Board Members:


Rekha Parikh (Chair)

Rekha Parikh is a member of the North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission. She has been actively involved in serving men and women in the South Asian community for the past 15 years. She served as a hotline crisis counselor for Interact and Kiran. She moved on to become an Advisory Committee Member and the chair of Fundraising. She brings years of experience in coordinating the Hindu Society of North Carolina Health Fair and other community events. Rekha currently serves as the Chair of the Kiran Executive Board and plays a vital role in raising funds for Kiran’s client services fund. She manages her husband's orthopedic practice and continues to have a passion for women’s issues by supporting many charities.

Sumita Bose (Treasurer)

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 Bachelor's degree from Birla Institute of Technology, India. She served as the Chair of the Kiran Executive Board and is currently the Treasurer. She is passionate about issues related to domestic abuse and empowering and helping those in crisis.

Ritu Kaur

Ritu Kaur is a program consultant at Direct Action for Women Now (DAWN) Worldwide and works with programming and monitoring programs in India. She earned 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. Ritu started her career in the US with InterAct in 2002 and was in a leadership role. She was instrumental in Kiran getting its first grant in 2008 and helped revitalizing and developing its new mission. She was the Executive Director for Kiran for 2 years and currently, serves as a Board Member. Ritu continues to work on gender based issues and is passionate about human rights initatives.

Surabhi Gawande

Surabhi is an attorney with several years of experience as a corporate transactional attorney and works with Bagchi Law, PLLC, a boutique corporate advisory law firm in Chapel Hill. Surabhi is admitted to practice as an attorney in the State Bar of New York and in India. She received her law degree in India and Master of Laws degree in Business Law and Policy from University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining Bagchi Law, Surabhi worked as the Executive Director of Kiran, Inc. She has been a hotline volunteer for Kiran since 2014 and continues to participate in outreach events. She also has past work experience with nonprofit organizations in India working on family court matters and child rights. Surabhi currently serves as Board Member for the Kiran Executive Board. She is passionate about advocating for women’s rights and continues to volunteer with a local domestic violence prevention agency.

Renu Jain

Renu Jain has a Ph.D in biochemistry and has been working as a clinical researcher in the pharmaceutical industry for over 17 years.  Her passion to help others is reflective in her work and volunteer efforts in the community. At work she has contributed to the development of new medicines for children living with HIV, children with hemophilia and also for patients with many other rare and hard to treat disease states.  She is known for her excellent management skills, clarity of thought and ability to efficiently lead teams to achieve their goals. Additionally, at work she has been a volunteer in the GSK Science in Schools program and the Women in Science program where she is a mentor to undergraduate women in North Carolina colleges where these women may have little advisory support but are ambitious to pursue a career in STEM.  Outside of work, within her local community Renu has been part of the National Charity League since 2005, where she has been volunteering with over 20 local non-profit organizations supporting these charities in numerous ways.  To name a few of the organizations she has continued to support include Habitat for Humanity, Reed and Feed, Ronald McDonald House, Dress for Success, Adopt a Pet and Guardian Ad Litem. Her ongoing focus throughout her life has been on empowering women and enriching educational opportunities for children in all of these efforts. 

Vandhana Shah

(Emeritus Member)

Vandana Shah is 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 received her law degrees from Duke University and Calcutta University in India. Vandana is admitted to practice as an attorney in North Carolina and India. She was formerly the Executive Director of the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF). Vandana is the Co-founder of Kiran and currently serves as an Emeritus Board Member for the Kiran Executive Board. 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. Kailas received her Ph.D. degree from University of Kansas and M.S. from Columbia University. 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. She 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 served as the Treasurer for the Kiran Executive Board and currently is as an Emeritus Board Member.

Kailas Thakker

(Emeritus Member)

Kiran Staff:

Sangeetha Menon joined Kiran in the fall of 2014. As an immigrant herself, Sangeetha is deeply passionate about providing culturally specific services to  victims of domestic violence in the South Asian community in North Carolina. Sangeetha earned her BA in Economics( Honors) from Delhi University (India) and her Masters in Marketing Management from the Times School of Marketing ( India). During her tenure at Kiran, Sangeetha conceptualized and led the first ever Kiran Walkathon to raise awareness about Kiran's mission. 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,  Council For Women annual conference in Concord, NC, Wake County Domestic Violence task force meeting, NCCASA spring meeting, Cisco Health Center and the NC Domestic Violence Commission Board meeting. Sangeetha is currently an Advisory Board member of the "Courts Applying Solutions to End Intimate Partner Violence (CASE IPV) Study," which is being conducted at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Sangeetha also sits on the VAWA( Violence Against Women Act) and VOCA ( Victims of Crime Act) implementation planning team conducted by GCC ( Governor's Crime Commission). Sangeetha is a strong proponent of the empowerment model which is grounded in the belief that victims of domestic violence should have access to information, education, and other necessary social and economic support to make informed decisions that best reflect their interests and needs. 

Sangeetha Menon

(Executive Director)

Keerat joined the Kiran team in September 2017. She earned her BA & BS in Criminal Justice and Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. As a student, she interned with the Department of Justice Community Relations Service, the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission, Sikh American Legal Defense Education Fund, and Dasvandh Network. She has also volunteered for many nonprofit organizations, interfaith communities, and social justice advocacy groups such as the Sikh Coalition. 

Keerat is very passionate about human rights and strongly believes in being an advocate for individuals in the South Asian community. She hopes to advance social awareness about domestic violence, and seeks to empower victims and minority groups in the United States and globally. She is looking forward to being a part of Kiran and creating a positive impact.

Keerat kaur

(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.  


(client Services mANAGER)

Shagufta joined the Kiran team in December 2017. She earned her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Duke University in 2015 and completed her undergraduate degrees in 2013 at UNC Charlotte.  In 2013, she completed her undergraduate studies by earning a BS in Business Administration--International Business and a BA in Criminal Justice.  Shagufta has been passionate about women's empowerment, technology and education since 2014. From 2016-2017, she continued her passion for the community by serving as an AmeriCorps member and focusing on literacy education. 

At Kiran, Shagufta is looking forward to continuing her research and getting to know her co-workers.  

Shagufta Hakeem



Teena Palathanam

(client services Coordinator)

Teena joined the Kiran team in December 2018. She earned her Master of Public Health from Wayne State University at Detroit and a Bachelors in Dental surgery from India. She interned at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit at the Institute of Multicultural Health. Her experience includes working on capacity building projects with faith-based congregations and working in partnership with different public health partners from the health system as well as the community. Teena volunteered as a Medical Reserve Corp at the Macomb County Health Department in Detroit. She has worked as a dentist at a mission hospital in India and also conducted community outreach efforts in rural areas. She has worked with  diverse groups of communities and believes in empowering women to be self-sufficient.

At Kiran, Teena is looking forward to providing support and liaison services to survivors of domestic violence and promoting advocacy efforts with partner agencies.   

Advisory Committee:

  • Rekha Parikh

  • Parul Parekh

  • Shakthi Sundaram

  • Sangeetha Menon

  • Nandita Garg

  • JayRaj Desai

  • Harmeet Kaur

  • Sushama Pradhan