Our Team


Krittika Ghosh
Executive Director  

Krittika joins us from the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) in Toronto, Canada, where she worked as the Senior Coordinator of the Violence Against Women Program. She has extensive experience working on violence against women in the US and Canada for the past 18 years, particularly in developing innovative programming on prevention of gender based violence in immigrant communities. She has deep experience in community engagement, policy development and program management. In New York City, Krittika co-founded the Shakti Peer Group, a peer engagement model responding to gender based violence in South Asian communities. She has been recognized for her work by the City of New York, The Filipino Women’s Network, and was one of Mother Board Magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2017 for her work in ending violence against women. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Simmons College, Boston, and with a Master’s degree in Gender Studies from the London School of Economics & Political Science. In her free time, Krittika is exploring DC, one museum at a time, usually has her nose in a book and is the ultimate dictionary of all Bollywood gossip. She can be reached at krittika@dvrp.org and (202) 833-2232.

Survivor Services Program Manager & Senior Case Manager (Vietnamese Language)

Kaylie received her B.A. from University of Maryland. Kaylie has a passion for helping people improve the way they communicate and relate with one another, in order to create more peaceful and productive communities. She has extensive experience in mediation, facilitation, program development and administration.

As the Survivor Services Program Senior Case Manager, Kaylie is responsible for providing both practical advocacy services and support to domestic violence survivors. She conducts intakes and assessments with potential survivors.  She also develops and implements emergency family plans that address housing options, recovery issues, children’s needs and short-term goals.

Prior to joining DVRP, Kaylie worked at Access Youth Inc., as a Program Coordinator. In that capacity, she has had the privilege of working with at-risk youths as a mentor and mediator by promoting alternatives to violence and conflict management skills in collaboration with various programs in the District of Columbia. Kaylie also worked as a Teacher with Asian American LEAD’s Elementary After-School Program. She is proficient in Vietnamese and loves doing anything that pushes her outside of her comfort zone. She can be reached at kaylie@dvrp.org and (202) 833-2232, x104.

Lauren Pires
Outreach and Training Program Manager

Lauren brings several years of international gender and women’s empowerment programming to DVRP. With a Masters degree from the London School of Economics in Gender & Policy, her professional expertise is in gender mainstreaming, training and communications. A third-culture kid, she has grown up and lived in 6 countries across 3 continents and values diversity, cultural sensitivity and most of all the chance to explore new places and cultures. She is excited to work on A/PI issues within the community and area she has always considered home. When not championing gender rights, Lauren is a great lover of board games, watching competitive cooking shows and working out. She can be reached at lauren@dvrp.org.

Case Manager (Cantonese, Mandarin, Shanghainese, Taishanese, and Wenzhounese Languages)

Elly has 10 years of experience providing business and social services to a wide spectrum of people. In addition to her financial and administrative roles managing family investments in Wu & Associates, LLC, her passion to help others is reflected in her roles of helping victims of domestic violence and caring for elders in Assisted Living facilities.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from West Chester University and two Associates Degrees in Business and Accounting with Honors from Delaware County Community College. Elly has written and speaking/listening fluency in Cantonese and Mandarin and listening fluency in Wenzhounese, Taishanese, and Shanghainese. She raised three third culture children that, as a family, have traveled more than 1 million flight miles to more than 30 different countries. She can be reached at elly@dvrp.org and (202) 833-2232, x106

Case Manager (South Asian Languages)

Aisha was an Immigration Paralegal and the Coordinator for Pro Bono Cases at a firm specializing in Business Immigration. Prior to this experience, she interned at the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Arlington, VA through a Civic Fellowship where she gained insight into legal issues surrounding domestic violence. She also interned at KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights where she learned about the cultural interpretations of religious text and how patriarchy can be created fostering domestic violence. Aisha speaks Hindi and Urdu, and in her free time loves reading, going to book talks, and spoken poetry events. She can be reached at aisha@dvrp.org and (202) 833-2233

Sofia Kim
Outreach and Training Coordinator

Sofia is a recent graduate of American University where she studied Film/Media Arts and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is interested in understanding trauma, and healing through intergenerational stories and community and is thankful to work with DVRP in creating more spaces to explore that. She can be reached at sofia@dvrp.org.


Board of Directors 

Sujan Sedhai, President
Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN)

Sujan Sedhai is the Programs and Development Manager for the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN). Her work focuses on increasing and diversifying women in top leadership positions influencing all aspects of public policy to change gender and power norms. She has been a member of DVRP’s Board since December 2017 and is a passionate feminist with over 10 years of experience working with under-served communities and immigrant populations including: creating and managing anti-bullying and STEM programs for Title I schools, developing summer outreach camps for immigrant communities, leading strategic planning for 1000+ volunteer service units, and designing and evaluating giving and grant funded programs. Born in Nepal, Sujan emigrated to Virginia at the age of 7. She is a proud first-generation college student with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Women’s Studies from Radford University. In her free time you can find Sujan dreaming about dumplings and watching British gardening shows.


Khadambari Sridhar, Vice Chair

Kadhambari Sridhar is an international development consultant deeply passionate about women’s rights and empowerment. She started her career in 2012 working on access to reproductive health services in humanitarian and development settings for Ipas and the International Rescue Committee. Furthering her interest in development, she worked on monitoring USAID-funded projects globally. Kadhambari also has experience advocating for refugee rights through her work with UNHCR in Brazil and in resettlement in New York City. In 2016, she co-founded Nari Network, a digital space for women and partnered with the Women’s March in Washington to highlight South Asian voices in the community. Kadhambari has a Masters in Public Health and Bachelors in Biochemistry from Stony Brook University, New York. She resides in Alexandria, VA and enjoys walking her husky puppy in her free time. 


Karen Penakar Treasurer
CitiGroup Inc

Karen is dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence as well as creating a world free from violence against women and children. Prior to joining the DVRP board of directors in 2018, Karen severed as an advocate and board member at The Turning Point (Rape Crisis Center of Collin County) in Dallas, TX. She looks forward to serving the DMV’s Asian/Pacific Islander community in the years to come!
After graduating from the University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature, Karen traveled to India to edit academic research and train other editors in the finer points of language. Since returning to the US in 2007, she completed her master’s degree in finance from Georgetown University and now works as a mortgage operations analyst for CitiGroup, Inc., spending her days playing with databases, spreadsheets, process flows, and financial forecasts.


Niyati Shah

Niyati is a Senior Gender Advisor and Team Leader in the Global Health Bureau at USAID in the Office of Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition and the Office of Infectious Diseases. She provides leadership, guidance, and input on gender and social inclusion considerations at headquarters and in overseas Missions, with implementing partners, and cooperating agencies. Prior to working at USAID, Niyati consulted on poverty reduction and financial inclusion at the World Bank. She has also developed, managed, and delivered leadership, implicit bias and gender-based violence training and workshops both domestically and internationally.

Niyati began working on gender equality and gender-based violence over 25 years ago; some of her accomplishments include establishing and managing a rape crisis center, developing inclusion and diversity curricula and trainings, and advocating for reproductive justice and access. She has worked globally in the areas of social inclusion, gender equality and trauma with a focus on Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Niyati also has a background in film and storytelling and has been a mind-body practitioner for over 20 years.


Halima Nguyen

Halima is an associate attorney at Winston & Strawn, LLP, where she advises clients in regulatory, compliance, and enforcement in the financial services and energy sectors. She also maintains an active pro bono practice. Before joining the firm, Halima was a fellow at the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, where she provided legal assistance to survivors of domestic violence. She is committed to using her legal education to benefit all her clients, paying and pro bono alike. She has a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and a B.S. in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of New Mexico. She enjoys running, crocheting, and knitting in her free time.


Lakshmi Tummala

Lakshmi Tummala is a noninvasive cardiologist at the DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Georgetown and George Washington Universities. She has a particular interest in medical education as well as women in medicine. Lakshmi believes strongly in working to end gender-based violence and supporting survivors; she previously completed volunteer training at Apna Ghar in Chicago and has been on the executive board of DVRP since 2019. In her free time, Lakshmi enjoys reading, trivia, and kuchipudi (South Indian classical dance).
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