The Core Team


Kirthi Jayakumar (Founder/Director)
Kirthi is from Chennai, India. She is the recipient of the US Presidential Services Medal (2012) for her services as a volunteer to Delta Women NGO, from President Barack Obama. She is the two-time recipient of the UN Online Volunteer of the Year Award (2012, 2013). Her work has been published in The Guardian and the TIME Magazine. She was recognized by EuropeAid on the "200 Women in the World of Development Wall of Fame in 2016." She received the Digital Women Award for Social Impact in 2017, from SheThePeople, Person of the Year Award, 2017 (Brew Magazine) and the Yuva Samman in 2018 (MOP Vaishnav College)     




Mariam Shoaib (Lead Editor)
Mariam Shoaib is from Lahore, Pakistan. She has been connecting people and ideas as soon as she could hold a pen ... err ... mouse. 'Grammar Nazi' is a term of endearment and she feels physical pain when she reads stuff like: “YOLO”.  Her 'nose for news' had her in the trenches of a 24/7 international news channel based in Lahore. When she is not rehearsing her poetry for Open Mic nite, Mariam can be found researching human development theory or gender equality in South Asia.


Courtney Lynn McGinn (Legal Research Team Head)
Courtney McGinn is a lawyer from Pennsylvania, USA. Courtney is currently studying International Human Rights and Comparative Constitutional Law in the LL.M. program at the University of Texas Law School.  In the past, Courtney has worked as a UN online volunteer, assisted survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and worked in the area of refugee law. Currently, Courtney processes cases and submits petitions to the UN. Most of her work now focuses on gender equality, reproductive rights, immigration (asylum seekers), and anti-slavery advocacy.


Manasa Ramraj (Legal Research Team  Head)
Manasa is a lawyer from Christ University, Bangalore. Currently, she works with a child right and protection organisation based out of Mumbai. She has keen interest in working around children and gender, international law and peace. As a researcher in law and a helpless bystander of VAW, she wishes to focus her line of work in understanding the gender intricacies and gender spewed violences. Coming from an orthodox patriarchal Indian family, she wishes effect changes starting from her family. In her free time, she loves to sleep, travel, read books and binge watch shows.





Megan Bird (Policy Research Team Head)
Megan holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Oklahoma and a teaching certification in history and english as a second language. She currently is a high school history teacher, and volunteers with her two passions: at-risk pregnant teens and the Red Elephant Foundation. Her dream has always been to help people, and she is so grateful for the opportunity to mix together her two loves, education and empowerment. In her free time, she loves yoga, reading, and listening to 60's music. She believes living life is all about keeping your chin up and your mind open.



Sharda Vishwanathan (Outreach and Digital Media Head)
Sharda holds a Master’s in Gender, Media and Culture from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Having worked as a communications professional in the social sector, she is extremely passionate about using the digital space for empowering the society and improving citizen participation at varied levels. Her main areas of interests are human rights, gender and governance. In her free time she loves travelling and enjoys learning new languages. 




Sophia Paige Brink (Psychosocial Health Research Head) 
Sophia Brink is a UC Berkeley graduate, who wishes to advocate for peace, equality, and social justice in the global community. As a researcher in psychology and a survivor of domestic violence, Sophia desires to become a clinical psychologist to help women, children, and all survivors of violence heal in a positive light and better mental health intervention efforts around the world.  Sophia's passion lies in research - to discover the solutions to real world problems. 





Rupande Mehta (Consulting (GBV Help Map) & Research Co-head)
In 2002, Rupande came to the US in pursuit of her MBA. After working in the corporate sector for 10 years, and the birth of her daughter, Rupande quit her job to work for a local non-profit as a Domestic Violence Liaison. She helped victims of DV with access to resources, information and educated them on the vicious cycle of abuse. Her writings have featured on various sites including The Huffington Post and Stop Street Harassment. In 2016, Rupande interned with the Lt. Governor of New Jersey on policy research. She is also pursuing her MPA at Rutgers University.  


Elisa Gabellieri (Curriculum Development Head)
Elisa holds a master in Economics and Management of Innovation and Technology from Bocconi University and is currently working as project manager for an R&D centre for teaching methodologies and technologiesin Milan, Italy. Passionate about humanitarian protection and schooling, Elisa volunteered for AIESEC during her studies and then travelled to North America, South East Asia and South Africa for studying and working purposes. When not working, she can be found backpacking in some new country or hiking up a mountain to read a book immersed in nature.