Questions of sovereignty and power are at the heart of Ashka’s commitment to challenge transnational corporations.
Educated at a school founded on Gandhian thought in India, from a young age, she learned about the “colonial confiscation of my people’s freedom.” And as she grew older, she experienced a distinct but related threat to Indian people’s autonomy: corporate power. She explains that when India began embracing neoliberal capitalism in the 1980s, “we saw the crimes of giant transnational corporations like the Union Carbide unravel extreme atrocities for our communities, once again challenging our sovereignty. This imbued in me the determination to help galvanize global action to expose the covert dynamics of transnational power and politics that continually annihilate freedom, respect, and justice across the world.”
This determination eventually brought her to Corporate Accountability, where she leads the research team on strategic campaign development and corporate research that guide the vision and overall success of the campaigns and organization.
Before joining Corporate Accountability, Ashka worked in the U.S. and India on a range of interconnected issues, including climate action, inclusive growth, community-centric architecture, and fair and organic food systems. In her most recent role, she served as the executive director of Home Energy Efficiency Team, Inc. (HEET), a Massachusetts-based community nonprofit.
She has a master’s in sustainable product design from the Birmingham City University in the UK, an undergraduate degree in interior architecture from the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology University in India, and is pursuing a doctorate at the University of Massachusetts Boston in global inclusion and social development.
An avid grower of “anything that justifies as a vegetable,” Ashka dreams of “running an organic farm in the foothills of the Himalayas, the land of the Chipko movement, where village women hugged the trees to save them from industrial logging, reining in destructive power through nonviolent, organized action.”
Ashka speaks English, Hindi, Gujarati, and Urdu and has working knowledge of Sanskrit, Marathi, and Punjabi.