Impact Fund

The Indian American Impact Fund endorses and supports viable candidates who reflect our community’s values. Impact Fund includes both a non-federal PAC as well as a Federal PAC. 

BOARD LEADERSHIP

Deepak Raj, Co-Founder and Treasurer

Deepak Raj is founder and managing director of the New Jersey-based private investment firm Raj Associates with investments in real estate and public and private securities. He is also, with his wife Neera, the founder of the Raj Center on Indian Economic Policies at Columbia University. Deepak has extensive experience as an equity analyst and an investment banker. His leadership positions during 24 years with Merrill Lynch include senior analyst in research (and member of the Institutional Investor All-America Research Team); head of their Global Consumer Products Investment Banking practice; and senior vice president and member of the firm’s executive management committee. As director of Global Equity Research, he managed a staff of approximately 700 investment professionals located throughout the world. Deepak graduated from IIT Kanpur with a BTech in electrical engineering and earned an MBA from Northeastern University. He is chairman of Pratham USA.

Raj Goyle, Co-Founder and Chair

Raj Goyle is co-CEO of Bodhala, a data company focused on the legal industry. In 2006, Raj became the first Asian American elected in Kansas history and the first Democrat elected to his State House seat in Wichita in 2006. He was re-elected in 2008 and in 2010, ran for Congress against then-Congressman Mike Pompeo. After leaving Kansas politics, Raj moved to New York City, where he served as a senior advisor to Shelley and Donald Rubin's family office on philanthropic, political and business matters. He sits on the boards of Hunger Free America, New Deal Democrats, the State Innovation Exchange, Everyartist.me, Issue One, and Planned Parenthood of NYC Action Fund. He is the co-founder of the Indian American Impact Project and the India Center Foundation and serves on the advisory board of the American India Foundation. Raj has worked as a staff member for the ACLU, the Center for American Progress, and served as an adjunct professor at Wichita State University. He holds degrees from Duke University and Harvard Law School.

Ravi Akhoury, Director

Ravi Akhoury is a retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MacKay Shields, a multi-product investment management firm with assets under management of fifty billion dollars. He has been in the investment management business since 1973. Ravi is a member of the Executive Management Committee of New York Life Insurance Company and a former director of Max/New York Life India. He is a trustee of the American India Foundation, Putnam Mutual Funds, Eventwist, Rageframeworks, and English Helper as well as a former board member of the Bharti Telecom and Thompson Press in India. Ravi graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology with a BS in Engineering and obtained an MS in Quantitative Methods from SUNY at Stony Brook.

Raghu Devaguptapu, Director

Raghu has over twenty years of campaign experience and heads the Washington, DC office of Left Hook Communications. Raghu has led high profile independent expenditure, congressional, and statewide elections across the country, including Congressman Ami Bera's historic upset win in 2012 and subsequent re-election, which was one of the most expensive congressional races in history. Raghu was the first Asian American to be named Political Director of a national party committee - first at the DLCC and then at the DGA. While at the DLCC, he helped flip 30 chambers into Democratic control - the largest partisan Democratic shift in our nation's history. Raghu also managed the independent expenditure and issue advocacy program for AFSCME, overseeing one of the largest programs in Democratic politics spending over $40 million dollars up and down the ballot working on races across the country. Prior to founding Left Hook, Raghu was a partner at A|L Media. A die-hard Green Bay Packer fan, Raghu lives in Washington DC with his wife Reema and their two daughters.

 

Vikas Raj, Board Observer

Vikas Raj is Managing Director at Accion Venture Lab, leading the group’s work on investments in addition to managing portfolio relationships and driving the strategy and growth of Accion Venture Lab. Prior to joining Accion, Vikas was an M&A investment banker at Evercore Partners, where he advised on multiple corporate transactions with aggregate value of over $45 billion across the technology, real estate, consumer products and industrials sectors. Previously, Vikas worked in microfinance, primarily in India, at Ujjivan and Catalyst Microfinance Investors (CMI). Vikas started his career at Deloitte Consulting where he was in the Corporate Strategy group. Vikas has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia University.

 

Gautam Raghavan, Executive Director

Gautam Raghavan advises progressive organizations focused on securing political power and social change. From 2014 to 2017, Raghavan served as Vice President of Policy for the Gill Foundation, where he managed multi-million dollar investments to secure federal and state-level policies that ensure a level playing field for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Americans. From 2011 to 2014, Raghavan served as President Barack Obama’s liaison to the LGBTQ community as well as the Asian American & Pacific Islander community, and from 2009 to 2011, as Acting White House Liaison for the U.S. Department of Defense and as Outreach Lead for the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Working Group. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Raghavan worked for the 2008 Obama Campaign, Democratic National Committee, and Progressive Majority. A first-generation immigrant, Raghavan was born in India, raised in Seattle, and graduated from Stanford University.