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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 HeadshotSharmila Rao Thakkar, MPH, MPA is a philanthropy and nonprofit consultant at SRT Advising & Consulting, LLC in New York.  With leadership experience in philanthropic organizations as well as nonprofit program development and communications, and experience serving on several nonprofit boards, she helps nonprofit and philanthropic organizations maximize their impact through guiding on best practices, strategic planning and communications, capacity building, board governance, next gen engagement and leadership development.

Prior to this role, Sharmila was appointed the first non-family executive director of The Siragusa Family Foundation in Chicago after also serving as the foundation’s executive vice president and senior program officer.  She provided expertise on and directed the operational, programmatic and administrative functions of the organization, participating in all roles key to running a charitable endeavor.  A 21/64 certified trainer in multigenerational philanthropy, Exponent Philanthropy peer coach, and mentor for several philanthropy/nonprofit leadership programs, she takes the role of educating our future leaders in this sector very seriously and finds great passion in working with others seeking to bring their energy and ideas into the field.

Sharmila 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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