Throughout Sharda’s two-decade professional career, she has used her communications and strategy skills to capture the attention of key audiences, demystify complex and controversial issues and help propel challenging policy reforms.
Sharda got her start in activism at the Bronx High School of Science, where she helped organize student opposition to budget cuts and inequity in the New York City public education system. She went on to attend Pomona College in Claremont, CA, where her studies and travel led her to identify as a human rights advocate. Sharda’s first job out of college was at Human Rights Watch in the Arms Division, which monitored the international flow of weapons used to commit human right abuses.
In the years following, she worked on campaigns that have dramatically shifted public opinion and policies on criminal justice, drugs and marijuana prohibition as Managing Director of Communications at the Drug Policy Alliance. Sharda played a leadership role in groundbreaking human rights work that led to marriage equality and recognition of transgender rights through her work as National News and Field Media Director at GLAAD. She co-founded an organization called the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI) in 2004, a trailblazing effort to support grassroots organizing to challenge poverty and inequality in the US as violations of fundamental human rights.
Sharda currently sits on the boards of NESRI and Race Forward, one of the nation’s most prominent groups influencing media and popular discourse about racism. Sharda has served as a consultant to organizations big and small. She has a special mastery for merging modern digital innovations with tried and true methods for storytelling. In addition to her undergraduate degree in international relations, she holds an MBA from Emory University.
Sharda is a lifelong New Yorker with roots in the Indian and African diasporas. Her life is enriched by music, creative writing, friendship, dance, travel and the study of yoga philosophy and practice.