Safeena Husain

Founder and Board Member

I once met an out-of-school girl and asked her “What do you want to be?” to which she replied, “Nobody has ever asked me this question so I have never thought about it.” The same girl is now enrolled in school by Educate Girls and today she aspires to be a police officer! This is the power of education.

Safeena, a London School of Economics graduate, has worked extensively with rural and urban underserved communities in South America, Africa and Asia. After returning to India, Safeena chose the agenda closest to her heart – that of girls’ education – and founded Educate Girls.

Safeena’s efforts to bridge the gender gap in education in India have been widely recognized. She has been conferred with the 2017 NITI Aayog’s Women Transforming India Award, the 2016 NDTV-L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth Award, and has in the past received the British Asian Trust’s Special Recognition Award from HRH Prince Charles for outstanding contribution in education. Moreover, Educate Girls has received the prestigious 2015 Skoll Award, 2014 WISE Award, the 2014 USAID Millennium Alliance Award, the 2014 Stars Impact Award and the India Development Marketplace Award in 2011 from the World Bank.

Under Safeena’s leadership, Educate Girls initiated the world’s first Development Impact Bond (DIB) in education, a proof of concept that ties funding to outcomes. In 2018, on its completion, the Educate Girls’ DIB surpassed both its target outcomes by achieving 160% of its learning target and 116% of its enrolment target. The results are testimony to the fact that Educate Girls continues to deliver quality at scale and value to every single child in the program.

Maharshi Vaishnav

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Maharshi has 15 years of progressively responsible cross-functional experience in strategic communications, advocacy development and international development. His work experience comprises being a part of one of India’s most diversified business conglomerates, and being a part of a global communications agency, where he provided communication advisory services to Fortune 500 organizations. His last stint prior to joining Educate Girls was a Fellowship with Grameen Foundation in South-East Asia. Maharshi holds a Master of Public Policy (International Development) and a Master of Business Administration.

Senior Management Team

Anushree Singh

Head – Human Resources

Lisa Rodricks

Director – Strategy

Vijayalakshmi Saxena

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Meena Shriramaane

Director – Resource mobilisation 


Dr. Ganesh Natrajan

Safeena Husain

Ireena Vittal

Sumit Bose

Luis Miranda

Ujawal Thakar