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Thanks for checking out the SAPP Blog. The South Asian Philanthropy Project, or SAPP, aims to create a forum that inspires South Asian Americans to become more involved in philanthropy and volunteering.

This page has information about the SAPP authors, interns and contributors. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave us some feedback. We are always looking for people to contribute to our blog and propose new ideas and fresh perspectives.

Venu Gupta

Venu Gupta joined the Chicago Committee as the organization’s Executive Director in January 2006. Prior to joining the Chicago Committee, Venu was the Director of Diversity Education & Outreach at Northwestern University School of Law. Through her experiences in law school administration, private practice and non-profit organizations, she brings a working knowledge of the Chicago legal community and law firms on issues of diversity. Venu received her Juris Doctorate from HarvardLawSchool in 1999. Subsequently, she was a law clerk for the Honorable David H. Coar of the Northern District of Illinois.

Archana Sridhar is Assistant Provost at the University of Toronto.  She has also held positions at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, the Hennick Centre for Business and Law at York University, and the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana. She received her J.D. cum laude from HarvardLawSchool in 2001 and completed a year-long U.S. Student Fulbright Fellowship in Guatemala during 2006-07. Archana has worked in foundation and corporate relations for the international humanitarian organization Interplast and as a tax associate at Sullivan & Worcester LLP. As a law student, Archana participated in a number of student groups, including the South Asian Law Students Association, and pursued clinical work with the Harvard Civil Rights Project. Archana’s own continued research addresses international philanthropy, post-conflict development, and tax reform.


Priyanka Dube is an undergraduate at Indiana University – Bloomington. As a Hudson and Holland Scholar, Priyanka is double majoring in the biological sciences and spanish. Before pursuing her degree at  IU, Priyanka participated in the Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Language in Valencia, Spain. The past two summer, she interned at the Indiana University School of Medicine Simon Cancer Center. An active participant in the South Asian community, Priyanka is a trained classical dancer and presently volunteers at the Hindu Temple of Central Indiana and the IU Asian Culture Center.


Sharmila Rao Thakkar is senior program officer at The Siragusa Foundation, where she oversees grant making with a concentration in health and human services, and helps head the Foundation’s communications and outreach initiatives.  Before joining Siragusa, Thakkar was manager of public affairs at the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council and a project manager in the medicine and public unit at the American Medical Association. She has also worked as a consultant in sexuality and reproductive health at the Ford Foundation and at the International Women’s Health Coalition in New York. Thakker co-founded the Women’s Health Initiative at Sakhi for South Asian Women and was one of the founding board members and communications chair of the South Asian Public Health Association. She serves as a board member and chair of programs for the Chicago Foundation for Women and is a member of CFW’s Asian American Leadership Council/Silk Fund and Asian American & Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. Thakker holds an MPA degree from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, an MPH degree from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public health and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brown University.


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