever Kiran Walkathon. She also executed many other key first time events such as the Kiran Teen Empowerment Workshop, Client Story Telling Workshops, and outreach in the Montegnard community in Greensboro. She has been a guest speaker at many mainstream outreach events such as the Innovations Conference at UNC Greensboro, the Council For Women annual conference in Concord, NC, the Wake County Domestic Violence task force meeting, the NCCASA spring meeting, and at the Cisco Health Center.
Sangeetha is also currently an Advisory Board member of the "Courts Applying Solutions to End Intimate Partner Violence (CASE IPV) Study," which is currently being conducted at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.
As an immigrant herself, Sangeetha is deeply passionate about helping victims of domestic violence in the South Asian community. As Executive Director of Kiran, she looks forward to extensively leverage her passion for Kiran's services and mission.
Sangeetha Menon (Executive Director)
Raj first began working with Kiran in the summer of 2016 as a graduate intern. A recent graduate of UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Raj has always been deeply passionate about gender equality and violence against women, particularly in South Asian contexts. Having lived in North Carolina for much of her life, she understands how essential Kiran is to South Asians in NC and is excited to contribute to Kiran's mission and vision.
Rajneet Desai, MPH (Program Manager)
Seema joined the Kiran team in July 2017. Seema earned her BA & BS in microbiology and psychology from the University of Maryland and went on to receive her Masters in Social Work with an emphasis on child welfare from the University of San Jose, CA. She then worked at Abode Services in California as a Services Coordinator for homeless individuals and families in the Silicon Valley area. As a social worker, Seema believes in the strengths-based perspective and assists clients in identifying and enhancing their own strengths with the help of available resources. Throughout her career, she has provided comprehensive case management and advocacy services for women in areas of drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, family counseling, employment and child reunification; in addition to being actively involved with the Wake County PTA and various other advisory and implementation committees.
Having grown up in this country, Seema has been aware of the minimal support available for women of the South Asian community, especially in the area of domestic violence. She is looking forward to being a part of Kiran and making a difference.
SEEMA KAK, MSW (cASE mANAGER)