Saru is a 25 year old Nepalese American researcher and development practitioner, passionate about maintaining a lens on the most marginalised and often left behind communities. She is an MPA in Development Practice candidate at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), with a focus on behavioral economics and poverty.
Previously, Saru spent five years working at the intersection of evidence and practice for women’s empowerment programs in multiple contexts across South and Southeast Asia. At BRAC, the largest Southern-led INGO, she worked with the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative and governments across Africa and Asia to scale up sustainable livelihood programs for women living in extreme poverty. She has received awards for her on-the-ground research in Myanmar and Nepal in the areas of multidimensional child vulnerability, gender and SRHR norms, and social inclusion, and was a US Department of State Fulbright Scholar.
Saru additionally worked on climate adaptation for communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Her research into child risk factors with UNICEF in Yangon, Myanmar, and later with Mercy Corps, explored the intersection of manmade and natural disasters and their impact on young people. She is also a dedicated community volunteer, receiving the US President’s Volunteer Service Award for her work managing a free food pantry for low-income students at her university.
Twitter – @SaruDuckworth
Linkedin – Saru Duckworth