Impact Project

The Indian American Impact Project is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization focused on non-partisan, non-electoral educational activity regarding Indian American civic engagement and political participation.

BOARD LEADERSHIP

Raj Goyle, Co-Founder and Chair
CEO of Bodhala and former member of the Kansas State House

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.

 

Deepak Raj, Co-Founder and Treasurer
Chairman of Pratham USA and founder of the Raj Center on Indian Economic Policies at Columbia University

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.

 

Priya Dayananda, Director
Managing Director of Federal Government Affairs for KPMG LLP

Priya Dayananda is Managing Director of Federal Government Affairs for KPMG, where she is responsible for representing KPMG’s interests in all matters of public policy before the Federal and state governments and for assisting non-U.S. practices in achieving their government affairs goals. Priya also advances the U.S. firm’s public policy agenda by communicating the firm’s priorities and positions to the Administration, Members of Congress, and Regulators. Over the course of 20 years, Priya has worked on Capitol Hill as a Senior Advisor to Members of Congress on the House Financial Services Committee and as a registered financial services lobbyist for 16 years.

 

Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally, Director
Former U.S. Ambassador to Belize and former Executive Director of SelectUSA

Vinai Thummalapally recently completed his term as Executive Director of SelectUSA, part of the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce established as a government-wide initiative to attract and retain business investment. From 2009 to 2013, Vinai served as U.S. Ambassador to Belize. As Chief of Mission, he helped strengthen the relationship between Belize and the United States in the areas of citizen security, economic development, education, and healthcare. Before joining the Foreign Service, Vinai served as President of MAM-A Inc., formerly Mitsui Advanced Media. MAM-A Inc. was the leading manufacturer and distributor of archival recordable optical discs in the US. During his 14-year tenure, the company became the benchmark of the optical disc manufacturing industry. He has two patents in optical disc manufacturing design and has also won several professional awards. Vinai has a B.S. degree from the California State University (CSU) and took graduate classes in business administration from both CSU and the University of Tennessee.

Mini Timmaraju, Director
Executive Director of External Affairs at Comcast and former National Women’s Vote Director for Hillary for America

Mini Timmaraju has over 20 years of professional experience leading federal, state and local campaigns and advocacy efforts for non-profit organizations. She currently serves as an Executive Director on the External Affairs team for Comcast NBCUniversal. In this role she serves as a liaison between Comcast and external stakeholders including advocacy organizations, political organizations, and public policy groups. From 2015-2016, she served as Hillary for America’s National Women's Vote Director. Prior to this role, Mini was the National Director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, where she managed legislative, advocacy and communications strategy for a coalition of 34 Asian Pacific American organizations. Mini has also served as the Chief of Staff to Congressman Ami Bera M.D. (D, CA 7th District) and various roles with Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), including Director of PPFA’s Office of the President and Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations for the Gulf Coast affiliate. Mini received her Bachelor's degree from the University of California-Berkeley and completed her J.D. at the University of Houston Law Center.

 

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.