Who We Are

Management

Alim Chandani, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Alim Chandani was born Deaf in Mumbai, India. Dr. Chandani subsequently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, obtained a Master’s degree in Deaf Rehabilitation/Higher Education from New York University in New York, New York, and, ultimately, obtained his Doctorate in Administration and Supervision in Special Education from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. in 2013. Dr. Chandani’s dissertation focused on the feasibility of managing Deaf programs at higher education institutions in India. Dr. Chandani has been working in the field of international development and social entrepreneurship since 2007, when he founded GRO. Currently an Assistant Professor at Gallaudet University, the only university exclusively for the Deaf in the United States, Dr. Chandani lectures on leadership and social entrepreneurship, and mentors student initiatives such as the Boomerang Café on campus, the ThinkBiz Scholar student entrepreneurship organization, and an annual student business plan competition. Dr. Chandani strives tirelessly towards the establishment of a culture of leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation for Deaf students at Gallaudet University and is presently in discussions to partner with the world-renowned Ashoka Foundation to classify Gallaudet University as a Changemaker Institution. Dr. Chandani has delivered several TedX talks and has advised governments and NGOs in emerging markets across the world on Deaf education and skills training for the Deaf.

Sarah Houge

Chief Operating Officer

Ms. Sarah Houge is currently a faculty member in the International Development Master’s Program at Gallaudet University, where she obtained her M.A. in 2010. Prior to that, Ms. Houge graduated from the University of Minnesota with an M.Ed in Special (Deaf) Education and worked as a teacher/program coordinator for 10 years in the U.S. and abroad. Ms. Houge previously worked with the World Federation of the Deaf on their Human Rights and Capacity Building Project in West/Central Africa where she provided training to members of national Deaf Associations, interpreter associations, service providers and other agencies working with the Deaf/Hard of Hearing population in ten African countries. Ms. Houge has also collaborated with grassroots organizations including GRO on its Deaf empowerment programs for the youth, Mobility International USA with their capacity building program for women with disabilities in Jordan, and Global Deaf Connection, focusing on Deaf education mentoring. Most recently, Ms. Houge completed a consulting assignment for UNICEF and the Ministry of Education in Bhutan, compiling the first research report on the Deaf community in the nation.

Board of Directors

Joe Bryant

Chairman

Joe Bryant is an Associate Investment Director with the UCLA Investment Company. The UCLA Investment Company is advisor to UCLA's >$2 billion endowment. The endowment is a globally diversified portfolio of listed and private securities. Joe is responsible for sourcing, diligencing and investing in global venture opportunities, including allocations to managers and certain direct investments. Joe has been involved in cross-border corporate deals and asset management for over a decade, from Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, New York and Asia. Joe was a UC Regent Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley and obtained a masters degree in business from NLSIU and a doctorate degree from Columbia University.

Alim Chandani, PhD

Dr. Alim Chandani was born Deaf in Mumbai, India. Dr. Chandani subsequently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, obtained a Master’s degree in Deaf Rehabilitation/Higher Education from New York University in New York, New York, and, ultimately, obtained his Doctorate in Administration and Supervision in Special Education from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. in 2013. Dr. Chandani’s dissertation focused on the feasibility of managing Deaf programs at higher education institutions in India. Dr. Chandani has been working in the field of international development and social entrepreneurship since 2007, when he founded GRO. Currently an Assistant Professor at Gallaudet University, the only university exclusively for the Deaf in the United States, Dr. Chandani lectures on leadership and social entrepreneurship, and mentors student initiatives such as the Boomerang Café on campus, the ThinkBiz Scholar student entrepreneurship organization, and an annual student business plan competition. Dr. Chandani strives tirelessly towards the establishment of a culture of leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation for Deaf students at Gallaudet University and is presently in discussions to partner with the world-renowned Ashoka Foundation to classify Gallaudet University as a Changemaker Institution. Dr. Chandani has delivered several TedX talks and has advised governments and NGOs in emerging markets across the world on Deaf education and skills training for the Deaf.

Vaibhav Kothari

Currently, Mr. Vaibhav Kothari works for Om Metals and is working on managing a 212km highway development project that focuses on strengthening and widening of the two-lane state highway from Jaipur to Bhilwara in Rajasthan, India. He was born profoundly Deaf in Kota, Rajasthan, India, and bought up in New Delhi. Mr. Kothari has obtained two degrees from the US, a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and System Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York and Master of Science in Technological Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts.

Suhaan Mukerji

Mr. Suhaan Mukerji is the Founding Partner of PLR Chambers, a law firm specializing in Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs in Delhi, which was recently awarded the best policy and regulatory law firm of the year award by the IBLJ. Mr. Mukerji previously led the public policy and regulatory practice at the law firm Amarchand Mangaldas and worked with the Operations Evaluation Department at the World Bank. Mr. Mukerji has a Bachelors degree from the National Law School, Bangalore, and a Masters degree from the London School of Economics. He is a passionate supporter of development initiatives and serves on the board of a number of leading global not for profit organizations. PLR Chambers serves as pro bono legal counsel to GRO.

Jacob Shamberg

Mr. Jacob Shamberg is a Freelance Art Director and Story Development Researcher for Double Feature Films in Los Angeles. He was born Deaf and graduated from the School of Visual Arts as a Graphic Designer in New York and has over a decade worth of experience in design and advertising. Mr. Shamberg has also worked for firms such as Droga5 and Pentagram.

Madan Vasishta, PhD

Dr. Madan Vasishta divides his time between teaching at Gallaudet University and working as the chief advisor of the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre in New Delhi. He was born in India and became Deaf at age 11; he moved to Delhi as an adult where he met Deaf people and learned sign language. Dr. Vasishta taught photography and worked with the All India Federation of the Deaf until 1967 when he moved to Washington D.C. and enrolled at Gallaudet University. He obtained his B.A. in History and Psychology, M.A. in Deaf Education and Ph.D. in Special Education Administration and later worked as a teacher, program evaluator, principal, researcher and administrator at various schools for the Deaf. Dr. Vasishta has authored six books, scores of articles and book chapters and has made over 50 presentations at national and international conferences. Presently, he is also involved in other various Deaf-related projects in India and is working on two new books.