Usha Venkatachallam (Founder & CEO)
Usha Venkatachallam is President & CEO of Appropriate IT (AI), a technology consulting company that harnesses the power and promise of the information age to advance agendas of social justice, equitable access, and inclusive international development. She is a technologist who believes that appropriate information & communication technologies (ICTs) has transformational power that make it an effective tool for social change.
Based in Washington DC, USA, Usha has more than a decade of experience as senior consultant in the non-profit technology sector, helping organizations creatively apply internet technologies to advance their mission. Her expertise is in international ICT technologies and in finding locally-appropriate and culture-specific solutions using existing and emerging technologies. She also specializes in providing capacity building and training for both end-users and trainers.
Prior to founding AI, Usha was a Solutions Architect and founding member of Beaconfire Consulting, a company that serves nonprofits in the evaluation, design and implementation of Internet technology. She has led technical teams in designing, configuring, and implementing solutions for content management, fundraising, email communications, and advocacy. She has worked with organizations such as Amnesty International, Heifer International, Human Rights First, Oxfam USA, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Usha also serves as a technology advisor to Women’s Learning Partnership, advising the organization and its partners in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region on technology trends, strategy, and tactics. She also developed and piloted a prototype technology Training of Trainers program for Afghan Institute of Learning in Kabul, Afghanistan. This program is currently being replicated in 12 other WLP partner countries.
Previously, Usha worked with Commerce One’s non profit practice, where she worked with clients such as Asia Society, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Vital Voices Global Partnership.
Usha has also served as the Transmission Executive and Producer for All India Radio, India’s leading radio network where she produced radio dramas and programs with developmental messages targeted at women and youth.
Usha speaks and writes on technology trends and issues in the non profit sector at diverse fora like Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), New Organizing Institute, and Idealware. She serves as the moderator for NTEN’s affinity group on data integration.
Usha holds an MA in Film and Video from American University, Washington DC and an MA in Mass Communications and BA in English Literature from Bharathiyar University, Tamil Nadu, India.
Contact Usha at usha [at] appropriateit [dot] org