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.

We're Hiring!

Megha Desai
Megha Desai President
Samir Desai
Samir Desai Founder / CFO
Brittany Pusateri
Brittany Pusateri Director of Operations
Sara Jonsson
Sara Jonsson Events
Olivia Pendergast
Olivia Pendergast Manager of Operations
Mittal Gohil
Mittal Gohil Executive Director
Kaushik Palsana
Kaushik Palsana Manager of Operations
Yati Desai
Yati Desai Manager for Special Projects
Kiran Ravarani
Kiran Ravarani Program Executive
Shital Patel
Shital Patel Field Officer
Jinal Patel
Jinal Patel Field Officer
Pratik Patel
Pratik Patel Asani Technician
Viral Ahir
Viral Ahir Driver
Hetal Patel
Hetal Patel Backoffice Coordinator
Hina Gohil
Hina Gohil Program coordinator
Padma Gohil
Padma Gohil Field Officer
Urmila Vasava
Urmila Vasava Field Officer
Sunita Patel
Sunita Patel Sewing Center Supervisor
Trupti Patel
Trupti Patel Field Officer
Ranjan Gayakwad
Ranjan Gayakwad Field Officer
Bijal Mistry
Bijal Mistry Program Executive
Antara Mukherjee
Antara Mukherjee Program Executive
Manoj Panda
Manoj Panda CSR & Grant Manager
Megha Rathore
Megha Rathore Program Executive
Susie McLoughlin
Susie McLoughlin Special Assistant
Mehrin Ahmed
Mehrin Ahmed Marketing Coordinator
Agna Patel
Agna Patel Finance Officer
Shweta Chooramani
Shweta Chooramani Development Manager
Chanchal Chaudhary
Chanchal Chaudhary Program Executive
Anagha Chidre
Anagha Chidre Program Executive
Neha Kanchan
Neha Kanchan Program Manager
Prashant Gupta
Prashant Gupta Regional Coordinator
Divyanshi Pandey
Divyanshi Pandey Area Coordinator
Hemant Sharma
Hemant Sharma Area Coordinator
Hina Patel
Hina Patel Data Manager
Jigar Patel
Jigar Patel Driver
Susannah Selnick
Susannah Selnick Development (US)

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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