Akshaya Patra Appoints Rajiv Jain as New Interim CEO

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Rajiv Jain

BOSTON–Akshaya Patra, the world’s largest NGO school meal program, announced that Rajiv Jain has been appointed as the organization’s Interim CEO. He replaces Vandana Tilak.

Desh Deshpande

“We are pleased that Rajiv Jain has accepted to lead Akshaya Patra-USA as the Interim CEO,” said Desh Deshpande, a Board Member of Akshaya Patra USA who served as the organization’s Chairman from 2008 to 2020. “Rajiv brings a rare combination of being a successful entrepreneur, a deep compassion for everything around him and a genuine desire to help those who are not in a position to help themselves.  We look forward to his leadership and building the organization so that we can help more children in India and make sure that no child is denied of education because of hunger.”

Mr. Jain is a philanthropist currently engaged with projects at the intersection of education and nutrition.

“When I first became involved with Akshaya Patra, I was astonished by the sheer volume and significant impact Akshaya Patra had on millions of children’s lives,” said Mr. Jain. “So when Board presented me with this opportunity, I knew in my heart I had to help. I am incredibly humbled to join an amazing team and help fight hunger.”

Previously Mr. Jain was a co-founder alongside his wife Hima of a2z, Inc., a tech company considered one of the fastest-growing privately held U.S. companies before being acquired by Personify.

Mr. Jain received a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, a Masters of Science degree from Clemson University, and an Executive MBA from Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

Roopa Makhija

Akshaya Patra also announced that Roopa Makhija has joined the organization as a New Board Member.

Ms. Makhija is Co-founder and President of GEP, a global procurement and supply chain organization. She founded GEP with the dream of a beautiful company, a place that touches employees, clients and communities in a positive and sustainable way. She leads GEP’s CSR initiatives and has been supporting Akshaya Patra both in US and India for the last 5+ years. She has a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Pharmacy and an MBA from the University of Chicago, but considers herself a student for life

Established in 2000, Akshaya Patra is the world’s largest NGO school meal program, providing hot, nutritious school lunches to over 1.8 million children in over 19,257 schools through 57 kitchens in 12 states and two Union Territories in India. It costs only $20 to feed a child for an entire school year. Since the COVID-19 lockdown began on March 24th, Akshaya Patra has served more than 145 million meals to migrant workers and our beneficiaries and their families.

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