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Indira Sarma

Chief Operating Officer, Washington, DC

Indira’s passion lies in building an organization that is deeply mission-rooted, built on values, and committed to rethinking our world and bringing justice everywhere. In six years at Namati, she has overseen the organization’s growth from an annual budget of $3 million, with 40 staff and 6 funding partners, to an annual budget of $9 million with 155 staff and 28 funding partners. Throughout that period, she has led with the philosophy that organizational growth must be careful, thoughtful, and attentive to core values and sustaining excellence. She believes Namati’s impact in the world comes through our people and finds her inspiration in the heart, brilliance, and dynamism of Namati’s paralegals, staff, partners, and network members worldwide.

Indira came to Namati after a decade working on global health and human rights across Asia and Africa. She teaches critical development studies at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and is a professionally-trained classical dancer and teacher in the Kuchipudi tradition of India. A dual citizen with roots in Atlanta in the southern United States, and Visakhapatnam in southern India, Indira has lived, worked and traveled across nearly fifty countries worldwide and now lives with her extended family in Washington DC. Indira holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies and Indian Studies from Harvard University and a masters in public health from Johns Hopkins University. She is called by sunshine and trees, rhythm and song, and the flourishing of local and indigenous communities, cultures, languages, and ecosystems.