Shaheen Mistri is the CEO of Teach For India, and serves as
one of its founding board members. She has earned global recognition for
her dedication and commitment to the fight for educational equity.
Born in Mumbai, Shaheen lived in 13 different countries
while growing up. At the age of 18 she returned to Mumbai, where she soon
realized that children living in the city’s slums lack access to quality
education and are deprived of the skills necessary to compete in India’s
formal, competitive job market. She founded the first Akanksha Center in
1989, enrolling 15 children and employing college friends as volunteers. The
center eventually evolved into the Akanksha Foundation, a non-profit education
project that provides after-school tutoring to children from low-income
communities. Over the past 25 years, the Akanksha Foundation has expanded from
serving 15 children in one center to almost 4,500 children in 51 centers and 16
schools in Mumbai and Pune.
As the recognition of Akanksha’s work grew, Shaheen saw an
opportunity to expand her reach even further and work for more transformative
changes when she met Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach For America. Along with
five colleagues, Shaheen launched Teach For India in 2008. Since then, the
organization has recruited, trained, and placed nearly 1700 Fellows in schools
across seven cities. More than 1200 Teach For India alumni are now working to
realize the organization’s mission from within and outside of education.
Shaheen is an Ashoka Fellow , a Global Leader for Tomorrow
at the World Economic Forum , and an Asia Society 21 Leader . Shaheen
also serves on the boards of Ummeed, The Thermax Social Initiatives Foundation,
The Akanksha Foundation, The Indian School Leaders Institute, and Design For
Change, and is an advisor to the Latika Roy Foundation. She also serves as a
committee member for the National Council for Teacher Education. Shaheen has a
Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Manchester, England.
When Speaking Minds was founded in 2007 in New Zealand, little did we envisage that this would grow into an international brand with offices in India and London in less than a decade. We set up the business to share what we had learnt, from the privileges we have had in our jobs – of access to knowledge.
Bringing India to the rest of the world was our driving force.
The dna of our business is genuinely about sharing knowledge with the
world, from thought leaders and experts who are notable achievers in
their field. Raga D'silva quit her highly successful corporate career in
New Zealand in 2007, to set up a dream business of connecting
knowledge, insights, motivation from exceptional talent with the
corporate world, globally.