Who We Are
Rajasvini has served as IDEX's Executive Director since February 2010. Vini is a passionate advocate for participatory grassroots-led social change and movement building. In a wide-ranging career devoted to social and economic justice, she has led a national social enterprise, managed a public telecommunications infrastructure fund addressing digital divide issues and worked as a researcher, planner, policy wonk, management consultant and technical writer. Vini also worked alongside community leaders as a management capacity builder for youth polytechnics in rural Kenya for over two years. Born and raised in India, Vini earned a Master′s in Public Affairs (MPA) with a focus on technology and telecommunications policy from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and Bachelor′s degrees in Astrophysics and Interdisciplinary Studies from UC Berkeley. Vini has been involved in community organizing and volunteer board roles for the last two decades. She is currently active on the Board of Directors for CUSO International, a civil society development organization that works through volunteers; and on the board of Voice of Witness that works to illuminate human rights injustices through oral history projects; and on the advisory board for the International Fund to Amplify Agroecological Solutions. Vini has spoken at various fora and universities and is also a published poet, essayist, storyteller and popular educator.
Director, Program Partnerships
Yeshica has worked for over 2 decades in support of grassroots-led social change with a diverse number of philanthropic and non-profit organizations in Europe, Africa and the U.S. Born and partly raised in Sri Lanka, Yeshica migrated with her family to the U.K., where she received a B.A. in International Development Studies from the University of East Anglia. After earning a Masters degree in Africa Area Studies from UCLA, Yeshica worked for 6 years in the West African region as the local Sahel Representative for Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, as well as with Oxfam America, and RADI-APEC, a community-based non-profit organization in Senegal. She has worked at several social change organizations based in California, including USA for Africa, the Tides Center, Changemakers, and most recently as a deputy director at the International Forum on Globalization, a North-South research and educational institution. Yeshica first came to IDEX several years ago to coordinate the Africa program, and helped to formulate the early stages of IDEX′s own partnership approach. She is delighted to be renewing her ties to the organization, and becoming part of IDEX's dynamic efforts promoting sustainable solutions around the world.
Director of Philanthropic Partnerships
Pilar Gonzales is an accomplished advisor and consultant to nonprofit organizations and to donors with over 20 years in fundraising. Her personal philanthropic story has been featured on NPR’s Marketplace, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Bolder Giving, and in PEOPLE Magazine, who listed her as one of the “Heroes among Us” for her commitment to helping marginalized workers in California. For the past 8 years, she’s been part of a founding team at Rudolf Steiner Foundation Social Finance, which produces a documentary Conversation on Money, Race & Class. And from Native Americans in Philanthropy she was awarded the Flying Eagle Woman Award for her practice of community-based philanthropy. In 2010-2011, she proudly served as the Interim Vice President of Philanthropy at the Global Fund for Women. From 2011- present, she serves on the Board of Directors for BolderGiving.com.
Development & Communications Manager
Trenton has worked to develop and implement communications strategies for nonprofits and philanthropies since 2005. He has brought his passion for telling the human stories behind international development to organizations in the U.S., Kenya, and South America. Trenton studied English Literature, and the full range of Pre-Medical courses, at the University of California, Berkeley and Marketing Management for Nonprofit Organizations at the University of Illinois, Chicago. His fluent Spanish and intermediate French have served him in bridging divides while living, working, and traveling across five continents. When he’s not fighting poverty and injustice around the world, Trenton enjoys sailing, hiking and keeping up with emerging trends in internet culture.
Program Manager, Grassroots Alliances
A native of Peru, Katherine has been with the IDEX team since 2005 specializing in partnership development, participatory grantmaking and social justice philanthropy. Katherine travels regularly to Guatemala, Mexico and South Africa as part of IDEX site visits and selection of new grantees. Katherine is passionate about bridging global learnings from IDEX Partners with local US-based organizations and supports spaces for exchanges of experiences and information. Katherine′s most illuminating experience was volunteering with an indigenous women-led organization in Guatemala for 5 months, supporting their economic development and training programs. Katherine earned a Master′s in International Relations from San Francisco State University in 2005. Katherine currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network in San Francisco Bay Area and runs a local book club focused on women and global issues.
Sam comes to IDEX with over 6 years of experience in financial and administrative work in the nonprofit field. After graduating from the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in International Economics and Spanish, Sam moved to the Bay Area to continue pursuing a passion for social change. When not volunteering for local environmental cleanups, Sam enjoys hiking and reading science fiction.
Learning and Evaluation Manager
A native of Bombay, Rajiv is serving as the Learning and Evaluation Manager. He is engaged in strategy development, assisting program staff in linking impact evaluation with ongoing program planning and improvement, and positioning IDEX as a learning resource for grassroots development. He is also developing resources for IDEX and building alliances with the Indian Diaspora community. A professionally trained historian of international relations with expertise in Modern Europe, South Asia, and the Cold War, Rajiv has designed and taught college-level courses at universities across the U.S. He also led the Indian Diaspora Oral History Project, a community-centered project focused on South Asian immigrants in Silicon Valley, as part of the Silicon Valley Immigration Center at San Jose State University. He brings an in-depth knowledge of program evaluation and policy formulation at the highest levels, along with extensive experience in leadership, critical analysis, research, writing, community outreach, and a deep commitment to peace, justice and human freedom. Rajiv has a BA in English and History from Newman University in Wichita, KS, and has done his graduate work in history from The Ohio State University. He enjoys cooking, hiking, camping, reading, traveling and is a cricket fanatic.
A native of Bolivia, Cinthia began working at IDEX as a volunteer in 2011 applying her bilingualism and professional background to contribute to the work of the Programs Department with our Latin American partners. After graduating from Arizona State University with a double B.A. in Sustainability and in Anthropology, she began her field work in her home country around new development paradigms. Afterwards she came to the Bay Area to begin her graduate studies, and decided to put her experience, skills and knowledge to good use volunteering with IDEX. Now on staff, Cinthia is working on maintaining and enhancing grantmaking processes in collaboration with the IDEX team, initiating a book club around social justice issues to bring global learnings from our partners’ work to our local realities, and supporting the bridging of experience and knowledge exchange in the creation of informed communities through her interpretation and translation skills. Cinthia enjoys spending time with her family and friends, participating of cultural events, having meaningful conversations and getting to know the world.
On Contract at IDEX
From the Bay Area, Devon has experience in program operations and fundraising, and has worked in education, human rights, and development at grassroots and community change organizations including Global Exchange, Akili Dada, Roots of Peace, and Colectivo Pro Derechos de La Niñez (CODENI). Devon is a graduate of the University of San Francisco, majoring in International Studies, and completed her Master's degree in Sustainable International Development at Brandeis University. She finished her fieldwork at CODENI in Guadalajara, Mexico working in program implementation and evaluation, while doing a case study looking at successful empowerment methods from a rights-based approach to development for marginalized and vulnerable youth. Devon is enjoying working with the Young Professionals Group (YPG) and taking advantage of all San Francisco has to offer.
CFO on the go
Carol spent 12 years in various nonprofit financial roles — from Office Manager to Chief Financial Officer to Co-Executive Director to Board Member. Carol has worked with hundreds of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations around the country to help build financial health and literacy in the social justice sector. In addition to her professional experience, Carol brings a degree in economics to this work as well as her sense of humor and ability to make financials fun!
Carol has married the same woman twice and is counting on the Supreme Court to keep it legal this time. She loves living in San Francisco especially the moment each day when the sun breaks through the fog.
IDEX identifies, evaluates, and grows the best ideas from local leaders and organizations to alleviate poverty and injustice around the world. Grants to our international partners come entirely from our network of passionate and engaged supporters. Please donate to IDEX today.