Rajasvini Bhansali is the new Executive Director of the Solidaire Network and a passionate advocate for participatory grassroots-led social change and movement building. In her wide-ranging international career devoted to social, ecological, and economic justice, she has previously led Thousand Currents as our Executive Director for nine years; led a national social enterprise; managed a public telecommunications infrastructure fund addressing digital divide issues in Texas; and worked as a researcher, planner, policy analyst and strategy consultant.
Vini also worked alongside community leaders as a capacity builder for youth polytechnics in rural Kenya for over two years, an experience she credits as motivating her to work to transform U.S. based philanthropy towards more people-centered practices. Born and raised in India, Vini earned a Master’s in Public Affairs with a focus on technology and telecommunications policy from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor′s in Astrophysics and Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities & Social Sciences from UC Berkeley.
She has been involved in community organizing and volunteer board roles for the last two decades. Currently, Vini serves on advisory boards for the Women’s Building in New York City and guest lectures in the Master’s of Leadership in Sustainability Program at the University of Vermont. In 2015, she was honored with a Leaders in Action award by Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), and she was a Social Entrepreneurship (SEERS) fellow at Stanford University in 2016. Vini is also a published poet, essayist, popular educator, coach and leadership trainer with the Rockwood Leadership Institute. When not engaged with community organizations, Vini can be found nesting with her family in Richmond, CA.