Upaya Social Ventures is thrilled to welcome Tanya Jairaj as the organization’s Director, Strategy & Operations. Based in Bangalore, Tanya will complement Upaya’s current leadership in India by overseeing the organization’s domestic operations, expanding its social performance capability, leading local outreach and brand-building, and contributing to the success of Upaya’s LiftUP Project partnerships.
“I am excited to be joining an organization with such a unique approach to meeting the basic needs of the very poorest,” said Jairaj. “I’ve spent the majority of my career promoting real change for those facing the injustices produced by extreme poverty, and believe Upaya’s work can have a very positive impact on India’s neediest communities,” she said.
A trained lawyer with experience litigating civil and consumer cases in Indian courts, Tanya has spent the last 10 years working in the development space in areas of good governance, education, women's and children's rights.
“From the first conversation we were impressed with Tanya's passion and desire to make a difference in the lives of the ultra poor,” said Upaya’s Executive Sachi Shenoy. “As we enter the next phase of the organization’s growth, we believe that Tanya’s unique blend of skills and experiences will be a tremendous asset to Upaya, its partners, and all those we are working to serve,” said Shenoy.
Prior to joining Upaya, Tanya was a Rural Business Development Advisor with Sun Edison, one of the world’s largest solar development and management companies. This followed several years with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public where she set up an initiative that gave access to social entrepreneurs to high quality legal services, helped law firms in India systematise pro bono lawyering into their practice, and managed a fellowship program that has since engaged more than 350 Ashoka Fellows. Tanya holds a B.A.LL.B, Law from University Law College.
With this addition, Tanya is taking over the title of Director, Strategy & Operations from Upaya Co-Founder Steve Schwartz, a move that reflects Upaya’s expansion of its India-based team and infrastructure. Steve is transitioning to Director, External Relations where he will lead the organization’s fundraising and outreach efforts, as well as continue providing ongoing strategic marketing support to Upaya's partners.