Women in Global Leadership: International NGOs

International Relations Council (IRC)

Wednesday, Nov 03, 2021
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM (UTC)

Registration Required


International Relations Council (IRC)





Virt Africa

Around the world, women are transforming how business gets done in sectors from government and foreign policy to the arts and international commerce. Women bring unique perspectives, approaches, and value to leadership roles. The International Relations Council is proud to present a six-week series of insightful conversations with women in positions of global leadership. With their help, we'll explore the opportunities and challenges female leaders face in an international landscape and the outlooks and insights that have made the difference for them and their sector.


About the Panelists

Vedika Bhandarkar serves at CEO and oversees all impact efforts within Water.org and leads the team responsible for working with financial institutions, global investors, and other sector leaders to empower millions of people in need with access to safe water and sanitation. She previously served as Water.org's Managing Director, India.

Vedika has more than 25 years of experience building teams and businesses with Indian and international financial institutions. Prior to joining Water.org in January 2016, she served as Vice Chairman and Managing Director at Credit Suisse Securities (India) Private Limited from 2010-2015. Previously, she served as the Managing Director & Head of Investment Banking at J.P. Morgan.

Vedika serves as an Independent Director on the boards of several companies. She has been appointed as a part time member of the Banks Board Bureau, and she also serves as a board member of the Jai Vakeel Foundation, an institution focused on children and adults with intellectual disabilities.


Maria Teresa "Teddy" Naluwu leads the efforts of Unbound Kampala as the National Program Coordinator, supporting the work of more than 9,000 families overcoming extreme poverty in her home country of Uganda. Teddy is not only an innovator in the development sector, she has firsthand experience: Growing up as a member of a sponsorship program, she overcame the challenges of economic and gender discrimination to achieve her education, earning a degree in Industrial and Fine Arts from Makerere University, a master's degree in Management studies (Project Planning and Management) from Uganda Management Institute and a certificate in Administrative law from Uganda Law Development Center. Today she uses her talents to support children, families, and elderly people in eights districts of the central part of Uganda, including agricultural entrepreneurship workshops, rural community development initiatives, policy advocacy in the sectors of education, WASH, and ending child exploitation. She is blessed with 1 daughter and lives in Kampala.


Nithyasri Sharma is a seasoned strategy professional focused on inclusive finance, Fintech strategy, and digital innovation. She brings nearly a decade of experience in leading strategy engagements for global clients with a proven track record of driving sustainable business growth and social impact, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and South East Asia, and MENA.

Nithyasri currently leads the strategy function at Women's World Banking where she is responsible for driving the development and implementation of the organization's strategic plan to reach 100 million women, as well as country strategies in each of Women's World Banking's key priority markets. She also has expertise in human-centered research and product design for inclusive finance institutions from banks to Fintechs, across digital credit, savings, and mobile payments. In 2019, Nithyasri incubated the Making Finance Work for Women FinTech Innovation Challenge in 2019 to identify Fintech innovations to reach unbanked and underserved women, which has now become a flagship global event for the organization.


About the Moderator

Eileen Neave Purkeypile is CERI's Director of Marketing and Development. In her position, Eileen develops and implements all aspects of CERI's annual development plan to augment revenue for child sponsorships, devise creative marketing strategies that promote CERI's sponsorships and overall mission, and generate both internal- and external-facing content to create meaningful connections for the agency.

Eileen joins CERI after serving as the agency's part-time consultant, working to strengthen and expand CERI's programs and services to youth and families in need around the world. Before joining CERI, Eileen contributed her expertise as Director of Global Child Development Operations for Feed the Children, an effort to provide nourishing meals to more than 260,000 children around the world.

Eileen's passion for children and families was ignited in refugee camps in Yemen, where she met women and children fleeing conflict in the Horn of Africa. Their hope and determination motivated her to begin a career in service to humanity worldwide. Throughout her career, her work in children's advocacy has taken her across borders to serve in Ukraine, the Philippines, and Honduras. She counts her work in Bolivia toward the protection and well-being of children through a child development program in suburban neighborhoods as a formative experience in her career.

"Eileen has carved out a successful career dedicated to serving children and families," says CERI Executive Director Connie Belciug "She has a proven track record as a leader with emphasis on developing infrastructure, strategies, and implementation. We are excited for her continued involvement."

A native of Eagle Pass, Texas, Eileen is fluent in English and Spanish, and holds a Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the culinary arts and spending time with her husband, Jarrod, and their two children, Noel and Amelia.



International Relations Council (IRC)