About – The Desai Foundation

Our Mission

We empower women and children through community programs to elevate health and livelihood in India & U.S.

Our Story

The Desai Foundation was born in 1997 as a family foundation started by Samir A. Desai and Nilima Desai. The Foundation had one simple goal: to serve the communities that had served them. Samir, a technology entrepreneur, focused the organization’s efforts in Metro-Boston, MA, Morningside Heights & Harlem, NY and south Gujarat, India. The support went to organizations focused on health, education and Indian culture.

After ten years of successful partnerships, the Desai Foundation found itself getting more and more involved in its partner organizations. It was helping to develop programs, expand regions, and launch successful pilot programs. In order to keep up with the pace of its growing organization, the Desai Foundation became a public foundation, and refocused its mission.

The Desai Foundation is now a robust public and programmatic organization working to empower women and children through health and livelihood in India and the U.S. The Foundation believes that empowering local community members to run projects leads to the best results. And that restoring dignity is at the center of helping people to dream beyond their circumstances.

Annual Reports

Annual Reports

The comprehensive document lays out our work, impact, objectives, approach, and goals in 2019 & moving forward.

We hope you take a few moments to learn about our programs in India & the U.S.

Supporting the following
un sustainable development goals.

regions where we work regions where we work regions where we work regions where we work regions where we work

Supporting the following
Indian government social intiatives.

Our Focus


Empowering women has the power to not only change the economic circumstances of individual families, but entire villages.


Educating and providing children with the building blocks to future advancement allows families to transcend their circumstances.


Alleviating health issues that prevent women from working and children from attending school enables the community to thrive and focus their attention elsewhere.


Providing vocational training and the ability to increase household income leads to immediate quality of life improvements.


Our Approach

Our work in both India and the U.S. stresses inclusivity, sustainability, and accountability. We work under a community-based approach to ensure a strong and positive impact.


We work in communities we know well- and have been a presence there for a long time. We share their values & their optimism for change.


We identify the right local leaders to spearhead each project. This ensures community buy-in and a deep understanding of issues. It also promotes self-sustaining empowerment and trust amongst the whole community.


These organizations help push our work and our dollars donated even further. It also spreads credit for the work– which in turn builds morale in the community.


For every major initiative, a test program is set up to ensure its effectiveness and to understand its impact. We are confident in our program models and are eager to expand.


We are looking to solve long-term problems, not simply create short-term solutions. Our goal is to truly inspire those we serve to dream bigger and lead healthier and more economically stable lives. We are in it for the long run.

Our Team

Our team in the U.S. and India contributes through their diverse backgrounds in a variety of fields, united by their desire to have a true impact on communities in each country. We are thrilled to witness continued growth in our relationship with our partners and the reach of our projects. In our third year as a public nonprofit, The Desai Foundation is ready and eager to take on the challenges of serving greater communities areas in the regions close to our heart. We have great faith in the future we will help others to build.

Megha Desai
Megha Desai President
Samir Desai
Samir Desai Founder / CFO
Mittal Gohil
Mittal Gohil Executive Director
Yati Desai
Yati Desai Director of Advanced & Special Programs
Manoj Panda
Manoj Panda Director of Development
Divyesh Markana
Divyesh Markana Research and Partnerships Officer
Shital Patel
Shital Patel Field Officer
Jinal Patel
Jinal Patel Field Officer
Pratik Patel
Pratik Patel Asani Technician
Pratik Idodara
Pratik Idodara Account Officer
Colby Siegel
Colby Siegel Partnerships & Special Projects Manager
Mehrin Ahmed
Mehrin Ahmed Marketing Manager
Rachel Wheeler
Rachel Wheeler Marketing Coordinator
Atul Singh
Atul Singh Program Manager
Neha Kanchan
Neha Kanchan Program Manager
Pranav Singh
Pranav Singh Program Manager
Hemant Sharma
Hemant Sharma Area Coordinator
Hina Patel
Hina Patel Management Information and Data Analyst
Pratik Idodara
Pratik Idodara Account Officer
Supriya Sharma
Supriya Sharma Regional Coordinator
Asha Sharma
Asha Sharma Data Operator
Priyanka Dhimmar
Priyanka Dhimmar Office Coordinator
Rakesh Chauhan
Rakesh Chauhan Program Executive
Pinal Desai
Pinal Desai Program Executive
Itishree Nanda
Itishree Nanda Program Executive
Monika Singh
Monika Singh Program Executive
Vishal Pethani
Vishal Pethani Program Executive
Megha Chuhan
Megha Chuhan Area Coordinator
Shanti Pal
Shanti Pal Area Coordinator
Rameshvari Mahla
Rameshvari Mahla Asani Program Coordinator
Payal Prajapati
Payal Prajapati Program Coordinator
Vinaya Naik
Vinaya Naik Area Coordinator
Pratik Parekh
Pratik Parekh Sr. Program Manager 
Ravi Patel
Ravi Patel Program Manager
Satyam Tiwari
Satyam Tiwari Program Manager
Yogendra Sisodiya
Yogendra Sisodiya Manager Accounts
Pragya Gupta
Pragya Gupta Special Program Manager
Mercy Project Coordinator
Shital Kamble
Shital Kamble Program Executive
Tushar Patel
Tushar Patel Driver
Vikas Patel
Vikas Patel Driver

Our Board of Directors + Advisors

Nishith Acharya
Nishith Acharya Advisor
Vikas Desai
Vikas Desai Advisor
Rakesh Kamdar
Rakesh Kamdar Advisor
Eshani Shah
Eshani Shah Advisor
Kim Shah
Kim Shah Advisor
Pooja Devendran
Pooja Devendran Advisor
Kara Gufstason
Kara Gufstason Advisor
Deepika Sawhney
Deepika Sawhney Advisor
Santhana Krishnan
Santhana Krishnan Board of Directors
Shivani Desai
Shivani Desai Board of Directors
Yash Shah
Yash Shah Board of Directors
Moha Desai
Moha Desai Board of Directors
Vikram Parekh
Vikram Parekh Board of Directors
Kiran Desai
Kiran Desai Board of Directors
 Neha Sodhi
Neha Sodhi Leadership Council
Joshua Patel
Joshua Patel Leadership Council
Ishita Agrawal
Ishita Agrawal Leadership Council
Ilana Finley
Ilana Finley Leadership Council
Nitasha Mehta
Nitasha Mehta Leadership Council
Ari Afsar
Ari Afsar Board Member
Sindhya Valloppillil
Sindhya Valloppillil Board Member
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