Welcome Sasha Neha Ahuja, DataKind’s Chief of Staff

July 2, 2020

At DataKind, we are pursuing an ambitious new strategy to accomplish Impact Practices, a new model for systems change with data science. To do that, we need to coordinate across our strategy and our operations, make sure our Executive Team is working well, and ensure Jake (our Founder & Executive Director) is in the right places at the right times. That’s why we’re so honored to welcome Sasha Neha Ahuja (she/her) as our first Chief of Staff! Sasha is charged with supporting Jake and the Executive Team (Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Program Officer), ensuring they’re prioritizing the highest impact opportunities in advancing DataKind’s mission and growth. 

Sasha will harness her deep experience building organizations rooted in equity to ensure DataKind thrives and evolves to meet its mission of providing data science and AI in the service of humanity. Leveraging her expertise in cross-functional executive team leadership in government and in local and national progressive organizations, she’ll work closely with our executive leadership and Board to manage stakeholder engagement and provide strategic thought partnership on special projects, among other key responsibilities.  

Please join us in giving Sasha a very warm DataKind welcome!

What were you up to before DataKind?

I come to DataKind having most recently served as Chief of Staff and Acting Chief Executive Officer at Girls for Gender Equity (GGE), a Brooklyn-based organization that centers girls and women of color in the movement to end gender based violence. As Chief of Staff, I wore many hats - facilitator of team synergy, counterpart to an organizational Founder, manager of large-scale organizational change, shepherd of internal processes, and gap-filler where and when needed. I came into GGE to support the organization through significant moments of transition - the onset of the 'me too.' movement, a Founding President & CEO's sabbatical, and of course most recently, the impact of COVID-19 and surge of energy to amplify the Movement for Black Lives. I couldn't be more thrilled to apply my most recent learnings and experience to DataKind. 

Why are you excited to join DataKind?

I’m a systems thinker who applies bread-and-butter community organizing skills to systems change. I'm excited to join an organization that’s in the business of transformation, knowing that the very thing we’re trying to transform is still emergent. I’m particularly excited to be part of the DataKind team to work in partnership with an Executive Director and Executive Team to support the tremendous growth and opportunity that we're in the midst of.  

What do you like to do in your free time? 

I love spending time in my own neighborhood of Prospect Heights in Brooklyn. In the midst of the careful recovery from COVID-19 in New York City, it feels even more important to support small businesses that are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods, and to check in on neighbors and community members who are all working to bounce back.