Core Team

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Rohit Kumar – Co-founder

Rohit co-founded YLAC in 2016, and its sister concern TQH Consulting in 2017, to strengthen the governance ecosystem in India through public policy research, advocacy and citizen engagement. Rohit’s work in policy cuts across sectors, including regulation of new business models, emerging issues in tech policy, digital public infrastructure and payments. An alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School of Government and IIT Bombay, he previously served as the Head of Policy and Research at the office of Mr. Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, Member of Parliament (MP) in Lok Sabha.Read complete profile

Before working with Mr. Panda, Rohit spent several years at PRS Legislative Research, the Indian think-tank that supports MPs across party lines with research on legislative and policy issues. At PRS, he also developed ‘MP Track’, the tool that is widely used by the media and civil society to track engagement of MPs in Parliament. Previously, Rohit was a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) at their Mumbai office. He is a 2013 IPRYLI (India-Pakistan Regional Young Leaders Initiative) fellow with the Asia Society.



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Aparajita Bharti – Co-founder

Aparajita co-founded YLAC in 2016. She is also the Founding Partner at TQH – a public policy research and communications consulting firm that was set up in 2017. Before starting these two organisations, Aparajita was Manager, Corporate Affairs and Communications at Snapdeal where she was responsible for managing media messaging while engaging with policy and legislative issues that affect the digital commerce sector. Aparajita holds a MPP degree from Oxford University and her work cuts across the domains of gender, tech policy and integrity of India’s democratic institutions.Read complete profile

Aparajita started her career in public policy as a Legislative Assistant to Mr. N.K. Singh, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and was one of the four Indians selected for the Faiths Act Fellowship by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in 2011. In her undergraduate years at the College of Business Studies, Delhi University, Aparajita was instrumental in starting ‘Manthan’ – an annual congregation of street theatre societies to spread social awareness. Manthan has now expanded to several towns and cities across India. She is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper from the New Delhi hub.



Deepro Guha – Senior Manager, Public Policy

A lawyer by training, Deepro graduated from NUJS, Kolkata in 2013. Over the last few years, he has lead policy research and advocacy on several emerging themes in tech policy, especially digital public infrastructure, intermediary regulation and payments. Previously, he worked with the law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and while at the firm, he was involved in a wide array of cases including criminal matters, arbitration matters and constitutional issues. He has also done a stint in litigation, practising mainly in the Delhi High Court.Read complete profile

Deepro is passionate about strengthening governance systems and improving policy design and implementation for effective service delivery. He is also an enthusiastic sportsman, and has played in the Bengal Hockey Association League 3rd Division.


Sneha Pillai – Senior Manager | Advocacy & Communications Lead

Sneha is a communications specialist with a strong background in outreach and knowledge management in the social sector. A Commonwealth Scholar (2018-19) with an MSc in Media, Communication and Development from the London School of Economics, she has previously worked with UN agencies and the forest departments of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.Read complete profile

She played an active role in managing the communications for two UNDP projects funded by the Global Environment Facility, and with the International Growth Centre in London, where she supported the programme coordination of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded India programme. With a Bachelor’s in Mass Media from University of Mumbai and Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Sneha started her career as a journalist before moving on to the development sector.



Amanat Khullar – Manager, Advocacy & Communications

A journalist by training, Amanat graduated from the Columbia Journalism School in New York in 2015. In her previous role, she led the content and editorial vertical at the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) – an industry body for India’s tech startups – where she was responsible for external and internal communications strategy and overseeing ADIF’s publishing, media and social media, in addition to liaising with member organisations.Read complete profile

She has over five years of reporting and copy-editing experience with digital publications including The Wire, and Quartz where she extensively wrote on the issues of gender, child rights, politics and human rights. Amanat has also worked with a weekly newspaper in Maine, United States, where she covered local politics, news and sports.



Mayank Mishra – Manager, Public Policy

An economist by training from IIT Kanpur, Mayank is a public policy professional with extensive experience in the fields of economic & financial analysis, policy advisory, agency design, and regulatory governance. Mayank has worked for over 5 years with the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) as part of their public policy team. At NIPFP, he worked on a wide spectrum of areas ranging from financial sector reforms and technology policy to institution design and government expenditure management.Read complete profile

While at NIPFP, he also had the opportunity to partner with several government agencies to help solve complex public policy problems and facilitate strategic decisions. Prior to moving to public policy, Mayank worked with McKinsey & Company as part of its Credit Risk Management practice.



Shipra Baduni – Manager, Citizen Engagement

Shipra is an alumna of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. With a Master’s degree in social work, her specialization is women-centred practices. She has extensive grassroot experience working with rural youth on education projects. Her interest areas lie within the intersection of gender and tech-education. Being a staunch feminist, she believes in bringing a gendered lens to any work she pursues.Read complete profile

During her previous experiences, she has worked with adolescent girls of the Bedia community, who were at risk of being forced into sex work. She worked on an education model to provide an alternative safe space for these girls to pursue their dreams. She has also worked with rural youth on a governance based education model where she has led and designed programs with the objective of involving youth in local governance. During her free time she thoroughly enjoys writing poetry and learning new forms of dance.



Sonakshi Chaudhry – Manager, Strategic Partnerships & Communications

Sonakshi has an MA in Gender, Violence and Conflict from the University of Sussex (where she was a Chevening Scholar), and an undergraduate degree in English Literature from St. Stephen’s College. She has previously worked as a consultant and as a gender specialist on a range of projects. Most recently, she completed a stint as Research & Editorial Lead for ‘Women in Labour’ — a podcast examining female labour force participation in India. She has also worked as a Consultant at the Ministry of Women & Child Development and as a Researcher at the Observer Research Foundation. Read complete profile

In 2012, she co-founded the Woman of the Elements Trust, which provides free legal aid to women and child victims of domestic violence. She is a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Hub New Delhi, and was a delegate at the 2020 edition of the bilateral Australia India Youth Dialogue.



Sumeysh Srivastava – Manager, Public Policy

Sumeysh is a lawyer by training and an alumnus of Symbiosis Law School Pune. He has previously worked at the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy and was part of the founding team for Nyaaya, India’s first free online resource for accessible legal information. He has also worked as a legal researcher for the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), where his research work contributed to two PILs filed for securing socio-economic rights of fishing communities, and headed Nyayika, a non-profit social enterprise established by CSJ to provide affordable legal services.Read complete profile

Sumeysh’s research interests are primarily in areas of access to technology, information, and rights in the digital space. He writes on issues that look at the intersection between technology, law, society, and access for both academic and non-academic platforms and has pursued certification courses on privacy, internet governance and social entrepreneurship.



Surabhi Malhotra – Manager, Citizen Engagement

An alumna of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Surabhi holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and is passionate about working with children. Although she started her career in the corporate realm as a Business Analyst, she soon joined the development space to follow her passion. Over the past few years, she has developed extensive experience in program and stakeholder management. She has previously worked with Pratham where she managed the implementation of education programs in collaboration with several state governments in India.Read complete profile

At TISS, she worked at the field level on projects aimed at skill-building of women and youth in the urban slums of Mumbai. An art and nature lover, she enjoys DIY projects on anything that involves colour or plants.



Yash Agarwal – Consultant, Programs

Yash is a public policy professional with several years of experience across Twitter, Indian Parliament, consulting and running a career services startup. He currently serves as the Founder and CEO of Proficy, a consultancy focused on providing core advisory services to a range of partners within the broader policy space in India. At YLAC, he is engaged as a consultant to help design educational programs with a focus on enabling meaningful policy careers for young Indians.Read complete profile

Yash co-founded PPI (, a knowledge platform dedicated to the cause of Public Policy in 2020 to make public policy issues engaging and accessible while supporting thousands make a career in this space. Before that, he worked as an Associate Consultant at Chase India and earlier, as a LAMP Fellow to a 4-term State Cabinet Minister of Assam and current Member of Parliament.



Mahwash Fatima – Senior Analyst, Public Policy

A law graduate from Symbiosis Law School Pune, Mahwash has previously worked as an attorney at the law firm Lakshmikumaran and Sridharan. During her tenure there, her experience ranged from litigation, advisory and advocacy on issues of indirect taxation and constitutional law. With a keen interest in the intersection of law, policy and governance she took up the Policy in Action Program in April, 2021. Thrilled by that experience and knowledge, she went on to complete the Graduate Certificate Program in Public Policy from Takshashila Institute.Read complete profile

Mahwash is passionate about working towards the goal of making the legal framework work for every strata through effective policies, strategic governance and impact litigation. During her free time, she engages herself in art & craft, reading and baking.



Nikhil Iyer – Senior Analyst, Public Policy

Nikhil is trained in law from NUJS, Kolkata. Prior to his current role, he worked as a legislative assistant at the office of Mr. Unmesh Patil, Lok Sabha MP from Jalgaon, Maharashtra. At Mr. Patil’s office, Nikhil was able to set up focused research practices and develop a suitable style of parliamentary interventions for a first-time MP. While at NUJS, he was part of the team that published the NUJS Diversity Survey to map socio-economic identities of students against their academic and extracurricular performance at law school to understand how they can be better supported.Read complete profile

Nikhil has previously freelanced as a legal draftsman for a state heritage commission. With a keen interest in urban issues and governance, he has also engaged with the Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission and the Observer Research Foundation. Nikhil is an avid parliamentary debater.



Venkat Jayagopi – Senior Analyst, Public Policy

Venkat is an urban development professional with a background in architecture. He is a Chevening Scholar (2018-19) with a Masters in City Design and Social Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has previously worked in urban development projects with the Governments of Karnataka, Rajasthan, and TamilNadu. His most recent engagement was with Jana Urban Space working on the Master Plans for towns in Tamil Nadu under the AMRUT scheme of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.Read complete profile

Previously, Venkat has worked as an architect/urban designer on the Bengaluru Smart City project, as well as other urban development projects in tier 2 and 3 cities in Rajasthan and Karnataka.



Isha Mathur – Senior Officer, Programs

Isha (she/her) graduated with an MA in Philosophy, focusing on Feminist and Political Philosophy from the University of British Columbia. She also holds a BA in Media Studies, Philosophy, and International Relations from the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts. In the past few years, Isha has worked on feminist politics, civic education, and social movements. She primarily researches the relationship between gender-based violence and carceral systems to imagine alternative forms of justice.Read complete profile

She has been involved with various grassroots and capacity-building organizations working towards dismantling and rebuilding socio-political systems both in India and Canada. Isha is passionate about working within interventions in civic education as anti-oppressive praxis. In her free time, she likes to read, cook, and be in the company of cats.



Venika Menon – Senior Officer, Programs

Venika graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where she studied public policy and served on the Board of Trustees as the Senior Class President. Having worked in four countries – US, France, Ghana and India – she has built an expansive skillset which includes research, account management, project implementation, fundraising, communications, etc. Thus far, her sectoral focus has been gender, education, and inclusion policy.Read complete profile

Previously, Venika monitored programs and led donor communications at a grassroots anti child trafficking NGO, Challenging Heights, before which, as a consultant for the World Bank, she evaluated a state government funded education project in Madhya Pradesh. She has also managed multi-million-dollar projects for clients in New York and Israel at Perry Davis Associates, an international fundraising consulting firm.



Aishwarya Viswanathan – Analyst, Public Policy

Aishwarya is an international development professional, with a Master’s in International Economic Policy from Sciences Po, Paris and a Bachelor’s in Economics from Christ University, Bangalore. She has experience in economic policy research and analysis, project management, and political communication having worked as a Consultant with the United Nations Secretariat and the Overseas Development Institute.Read complete profile

Both at the UN and at ODI, she worked on a variety of assignments that focused on financing the global sustainable development goals (SDGs). Prior to working in the public sector, Aishwarya worked with Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP in their international tax practice.



Kaushik Thanugonda – Analyst, Public Policy

Kaushik is an alumnus of the National Law University, Delhi (NLUD) having graduated in 2019. His previous engagement was as a Judicial Law Clerk to Honourable Mr. Justice R. Subhash Reddy at the Supreme Court of India. He provided research assistance therein to both Constitution and Division Benches of the Court, across a wide array of matters such as constitutional, criminal and civil law. Kaushik is passionate about civil liberties, social policy and issues related to gender and sexuality.Read complete profile

While at NLUD, he was part of the CLPG-DHCLSC Prisons Project that created policy proposals to identify and address systemic blockages in the criminal justice system. He has previously also engaged with the Social and Political Research Foundation, Project 39A and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative to this end. In his free time, he enjoys birdwatching, reading and maintains a keen interest in palaeontology.



Swathi Ramesh Rao – Analyst, Public Policy

Swathi is a chemical engineer by education. After her graduate studies at Cornell University, she worked as a scientist at enerG2 – a battery materials company in Seattle where she also supported large battery manufacturers in India with R&D and materials testing. Her interest in policy stems from her keen interest in renewable energy, education and women’s representation in STEM.Read complete profile

After returning to India, her first stint was with YLAC’s Policy in Action Program in 2021. While in India, she has also worked at an early stage ed-tech startup that works to make tech education accessible to everyone.



Vishakha Singh Deshwal – Analyst, Public Policy

Vishakha pursued her B.A. LL.B. from National Law Institute University, Bhopal and her post-graduation in law from National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata. While at NUJS, she was awarded the Saroja Gopalkrishnan Scholarship for academic performance. Previously, she has worked at the Ministry of Electronics and IT, Government of India as a Young Professional where she focused on emerging issues in tech policy and law.Read complete profile

She has also worked as an in-house counsel at Wipro Ltd. where she handled statutory and ethics compliance and as a Research Assistant at National Law University, Delhi on a research project on Legal Education Systems in India and China.



Himani Chouhan – Officer, Programs

Himani is an alumna of the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru. With a Masters degree in Public Policy, her core focus of work has been around education and child rights. During her tenure as a Teach For India Fellow, she taught forty elementary school students in a government school in Delhi and worked extensively on community participation in education as well as social and emotional learning of children.Read complete profile

Through her internships with a diverse range of organizations like the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Government of Odisha, KPMG India, and Centre for Civil Society, she learnt the ropes of various facets of policymaking, program designing, and implementation. Having widely explored various forms of theatre, she wishes to combine her love for art and academia to innovate solutions for real world problems.



Priyank Badola – Consultant, Programs

Priyank completed his MSc in Outdoor Education from the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. After working in the consumer banking group with DBS Bank, he followed his passion to work as an outdoor educator and a mountain guide in India, Nepal, U.S., and Scotland. He worked with school and college students in the non-formal education sector by leading multiday backpacking trips and teaching them about landscape, ecology, and environmental education while supporting their personal-social development.Read complete profile

Priyank is also associated with Seeds of Peace, a peace-building and leadership development organization in the U.S., where he works on interfaith dialogue programs in the South Asian region. He is a wilderness-first responder, a geek about mountains, and a nature lover.



Ritika Anil – Officer, Programs

Ritika is an alumna of Vellore Institute of Technology, with a Bachelors in Electronics and Communication Engineering. Her interest in policymaking led her to be a Policy in Action Fellow with YLAC. She also explored education policy through a course by the Centre for Civil Society. Ritika is keen on developing pedagogies that close the gaps left by traditional education systems. She wishes to learn to design curricula that place learners at the centre while helping them recognise their agency as young individuals and as citizens.Read complete profile

Ritika began her career as an RPA Consultant at Centelon, a digital solutions company based in Bangalore, where she became a certified UiPath RPA developer and a novice in python and R for data science. During her year at Centelon, she implemented automation assignments for various investment management firms, performed copywriting for product launches, as well as worked as a part of the social media and marketing team.



Devika Oberai – Associate, Public Policy

Devika is a psychology graduate from Jesus and Mary college, Delhi University. She previously worked with SEWA Bharat as a researcher, where her research portfolio focused on health, livelihood, gender-based violence and cash transfers amongst women working in the informal economy. Her research has focused on dissecting how socio-political institutions shape mental health and well-being and her work on the same can be found on IDR, Feminism in India, and other digital media platforms.Read complete profile

Devika has also worked as an educator with Aawaaz Foundation focused on critical thinking, social-emotional learning and public speaking. She is interested in using her educational and professional training to understand the policy landscape in India, and enjoys watching old TV shows, discovering new music and reading on most days.



Gunjan Periwal – Associate, Programs

Gunjan (she/her) graduated from the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts with a major in International Relations and a minor in History. With an undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts, she takes an interdisciplinary approach to research and design thinking. While in college, she published a journal article on textual analysis of Mughal literature from a gendered lens and was Chief Editor of Intersectus, an International Relations journal. Gunjan has previously interned with organisations such as U&I and Citizens for Public Leadership which strengthened her interest in civic engagement and advocacy.Read complete profile

She aims to work towards sustainability through responsible production and consumption, sustainable city planning, and climate justice. Her areas of interest include qualitative research, historiography, and South Asian socio-cultural history.



Hitha Sanghi – Associate, Programs

Hitha has a background in psychology, having completed B.A. Psychology from Jesus and Mary College, Delhi University and M.Sc. Psychology of Economic Life from London School of Economics, University of London. With skill sets developed in project development and research (mixed methods), her work has spanned a range of social development sectors (mental health, digital literacy, prison reforms) and is rooted in principles of systems thinking, transformative justice, and community building.Read complete profile

Outside YLAC, she works on different projects focused on healthcare information accessibility and neighborhood communications. She enjoys working at the intersection of different academic fields and hopes to develop research based on community building interventions.



Nidhi Kinhal – Associate, Programs

Nidhi holds an MA in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, with prior academic training in anthropology, sociology and philosophy from Ashoka University. She has previously worked in communications, network building, qualitative research, writing, and event organising roles, with independent feminist consultants and organisations like Solidarity Foundation, Maraa – a media and arts collective, and Menstrupedia. She was also a part of the organising team for PhilCon 2019, the second edition of India’s only undergraduate philosophy conference.Read complete profile

She currently volunteers with Aaina, a social media initiative that encourages reflection on education and the inequalities within it. Most recently, her work on gender and sexuality has involved developing a toolkit and researching on the experience(s) of, and issues relating to, adolescence.



Salil Ahuja – Associate, Public Policy

Salil is a journalism graduate from Delhi University with a penchant for public policy and research. Prior to joining YLAC, Salil led the research team at Newslaundry where he worked to analyse government schemes and policies. He was the researcher and writer for Newslaundry’s flagship policy explainer show, Sansad Watch, India’s first news show on Parliament and civic affairs, hosted on Youtube.Read complete profile

Salil also did a short stint with the Maadhyam Foundation, where he was involved in parliamentary research and helped prepare a budget brief for the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways. He has previously worked in the communications sector and helped devise communication strategies for brands like Maruti Suzuki, Roca, and Bajaj Finserv. During his free time, Salil likes to cycle and trek.



Shubham Mudgil – Associate, Public Policy

Shubham is an ex-LAMP Fellow with an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Delhi. As a LAMP Fellow, he provided legislative and policy research support to Lok Sabha MP Mr. Ram Mohan Naidu Kinjarapu. Previously, he has worked on grassroots-level projects in the fields of education, food security, and capacity development across Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar, and Delhi.Read complete profile

Shubham was awarded the Millennium Fellowship by the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) and the global non-profit Millennium Campus Network (MCN) in 2021 for his project on SDG 1. His current interests focus on understanding the role of diverse institutions and their interactions in shaping and sustaining policy outcomes. He enjoys running, cycling and interdisciplinary reading.



Srijan Rai – Associate, Public Policy

Srijan completed his Bachelors in Political Science from Hindu College, University of Delhi and worked as a Legislative Assistant to a Member of Parliament (LAMP) fellow. Prior to his current role, he worked with an impact consulting firm to implement a Digital Education project in Rajasthan that was aimed at improving learning outcomes for 10 lakh girl students enrolled in different schools across the state. His interest areas include tech policy, social movements and participatory policymaking.Read complete profile

While working as a LAMP fellow, Srijan drafted legislative interventions in the diverse sectors of health, education and tech policy and also worked to create a monitoring mechanism for tracking government schemes at the constituency level in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. In his free time, he likes listening to rap songs and reading books.



Suhani Pandey – Associate, Public Policy

After graduating with an honours degree in Political Science from the University of Delhi, Suhani worked at the office of Dr. Amar Patnaik as a LAMP fellow. During her fellowship, Suhani assisted the MP in leading the Parliamentary Advocacy Group on Handloom and Handicraft. Besides making regular parliamentary interventions, she also provided research inputs to the social media team. While in college, she interned with the Foreign Policy Research Centre, Nirmaan Organization and Praja Foundation to gain exposure to policy research tools and communication campaigns.Read complete profile

Working closely with civil society organisations and various other stakeholders, she hopes to gain vital exposure in the world of public policy and advocacy. Suhani also co-founded an academic writing group during her undergraduate study to facilitate peer learning amongst undergraduate and postgraduate students. To unwind, she enjoys watching stand-up comedy and loves art.



Karishma Kapoor – Admin Manager

Karishma is a B.Com. graduate from Delhi University. Prior to joining YLAC, she was associated with Fareportal India Pvt. Ltd. as a Team Lead in their Finance-Payroll department. Over the last few years, she has worked with various companies and managed their payroll processing, statutory compliance, settlements, validation of investment proofs and other activities related to TDS and payments. Read complete profile

At YLAC, her focus areas include establishing and maintaining finance and administrative systems. She also looks after logistics for program implementation.