The Azadi Project

Our Team

Board Member

Board Chairwoma

Chairwoman of the Board


Co-Founder of Gender at Work

is the Co-Founder of Gender at Work, a transnational network of individuals and organizations that build knowledge and practice to end discrimination against women and advance cultures of equality. She is an expert in the field of gender and development with over 30 years of experience in pioneering new approaches to gender and institutional change. She has consulted widely with a range of government, academic and development agencies. She sits on many other Boards and is the Chair of the Board for Oxfam International and Nobel Women’s Initiative.

Members of the Board


Executive Director of J P Morgan Chase & Co.

is the Executive Director of J P Morgan Chase & Co. She focuses on philanthropic giving. She has worked at the intersection of policy and communications at Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, the U.S. Justice Department, APCO Worldwide, McKinsey & Co. and the Obama for America campaign. She holds an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) and a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago.


Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

is a Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He is a globally oriented leader, policymaker, and advocate with a passion for technology’s capacity to improve lives. More than two decades of experience in government and private legal practice focused on telecommunications and technology policy. He is passionate about the human rights, development, and digital inclusion issues at the heart of Azadi’s mission and performs pro bono legal work on behalf of refugee rights. Russ is a graduate of Amherst College, Harvard Law School, and Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia, and has a daughter.

Soraya Chemaly

Executive Director of The Representation Project.

is currently the Executive Director of The Representation Project. An award-winning author and activist, she writes and speaks frequently on topics related to gender norms, inclusivity, social justice, free speech, sexualized violence, and technology. The former director and co-founder of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project, she has long been committed to expanding women’s civic and political participation.

Our Team

Priyali Sur

Founder and Executive Director

Priyali Sur is the Founder and the Executive Director of The Azadi Project. She has built and implemented leadership training, job skills and mental health support programs for refugee and marginalized women globally across Europe, Africa and South Asia, helping refugees and migrants from Afghanistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Niger, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen. Priyali is also an award-winning broadcast and multimedia journalist with extensive experience reporting on social justice and gender issues in South Asia and Africa and the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East. She is a former news anchor for CNN-IBN in India and her work has been published in CNN, NPR, PBS, and The Guardian, among other international media outlets. She was born in India and is currently based in New Delhi. She holds undergraduate and masters degrees from St. Xavier’s College in Calcutta, Commits in Bangalore, and Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Study in Washington, D.C.

Shreyas Jayakumar

Director, Communications

Shreyas is a communications specialist with a successful track record in building strategic relationships, developing sustained internal/external communications campaigns, and managing CSR programs. In her extensive experience of 15+ years across sectors, she has worked in large corporates, agencies, and non-profits. In her spare time, Shreyas advises NGOs on their brand communication strategies, teaches sustainability and impact investing to post-graduate students, and volunteers for causes related to animal welfare and gender equality.

Chaity Puja Sarkar

Social Media Manager

Chaity is passionate about non-profit communication. She has completed her Bachelors in History and holds a Master’s degree in Development from Azim Premji University. She has worked with NGOs and Producer companies to create their brand identities on social media. She brings together her love for design, social media, and marketing into her role as social media manager. She is learning to tell stories we often overlook and represent research and data in ways everyone can learn from. Apart from work, she loves painting with oil pastels, reading fiction, and researching (post-WW2) historical facts.

Kaynat Salmani

Program manager

Kaynat is a Program Manager at The Azadi Project with a vision of purpose and clarity. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science and a Master’s degree in social work. She believes in the rights-based approach focused on human development. She has accrued 4 years of administrative, direct practice, and research experience in child protection, and women’s empowerment.

Kaynat’s passion to serve humanity stems from her childhood experience growing up in Delhi. Her passion for children and women’s empowerment was ignited in refugee camps in Delhi, where she met women and children fleeing conflict in their own country. Their hope and determination motivated her to serve children and women worldwide. Now, she brings a unique blend of passion, compassion, and strategy as Program Manager.


Program Consultant

Harshvardhan works as a program assistant for Azadi’s program management and the communications team. He has worked in assisting the team with projects for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and India and helped with facilitation of an online program for refugee and migrant women from Yemen.

His work involves conducting surveys, training volunteers and carrying out community sensitization. Harshvardhan is particularly interested in issues of gender-based-violence, gender inequality, child marriage and violence against women and children.


He also specializes in filming and editing video and reels for social media and other digital platforms. Harshvardhan is a student of Bachelors in Social Work at the Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi. He is also a professional swimmer and water polo player and has represented Delhi in 2017–18 National School Games.

Emerging women leaders



Therapist and group facilitator

Session Facilitator, and certified psychologist who shares positive ways to manage anxiety and tackle negative thoughts in our mental health sessions in Poland for Ukrainian refugees.


Assistant group facilitator

Alina is our Assistant Facilitator and a martial arts instructor. Alina currently live in Krakow, Poland, after being forced to flee the war back home in Ukraine.

Afghan women refugees


Sedighe was one of the primary facilitators of Azadi’s psychosocial support program in Greece. She worked with Azadi during the time when she lived in the Moria 2.0 camp with her family. She is proficient in English and a trained support group facilitator. She says working with Azadi helped her build her confidence and leadership skills which in turn helped her in her asylum-seeking interview. She now lives with her family in Germany.

Masomeh Etemedi

Masomeh Etemadi was integral to the planning and launch of our ‘Doust’ mental health program in Lesvos, Greece being conducted for Afghan refugee women. Masomeh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Islamic Knowledge and Law from the Al-Mustafa International University. She is a lawyer, translator and social worker. Masomeh has now received refugee status from Germany and plans to pursue a legal career there.


Lluis Dalmau

Founding member (Volunteer)

Lluis Dalmau is an economics and finance professional, currently working as an Analyst at the International Monetary Fund, supporting the monitoring and stabilization of Central Africa. He was a founding member of The Azadi Project and continues to provide voluntary support.

Jyotsna Bhardwaj

Jyotsna is a freelance journalist who identifies as a feminist at her core. She has authored features for the Kashmir Observer newspaper for more than two years. She joined The Azadi Project in an effort to contribute to the advancement of society.