Meet the Judges of Woman of the Year 2023

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BURLINGTON, MA—An independent committee of nine judges awarded public policy advocate, serial entrepreneur, and innovator Gitanjali Swamy as Woman of the Year 2023.

“Gitanjali Swamy is an extraordinary individual. She has not only excelled in her field but has also championed solving global challenges, force for impact and women empowerment,” said Mr. Kamdar, chair of the judging committee. “We celebrate her outstanding achievements and eagerly anticipate the continued impact she will make in New England and beyond. May her story ignite a spark within all of us to pursue our dreams and create a brighter future for generations to come.”

Mr. Kamdar said that all 10 finalists were extraordinary, and it was difficult to choose one.

“The sheer talent, dedication, and resilience exhibited by each of these outstanding women have made the task of choosing the winner an incredibly difficult one for the judging panel. However, it has also been a rewarding experience to learn about their incredible journeys and the impact they have had on those around them,” said Mr. Kamdar. “These nominees have broken through barriers, shattered stereotypes, and navigated the complexities of their respective fields with grace and determination. Their stories inspire us and serve as a testament to the power of women to create positive change in the world.”

Here are brief bios of the nine judges:

Sheetal Acharya


Sheetal Acharya, an expert in developing successful, comprehensive, and integrated business transformation strategies, is the 2022 Woman of the Year. She is Director of Operations in the Global Transformation Office at National Grid.  Most recently, she led the organizational enablement team to close the $4 billion divestiture of their Rhode Island business.

She partners with senior executives to bring their strategic vision to life and develops strategies to empower and build confidence in employees to adopt new ways of working. Ms. Acharya coaches leaders at all levels on how to lead teams through the changes with empathy. Prior to National Grid, Ms. Acharya worked in management consulting for 15 years and led the organizational enablement practice at Publicis Sapient.

Ms. Acharya has always been an active community leader and supports many causes focused on women and children. She served as the first National President of The Network of Indian Professionals of North America. She was on the leadership committee for the Boston Women’s March for America. She completed a three-year term as President of her children’s elementary school Parent Teacher Organization and continues to serve in an advisory capacity.

Ms. Acharya received her MBA from Babson College and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Priti Chatter


Priti Chatter is General Partner at NeoNet Capital LLC, and Co-founder of MarvelBiome Inc. She is a successful entrepreneur, and as a partner at NeoNet Capital, LLC since 2005 and focuses on companies that translate groundbreaking science into innovative products. Over the years, NeoNet has partnered with incredible entrepreneurs in fields ranging from healthcare analytics to energy efficiency. She co-founded a biotech startup MarvelBiome Inc. in 2019, a microbiome company, identifying microbial therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.

Prior to Neonet, she was a founding member at technology startups in the telecom and internet spaces. The first startup, Nexabit Networks, was acquired by Lucent Technologies in 1999. Priti holds six patents with additional pending. Priti currently serves on the boards of MarvelBiome and MyHealthMath. Also, serves as an advisor to the Museum of Science, Boston. Previously, she has served as trustee for Nashoba Brooks School (Concord, MA), Johns Hopkins University President’s Parent Roundtable, and Georgetown University’s Parent Leadership Council.

Priti is always striving to give back to the community. Together with her husband, they have funded two chaired professorships at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to research and develop ultra-low-cost innovative products to improve the quality of life in rural areas, globally. She also supports several organizations focused on education of underprivileged children locally and in India. She earned her M.S. from Boston College and received a graduate certificate in finance from Harvard University.

Anu Chitrapu


Anu Chitrapu is Senior Vice-President and Executive at Bank of America. She serves as the Executive Sponsor for the Asian Leadership Network in Boston. She is a seasoned and dynamic business leader with a track record of motivating teams to step up their performance and a natural evangelist and influencer with the ability to get people excited about an organization and its mission.

Anu is passionate about women empowerment, eliminating gender based violence, education for girls and protecting the environment. It was this passion that led to the creation of Nyrvaana, a social enterprise with a mission to save fabric from landfill while providing employment to disadvantaged women. Anu recently created You Can Be, a book for young girls. It inspires them to pursue any profession they like, by showing them examples of accomplished women role models who look like them.

Anu has been involved with TiE Boston since 2004 and served as President between 2020 and 2022.  She is on the Board of Advisors for the Museum of Science, Boston and on the advisory boards of Saheli and Direct Action for Women Now (DAWN). She is also an active member of several Boston based non-profit organizations including American India Foundation (AIF).

Anu holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Vaishali Gade


Vaishali Gade has been active in many Indian American organizations serving New England Indian American community. Currently, she serves as President of India Association of Greater Boston, known as IAGB, and before that Ms. Gade served as Vice President and Secretary of IAGB.

Prior to IAGB, Ms. Gade served as Vice President of New England Marathi Mandal, an organization devoted to serving the New England Marathi community. She has enjoyed volunteering as a language and culture teacher for 10+ years at the Indian language and culture school ‘Shishu Bharti’. She also serves as a board member and organizes fundraisers for a nonprofit organization ‘Anubhuti’, a school to enlighten and support underprivileged kids in Maharashtra.

Ms. Gade, who holds MBS in Finance from Suffolk University, is a CPA and completed her undergrad at Pune University. She also holds CMA from ICMAI. Ms. Gade, a finance leader by profession, currently works for CGI Inc. Before entering corporate finance, she worked in public accounting. She has held finance positions at various technology companies. Conceptualizing and implementing Financial Policies and Procedures is her specialty.

Radha Jalan


Until 1992, Radha Jalan was an educator, mother, and wife, and unexpectedly became the CEO of an electrochemical company after the sudden death of her husband in February of 1992. The Company, ElectroChem Inc. founded in 1986 was already going through its challenge of ‘Growth vs. Revenue’. Navigating the challenges while being a mother to two teen girls (19 and 15), with no support from the families in India, she had to take over the reins of the company and move it forward.

Through all the ups and downs, in late 1992, Ms. Jalan managed to get ElectroChem to become the first Company in the world to manufacture a tabletop demonstration unit of fuel cell/ hydrogen energy, playing a disc player totally powered by hydrogen and oxygen gases. Her extended network of professionals provided her much needed support while her entire existing staff, except for one employee, left within the first six months for better job security. Yet, ElectroChem became known for the quality and reliability of its products for researchers and developed a reputation of innovation in hydrogen energy and was awarded several patents.

Being a woman entrepreneur in the 90s was not easy.She had to deal with several legal battles including successfully fighting a publicly traded utility company. She is also one of the founders of TiE Boston.

Rakesh Kamdar


Rakesh Kamdar is Vice Chair and Member of the TiE Global Board of Trustees. He is a serial entrepreneur and founder of DB Healthcare, Inc, specialized in staffing and consulting services for hospitals, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical devices companies. Prior to DB Healthcare, Mr. Kamdar was Founder and President of DB Concepts, Inc., a Boston-based IT staffing firm, which later was acquired by Select Appointments North America (currently Randstad), a $2 billion organization.

In addition, Mr. Kamdar has been serving as Treasurer and Board Member of TiE Boston since July 2022, and previously served as Treasurer for nine years from 1997-2006. He is actively involved in TiE Boston, supporting the President and Board on financial strategy and fundraising, reviewing financial policies and procedures, being a mentor and strategic advisor, and providing navigational leadership on the affiliation of TiE Boston and the Foundation.

In addition to his close involvement with TiE Boston and entrepreneurship, Mr. Kamdar and his family are avid supporters of various education and meals initiatives for the underprivileged community locally in Boston and India. Mr. Kamdar has been involved with Akshaya Patra USA for over 10 years, helping raise several million dollars in his capacity as Chair of the Boston Chapter and providing strategic advisory to chapters across the US. He has helped Akshaya Patra with new fund raising and grassroot awareness projects such as CEO Forum, Golf Tournaments and Akshaya Patra Youth Ambassador Programs. He also serves as a Trustee of “Manju Ba Nu Rasodu,” a meal on wheels program in Ahmedabad, India, serving 700+ free meals daily to underserved communities, in loving memory of his mother.

Mr. Kamdar has two master’s degrees – Healthcare Informatics from Northeastern University and Electrical and Computer Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. He earned his B.S. in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Gujarat University.

Raj Melville


Raj Melville is Executive Director at Deshpande Foundation. He drives the Foundation’s strategy and efforts to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. Launched four entrepreneurship centers globally, as well as an international Symposium where over 100 universities and colleges share best practices in innovation and entrepreneurship. He launched the Dunin Deshpande Queens Innovation Center at Queens University, Canada; the Gopalakrishnan Deshpande Center at IIT Madras; the Pond Deshpande Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of New Brunswick, Canada; and, as the former Board Chair, helped direct the strategic direction of Entrepreneurship for All Center (EforAll) in Lowell that has launched over 1100 startups since its inception.  He has spoken at, organized and moderated numerous panels on social entrepreneurship; and mentored several startups. His previous experience includes over 30 years of product management, marketing and consulting experience at several startups and at Microsoft, Digital Equipment and Booz Allen & Hamilton.

He currently serves on the board of FORGE Impact and the Steering Committee of the Asian Community Fund which is dedicated to serving the AAPI community in Massachusetts. He has a doctorate and two masters from MIT and a Bachelor of Technology from IIT Bombay.

Navjot Singh


Navjot Singh is a Senior Partner in the Boston Office of McKinsey, and is the sponsor for McKinsey’s Global Talent Attraction function. He served as the Managing Partner of the McKinsey Boston Office from 2012 – 2021.  He is also a leader in our Life Sciences, Social Sector, Healthcare, Public Sector and Strategy & Corporate Finance Practices, with a focus on innovation.

Mr. Singh brings deep business expertise in strategy, innovation, operations, ESG, business development, and risk to all his client engagements. An expert in the use of Six Sigma methodologies for product development and process design, he holds 20 patents. He serves many clients across the spectrum including biotechs, pharmaceuticals, life science tools, academic medical centers, governments, contract-research organizations, private-equity and venture capital investors.

Mr. Singh, the Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee of the Board of Trustees of Museum of Science, has served as the Chair of the Board for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the Deans Advisory Board of University of Minnesota, College of Science and Engineering. He  is also a Trustee at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  Before joining McKinsey, in 2001, Mr. Singh was a laboratory manager at General Electric, where he helped to design manufacturing processes and to develop new polymeric materials and nanomaterials.

He and his wife Nithya are the current Chairs of the AIF New England Advisory Board.

Vikram Venkatasubramanian


Vikram Venkatasubramanian is founder and CEO of Nandi Security. He has 25 years and counting in the technology industry, 12 years and counting in cybersecurity.

The idea for Nandi Security started with Mr. Venkatasubramanian trying to come up with a better way to protect the online privacy and security of his own family. He is deeply worried about the effects on not just safety but also the equitability of the internet given the current state of online privacy and security. He loves connecting with cybersecurity enthusiasts, privacy practitioners and getting feedback from his customers.


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