Shaheen Mistri

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Shaheen Mistri
Born 16 March 1971 (1971-03-16) (age 50)
Mumbai, India
Nationality Indian
Education BA, MA
Alma mater University of Mumbai, University of Manchester
Occupation CEO, Teach For India
Known for Akanksha Foundation & Teach For India
Board member of Akanksha Foundation
Simple Education Foundation
Teach for India
Children 2 daughters

Shaheen Mistri (born 16 March 1971) is an Indian social activist and educator. She is the founder of Akanksha Foundation, an Indian non-profit educational initiative in Mumbai and Pune, and is also the CEO of Teach For India since 2008.[1][2]

Early life

Shaheen Mistri was born in Pune, India in a Parsi family. She grew up in 5 different countries as she moved countries with her father, a senior banker with Citigroup.[3] At the age of eighteen she returned to Mumbai, keen to learn more about the city and its slums, when she decided to enroll at the University of Mumbai. Shaheen had always heard about inequalities in India’s education system, but what she saw shocked her. She graduated with a BA degree in Sociology from St. Xavier's College, University of Mumbai and later obtained a MA from the University of Manchester.[4] Shaheen has been an Ashoka Fellow, a Global Leader for Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum, and an Asia Society 21 Leader. Shaheen is the author of the book, Re-drawing India. [5]


Shaheen Mistri, as a young college student, walked into the Mumbai slums and expressed her desire to teach the less privileged children who roamed the streets.[6] Shaheen founded the first Akanksha Center in 1989, enrolling 15 children and employing college friends as volunteers. It eventually evolved into the Akanksha Foundation, a non-profit education project that provided after-school tutoring to children from low-income. Today, Akanksha reaches out to over 6500 children through its School Project Model. The centers and schools are in Mumbai and Pune. Teachers teach children using an innovative methodology, which has won the foundation international honors.

In the summer of 2008, Shaheen founded Teach For India, with an audacious vision of providing an excellent education to all children across India through building a pipeline of leaders committed to ending educational inequity in India. The Teach For India Fellowship enlists India's most promising college graduates and young professionals to spend two years teaching in low-income schools and attempt to bridge the educational gap in the country.[7]

Board memberships

Shaheen serves on the boards of Akanksha Foundation and Simple Education Foundation and is an ex-member of the board of Design For Change, the Thermax Foundation, and Teach For All.

Published works


  • Ashoka Fellow (2001)
  • Global Leader for Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum (2002)
  • Asia Society 21 Leader (2006)


External links

[create] Documentation