The Team

Key People

  1. Vishala Ramswami, Founder: Vishala is the managing trustee of Educate to Empower and the correspondent for SVA School. She also serves as a Social Enterprise co-ordinator for Thiagarajar School of Management, where she enables MBA students to help small, local businesses in rural India and as a HR consultant for Loyal Textiles where she focusses on labour welfare for young women workers. Previously, she worked with Ernst & Young in London and the Singapore government. Vishala studied International Development and Anthropology at London School of Economics.
  1. Shankar, Administrative Officer: Shankar is a renowned educationalist and assistant headmaster of a non-profit school in Madurai, India. He focuses on education for children with learning difficulties. Amongst the economically disadvantaged and visually challenged students he has taught in India, five have secured highest marks in national exams and two have completed their PhD in the USA. He holds master’s degrees in Sociology, Chemistry and Education
  1. SA Palaniappan, Head of Finance and Operations: Palaniappan is a seasoned finance professional with 36 years of experience at ICICI Bank where he was a regional manager. Since his retirement, he is focused on working for educational institutions with philanthropic aims. He holds a degree in Commerce and is a Chartered Associate of the Indian Institute of Banking.
  1. Nimisha Phillip, Head of Partnerships: Nimisha is a lawyer at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, one of India’s leading law firms. Her previous legal experience includes stints in New Delhi, the USA and UK.  She holds a dual LLB in Law from the London School of Economics and SOAS and a BA in English Literature from St Stephens College, Delhi University. Nimisha is the India head of Code Your Chances NGO and one of the youngest members of the British Business Group; she uses her diverse connections in the corporate and non-profit to create fruitful partnerships for Educate to Empower Trust.
  1. Vedika Agarwal, Head of Teacher Training: Vedika is the founder of Yein Udaan, an NGO that works to provide holistic education for low-income children in Chennai. Previously, Vedika was a Teach for India Fellow in Chennai. Vedika holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Statistics from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. Vedika develops and implements a teacher training program that is specially tailored for the context and philosophy of SVA School.
  1. Uma Adaikammai, Headmistress: Uma is an experienced teacher and educational administrator who previously worked in a prestigious private school in Madurai, India. She holds a bachelor’s degree and postgraduate diploma in Computer Science, and a second bachelor’s degree in Education.


Advisory Council

  1. Sarah Iype: Sarah is a graduate from the London School of Economics with a Masters in Public Administration, specializing in International Development. Her previous experience includes a consultancy project with UNICEF and a Fellowship at Teach For India. During her fellowship, she educated children in a low-income private school in Pune, where her classroom became one of the top performing primary classes in the country. 
  1. Claire Moll: Claire is a PhD Candidate at Cambridge University. She previously spent time advocating for women’s rights and youth empowerment in El Salvador and affordable housing in East London. Claire is passionate about achieving gender equality, both in the developed and the developing world.
  1. Cathryn Roberts: Originally a marketing professional from the USA, Cathryn came to India on a Fulbright Nehru Scholarship, working as an English teacher in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.  Cathryn currently works as an independent social media marketing consultant for several education-based NGOs in Tamil Nadu.
  1. Christine Yee: Christine is a technology consultant at Accenture and co-founder of Paysa, a fin-tech startup in the mobile money spaces that aims to improve economic stability in rural India. She is recipient of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge Grant. Christine is an avid tennis player and mathematician who is passionate about using technology to solve social problems. She studied at Smith College and spent a year abroad at the London School of Economics. 
  1. Myriam Amri: Myriam is a PhD candidate at Harvard University. Her previous work experience includes research and consultancy on gender in development. Myriam holds an MSc in anthropology and development from the London School of Economics where she received the Lucy Mair prize for her dissertation on unpaid debts in Tunisia. She completed her undergraduate degree in the dual-bachelor program between SciencesPo Paris and Columbia University. 
  1. Aditi Jalan: Aditi spent time in Ghana and Tanzania teaching and leading development projects in government schools and has a keen interest in educational policy. Professionally, she is co-founder of Fizz, an investor-backed start up in Chennai, a freelance graphic designer and branding consultant. Aditi holds a BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics & Economics from the University of Warwick, UK.
  1. Aditi Shah: Aditi is the Operations Manager at School Space, a social enterprise helping generate income for schools. Previously, she was project manager for the renowned Mazi Mas restaurant in London which is staffed by female refugee chefs and she coached immigrant women from low-income communities on how to launch food start-ups in San Francisco. Aditi studied at Bath University and Singapore Management University. 

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