Commission Members

Shyama Venkateswar

Dr. Shyama Venkateswar is the Senior Director, Learning, at Seramount (now a part of EAB), where she heads up the development and design of tailored DE&I curriculum and workshops based on client needs to tackle complex workplace culture and talent challenges, especially across lines of difference. She collaborates with senior leaders across the organization to provide differentiated and quality learning and development solutions by leveraging research, data, and subject matter expertise to create evidence-based content.

Shyama has over twenty years of experience in addressing social and policy issues and has built her career in the higher education and nonprofit space. She brings vast experience in gender equity research, strategic planning, and philanthropy. She has led a range of initiatives from increasing diversity and inclusion in higher education to facilitating and disseminating policy research on global social, economic and security issues. She is a skilled communicator; she has written several reports, commentaries and op-eds, and given numerous high-level lectures and presentations in the U.S., Europe and Asia to academic, government, policy, nonprofit and corporate audiences. She has been widely interviewed by print and broadcast media for her expertise in social justice and public policy issues.

She was most recently the Director of the Public Policy Program at Roosevelt House & faculty member at Hunter College, City University of New York, a position that she held for eight years. She led the expansion and governance of the program, crafted and taught new and innovative courses, and played an instrumental role in implementing initiatives for student success and faculty development. Shyama’s work included a focus on providing opportunities for first generation learners, immigrants, undocumented and other underrepresented students through comprehensive mentoring programs leading to successful post-secondary careers in public service. She worked with senior leaders on campus to implement the College’s strategic plan and devised student performance and teaching impact metrics.

Before arriving at Hunter College Public Policy Program, Shyama was the Director of Research and Programs at the National Council for Research on Women (now merged with the International Center for Research on Women). In this role, she helped provide the vision and strategic direction of the Council’s policy agenda on economic security and women’s leadership, and received grants from foundations and corporate philanthropy. Shyama has also served as the Founding Director of Mercy Corps’ Action Center to End World Hunger, and as Director of the Asian Social Issues Program at the Asia Society.

She is a graduate of Smith College and received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in Political Science.