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People of Daya

Board of Directors

Fermeen Fazal, J.D. PRESIDENT

Shree Hardikar Nath, MPA, MSN,  PAST PRESIDENT



Christa Jaganath, CPA, CO-TREASURER

Soha Haque, MS

Fatima Mohiuddin, LCSW

Lakshmy Parameswaran, MA, LPC*  

Viji Raman*
Mika Rao Kalapatapu, MS

* Founding Board Member


Advisory Board

Sarah Abraham, PhD

Sesh Bala

Chitra Divakaruni, PhD

Sindhu Idicula Giri, MD

Mary John, CPA

Anasuya K. Meyer, CFP®

Shazma Matin

Niraj Patel 

Dinesh Pejaver, PhD

Annu Rao Naik

Leeja Thomas, LCSW

John Ting, LLM

Stuti Trehan Patel, JD



Client Services Team


Client Services Team

At the heart of our work is a dedicated Client Services Team who provide compassionate, confidential, and professional services to survivors of abuse. To ensure utmost confidentiality, Daya Advocates are not listed on our website, but survivors can learn more about our services and take the first step toward a brighter, safer future they deserve.


Minoo Advani


Financial Coordinator

After volunteering for years, Minoo joined the Daya staff in 2021 to make purposeful contributions to her community utilizing her financial expertise and education. Minoo manages the details of Daya's robust financial systems. Both detail-oriented and creative, Minoo leads with her heart as she administers critical compliance work at Daya. 

Aparna Asthana


Development Director

Aparna joined the Daya first as a volunteer, then a Board Member, and finally, in 2024, as our first Development Director. Aparna oversees Daya's community programs, manages donor and volunteer relationships, and leads fundraising efforts. A University of Houston graduate and first generation immigrant, Aparna is motivated by our community's collective power to show up for one another.

Rachna Khare

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Since 2016, Rachna Khare has spearheaded Daya’s growth, including increases in client volume from 250 to 640 survivors. Rachna is a founder of South Asian Survivors & Organizations & Allies Rising (SOAR), serves on the Board of the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, and dedicates her time to grassroots and mainstream committees that protect underserved survivors of violence. A graduate of the University of Texas, she previously led programs at Rice University, Mount Sinai Hospital, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Rachna's greatest passion is supporting new leaders in the field so the mission to end domestic violence continues to grow and gain energy.

Hareema Mela, LPC


Hareema Mela leads the client services team in providing mental health services and comprehensive case management. She is a bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor with training and experience in trauma-informed therapy approaches including EMDR and somatic interventions. Since 2017, Hareema has been providing linguistically and culturally specific counseling and case management to survivors at Daya. She holds a Master's in Applied Clinical Psychology from Pennsylvania State University and specializes in areas of trauma recovery, mood disorders, cultural identity, and career development. Hareema's leadership has raised the bar on excellence in client survivors, especially for vulnerable survivors. 

Autoosa Abadi, LCSW

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Director of Programs

Autoosa joined Daya in 2017 after obtaining a Master of Science in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin. Autoosa oversees Daya's major programs through strategic planning, grants management, and impact assessment. Autoosa is committed to equity and fairness, motivating her to bring out the best in the Daya team. 

Nusrat Ameen, PhD

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Senior Director of Legal Services

Since 2007, Dr. Ameen has forged a seat at the table for South Asian survivors. Today she leads Daya's legal program and elevates survivors' voices on local, state, and national advocacy forums. Nusrat's expertise includes assisting the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, teaching at Rice University, and authoring a book. Across client services, outreach, and systems change, Dr. Ameen sparks partnerships and initiatives that grow into core Daya programming.

Tishya Bedi


Director of Outreach & Prevention

As our Director of Outreach & Prevention, Tishya raises awareness, breaks the silence, and educates others about ending and preventing violence. With a background in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Houston and as an immigrant herself, Tishya uses her training and instinct to connect with and educate partner agencies, community members, youth, and silent victims.

Barbara Le

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Since August 2018, Barbara Le has overseen Daya’s success behind the scenes, including budget development and management, financial compliance, human resources, and fund development. Barbara works closely to ensure Daya builds a diverse and sustainable funding profile which includes public and private sources. At Daya, Barbara ensures accountability to our community and funders through the management of federal, state, and local foundation grants. Barbara holds a BBA from the University of Houston, has over a decade of financial experience in the for-profit and nonprofit sector, and has taken Daya to new heights through exponential fund growth and improved policies and procedures. 

To contact Board President, Fermeen Fazal,

please email

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