AIF Young Professionals – Meet the Chapter Co-Leads of 2014-15

AIF’s Young Professionals (YPs) come together from various field and industries to help support AIF’s mission. Through events in their communities to online campaigns, YPs raise awareness and support for AIF’s goal of catalyzing social and economic change in India through various development initiatives in education, public health, and livelihoods. AIF is pleased to introduce our new Young Professional chapter co-leads, all of whom play key roles in these efforts.


Jaya Malik
After serving on the AIF YP–New York board as a part of the Philanthropy Committee for two years, Jaya is excited about the opportunity to be a chapter co-lead this year. Her passion for catalyzing change in India first arose when she volunteered at a boarding school for underprivileged children in Bangalore a few years ago. She joined AIF after returning to New York in order to learn more about creating scalable impact and to continue giving back to India via a different channel. In addition to raising more funds than in the previous successful years, Jaya hopes to see this year’s board engage its audience in the cause in new and interactive ways, as well as better establish themselves on social media.

Jaya works for American Express in Business Development. She also enjoys Indian dance and traveling, and is looking forward to getting even further involved in AIF in this coming year.

Neha Prakash
Neha Prakash previously served on the AIF-YP New York Chapter’s Events Committee, helping to organize a gala for almost 350 attendees. For this next year, she hopes to expand the reach of the New York chapter and have a landmark year in fundraising efforts for AIF initiatives.

Neha holds a Masters degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism and a B.A. from Pennsylvania State University. She is currently a pop culture reporter for Mashable.


Nadim Laiwala
This is Nadim’s second year with the AIF-YP Bay Area Chapter, having previously joined the team as lead of the Finance committee. Nadim has been dedicated to empowering socioeconomic change, and is excited to continue as a part of AIF, an organization that makes an impact of scale.  Nadim has worked with several non-profit organizations in the past, including the Aga Khan Development Network, to drive positive change for underserved populations in developing countries. Nadim is currently an Investment Banking Associate, specializing in technology mergers and acquisitions, at Moelis & Company located in Palo Alto, CA. He holds a dual B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Business Administration from University of California, Berkeley.

Rahul Talati
Rahul previously served as the Head of Business Development for the AIF-YP Bay Area chapter and he is excited to serve as co-lead for the chapter this year. Rahul has a long-standing passion for causing change in India – in college, he spent a summer working with two non-profits to help underprivileged youth in Ahmedabad. Most recently, Rahul participated in a service project through Google aimed at tackling malnutrition in India’s slums. With the other co-leads, Rahul plans to raise awareness and funding for AIF’s programs by actively engaging the Bay Area’s South Asian population through community outreach and social initiatives. Rahul is currently the Head of Marketing for Enterprise Search at Google. He holds a BBA in Business Honors and Finance from the Red McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

Salima Taplin
Salima Taplin, a San Francisco native, will be focused on co-leading the leadership council in her second year with AIF. Growing up, she has spent several summers working at Mother Theresa’s orphanage in Delhi during her high school years and is excited to re-connect and give back to the Indian community. Currently, Salima is a partner and designer at Artthaus, a full service design and project management company in San Francisco focused on creating distinctive residences – from dream homes to income properties. She specializes in finding dynamic and exclusive solutions for unique spaces tailored to the specific needs of their clientele. She is excited by AIF’s vision, mission, and projects on the ground and looks forward to making a contribution and a difference.



Purva Kogje
Purva has been part of the AIF-YP Los Angeles chapter for two consecutive years, spearheading marketing efforts. Purva joined AIF-YP LA to meet like-minded young professionals in the Los Angeles area, all while contributing to a greater cause. During her undergrad at UC Irvine, Purva was extremely involved on campus – from being on the board of her sorority, Pi Beta Phi, to being as involved with Associated Student Services. She’s a full-time artist and works on the business side of Entertainment Industry at Deluxe Media in Burbank, CA. She also enjoys making people laugh and loves to study improvisation. She’s excited to further expand the YP LA Chapter this year with a dynamic group of young professionals.

Sameer Mehta
Sameer Mehta is a young entrepreneur focusing on content and commerce. Upon graduating from Carnegie Mellon, he went on to start two venture-backed start-ups. His passion for community service and content led him to join AIF, where he hopes to work with folks in the community to raise awareness and money for the right cause.



Rashmi Ankam
Rashmi Ankam was initially drawn to American India Foundation due to their work in education, through the Learning and Migration Program and Digital Equalizer. Her own grandmother strove to ensure all her daughters graduated from secondary and post-graduate institutions, despite having only an elementary-level education herself. Rashmi, like her family, recognizes the value of education, that education is the key to changing life circumstances, and that access to education should be a right, not a privilege.  Now in her third year on the AIF-YP DC Leadership Council, her goals surround building a community of mindful South Asian philanthropists who want to shape India’s progress. She hopes to continue to curate unique and dynamic events that engage different communities in the DC area, while also raising funds and awareness about AIF. 

Anushree Banerjee
Anushree Banerjee lives Washington, D.C. and is co-leading the DC Leadership Council in her second year with the AIF Young Professionals. She first got involved with AIF as an intern at the New York headquarters where she learned about how the organization operates and worked alongside the amazing staff. Growing up, she has spent several summers in high school working as an after-school tutor for students living in Lucknow’s slums. Currently, Anushree works at a government consulting firm where she focuses primarily on international development strategy. She specializes in helping organizations, including USAID and IDB, implement creative development solutions in emerging economies. As a long-time supporter of AIF through work and volunteering, Anushree holds AIF’s mission near and dear to her heart, and is committed to its success.

Sarika Kasaraneni
Sarika Kasaraneni is co-leading the AIF YP DC leadership council in her third year of involvement with AIF. Her time spent teaching English at a government high school in Hyderabad in 2010 is what motivated her to join the organization, and finds herself particularly passionate about supporting AIF’s Digital Equalizer and Learning and Migration program. Sarika is currently a Senior Associate with Avalere Health, providing health plan and pharmaceutical clients with analytic and consultative support on health care reform. She evaluates the impact of legislative and regulatory activity, as well as the changing marketplace to help clients shape their advocacy and business strategies. Sarika earned her MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in 2011 and her BA from Emory University in 2009.


Aastha Sharma
Aastha Sharma will be co-leading the newly established AIF YP chapter in Atlanta. Having lived and worked in four different countries – India, United States, Switzerland, and China – she loves learning about the world through people’s experiences. She is fascinated by their culture, their values and above all, their expectations. After 6 years of international work experience in marketing, Aastha is currently pursuing her MBA at HEC Paris in France. While she is excited about this new journey, she is dedicated to giving life to AIF’s vision through strategic outreach within the Indian community in Atlanta. She is excited to work in conjunction with people who want to make a difference in the world, one community after another.

Sourendra Raut
Sourendra was born in Kolkata and grew up in Montreal, Ottawa, and Calgary, Canada before moving south about five years ago. He is an orthopedic surgeon in private practice in the Atlanta area. In his spare time, he enjoys fitness related activities, reading, tech gadgets, and playing with his young daughter.

Sourendra volunteered to co-lead the AIF-YP Atlanta to help build it from the ground up to be a formidable engine for Atlanta’s youth to get involved in highly effective and meaningful charitable projects that AIF engages in. He is a strong believer that community service, be it local or international, should be an integral part of one’s life. He hopes to impart this message to the young professional population in his community and help provide them an avenue to achieve this.

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