Paru Desai is the Interim Director of Partner Engagement at SV2, where she is also a Board Member and Partner. Paru is a strategist and advisor to global non-profits and international organizations. For over 25 years her work has focused on education, youth development, economic empowerment and innovative social venture models. She was a co-director of a partnership between GOAL! and Mathare Youth Sports Association to design a Girls’ Program focusing on education and empowerment of adolescent girls in Nairobi. To preserve traditional East African music and drive community development in rural Tanzania, she also co-founded the social enterprise, IMUKA! Paru’s previous nonprofit board service includes Firelight Foundation; Advisor to the Ethiopian Diaspora Network; US Chairperson of the Asante Africa Foundation; Board Member and Vice Chair, International School of the Peninsula; President of the San Francisco Chapter of Developments in Literacy and Board Member, COSAD (Community Solutions for Africa’s Development).
Paru’s career in international development began at the World Bank in Washington DC where she focused on gender issues for over six years. Paru has a BA in Chemistry from NC State University and a MA in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University. Paru recently completed a two-year mindfulness meditation teaching certification with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach.