Our Team

Akanksha Team


Chief Executive Officer - Vandana Goyal

Vandana is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College, with a degree in Economics. As part of her undergraduate studies, she spent a year at the London School of Economics.  The initial years of her career were spent at Citizen Schools, a Boston-based non-profit organization dedicated to changing the life trajectory of underprivileged urban children in the United States.  She joined Akanksha in 2006, initially serving on the team that created a blueprint for Teach for India, later moving on to manage the Beyond School department serving all adolescent children of Akanksha. In 2007, she became the Director of Akanksha’s School Project, launched to create a network of high-performing schools within the government system. She took over as CEO in January of 2010. In 2012, Vandana was honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader.  In 2014 she successfully completed two Executive Education courses, Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Strategic Perspectives in Non Profit Management at Harvard Business School.  Vandana serves on the Board of Directors of The Akanksha Foundation, Akanksha Canada and Thermax Social Initiatives Foundation. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the India School Leadership Institute, KINOE ( Kids in Need of Education)  and STIR Education.


Chief Learning Officer - Matthew Corallo

Matthew holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from St. John’s University, Jamaica, NY and has also completed the Aspiring Principal’s Program from the New York City Leadership Academy. He comes with a rich experience of over 14 years in the field of education, beginning his career as a Social Studies teacher to being a principal where he led and managed all aspects of instruction and organisation for his school. Recently, Matthew has been the Curriculum Director at Creative Communicators – New York where he developed and implemented curriculum to maximize learning skills for students with special needs and physical disabilities.


Chief Financial Officer - Sivakami Kotla

Sivakami has done her graduation in Commerce (Accountancy & Economics) from Mumbai University and advance diploma in Business Administration from Welingkar’s Institute of Management, Mumbai. She comes with a rich experience of 13 yrs in the manufacturing and development sectors.  She has successfully completed the Dasra Social Leadership Impact program in 2016 and participated in Harvard Executive Education module on Leadership and corporate accountability. Sivakami’s core competence lies in  building strong systems, processes and team development. She brings in a lot of passion, experience and understanding of the development sector


Senior Director - Operations – Anandhi Yagnaraman

Anandhi has done her graduation from Chennai University and has a MA in Educational Leadership and Management from University of London. She joined Akanksha in the year 2000 as a computer teacher. She worked with the Art for Akanksha project, and then was a teacher until 2004. She then moved to the UK for a few years, and moved back to India, working as the Program Coordinator and Head of the School Program for Akshara in Bangalore. She rejoined Akanksha Pune in the year 2009 as General Manager Pune, and is currently in charge of operations for centers and schools in Mumbai and Pune.


Senior Director – Development and Communications – Chitra Pandit

Chitra leads the communication and development team at Akanksha. Her role involves planning and implementing both internal and external communication for all stakeholders. She manages events, media relations and all branding related activities. She also drives fund raising initiatives for all of Akanksha’s programs and she is responsible for strategy and implementation of donor focused communication. 

Chitra was recently selected to be a part of the cohort of the on-going Dasra Social Impact Leadership Program, a 7-month accelerator program targeted at potential growth stage nonprofits and social businesses.

She has a Masters in Business Administration and has over 15 years of experience in the field of marketing and sales. In her earlier assignment she served as the Deputy General Manager with marketing magazines with Infomedia18 and has worked extensively in the field of promotion, distribution and content development.


Executive Director, Art For Akanksha - Ruchika Gupta

An English Literature graduate from St. Xavier’s College, Bombay , Ruchika went on to do her post grad from Symbiosis in Media and Communications. After working on children’s television content as part of Neena Gupta’s team, she decided that it really was children who she enjoyed working with and working for the most.Combining her love for art to this, she joined the Akanksha Foundation leading their art program. She’s managed PR for the organisation and also operations across Bombay in Pune. In 2010, Ruchika returned to leading the Art program and helped set it up as a non-profit and is now focused on the new direction Art for Akanksha is moving towards.

Art for Akanksha takes a strong art program to over 4500 children in Akanksha schools, supports alumni with career opportunities and markets high quality products which make the organisation self-sustainable.