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Dr. Urvashi Sahni

Founder & Chief Executive,

Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF)


Dr Urvashi Sahni is a social entrepreneur, women’s rights activist, and educationist who has been a pioneering activist in the field for more than three decades. She is a leading expert in curriculum design and reform, teacher training and education governance with a special focus on girls’ education and gender equality. She founded Suraksha (a women’s rights organisation), DiDi's (a social enterprise for sustainable livelihoods for women), and the Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF). Currently, she is the president and CEO of SHEF. Over the last 36 years, Dr. Sahni’s work, through SHEF has impacted over 100,000 teachers and 50,00,000 children, most of whom are girls from disadvantaged communities. Additionally, Dr Sahni is an Ashoka Fellow and a non-resident fellow at the Center for Universal Education at The Brookings Institution, USA.
In 2017, she won the Social Entrepreneur of the Year India award conferred by the Schwab-Jubilant Bhartiya Foundation. In 2020 she co-created Catalyst 2030, a global network of over 800 social entrepreneurs. She is also a former member of the Rajasthan’s Chief Minister’s advisory council, heading the education sub-group. The UP Government has nominated her to serve on the Steering Committee for the implementation of the National Education Policy of India 2020 and by the National Institute of Open Schooling, to serve on their committee for the revision of their Gender Policy. Combining her activism with research, Dr. Sahni has several publications to her credit.
Presenting widely at several influential forums, her insights on girls’ education are regularly sought after and woven into programs by multilaterals like UNICEF, UNESCO, UN Women, UNGEI, global NGO’s like Teach for All and consulting firms like BCG, Accenture and Bridgespan.

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