Core Team

Dr. Rashneh N. Pardiwala
Founder & Director
Dr. (Ms.) Rashneh N. Pardiwala is an Ecologist from the University of Edinburgh having specialized in the field of Climate Change. She has worked as an environmental scientist and consultant on a range research projects in India and abroad and has many publications to her credit. In 2005, she was recognized as one of the youngest ‘Social Entrepreneur for Change’ and was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship. In 2009 in Tokyo Japan, Dr. Pardiwala was selected as one of Asia’s 21 Young Leaders and conferred the Asia Society Fellowship. In 2011, she was selected from India as a participant at the Swedish Institute Management Program with corporate responsibility and sustainability as an all-embracing focus. In 2013, Rashneh was awarded the Ford Fellowship to undertake an intensive study program entitled Developing Community Leaders in partnership with the Picker Center for Executive Education at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Mrs. Kitayun Rustom
Mrs. Kitayun (Katy) Rustom, the co-founder of CERE, began her career as a school teacher at the J.B.Petit School for Girls. She was the co-founder of the Dahanu Taluka Environmental Welfare Association (DTEWA) an organisation that is well known for its environmental victories through various litigative strategies. She has been on several government appointed committees and bodies including the board of Mumbai Metropolitan Region – Environment Improvement Society (MMREIS). In 1999, she was one of the 6 Indian Environmentalists selected by the Environmental Law Institute, Washington DC. In 2005, she was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship. Katy Rustom has also organised several teacher training workshops and developed and authored learning materials for Environmental Education. Katy is currently Head of Education Services and Publications at CERE.
Ms. Janjri Jasani
Head of Sustainability Services
Janjri has graduated with a Masters in Environmental Protection and Management from the University of Edinburgh and is currently working with the CERE as a Senior Researcher and Project In-Charge of the Carbon Map & Cap Project. Her interests centre on Climate Change science, sustainable development & urban solutions to environmental issues. She also has a BA in Biology with a focus on Evolutionary Biology from Northwestern University in Chicago. She is interested in the role environmental education can play as a solution to local and global environmental issues. Janjri is currently Head of Sustainability Services at CERE and has co-authored a number of CERE publications.
Sneha Shetty
Senior Researcher
Sneha graduated with an M.A. in Social Work at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai) and thereafter worked with the organisations PRADAN and Intermón Oxfam in the field of sustainable rural livelihoods and economic justice. She has also worked freelance with a range of organisations engaged in organic farming, permaculture design, quality of education, road safety and life skills development. Sneha’s interest lies at the meeting point of education, ecological action and strengthening communities. She enjoys designing and facilitating learning programmes as well as long-term projects that integrate the interests, concerns and capabilities of multiple stakeholders.
Mugdha Malik
Senior Researcher
An economist by training, Mugdha has graduated with an M.Phil in Economics from the University of Bath specializing in environmental economics with the key focus area of international carbon pricing. Currently working as a Senior Researcher at CERE, her interests include climate change mitigation, policymaking for sustainable development and climate activism. She has previously worked with TERI University as a researcher on Sustainable Development Goals projects, in collaboration with UNEP. She also has an M.Sc. in Financial Economics from the University of Exeter with experience in data analysis and socio-economic research.
Shilpa Nair
Junior Researcher
Shilpa completed her MSc in environmental sciences from K J Somaiya college of Science and Commerce with an aim of contributing towards the change required for creating sustainable livelihoods. Shilpa is passionate about trekking and is a wildlife enthusiast. While studying Shilpa has volunteered for WWF and has been part of the organizing team for Mumbai's first carbon neutral intercollegiate fest. Currently she is working as a Junior Researcher at CERE on various projects like Dhan Gyan and Urban Afforestation Project.
Bhagyesh Deo
Bhagyesh brings along the expertise from Computer Science and Sustainability. He has a Master degree in computer science and has gained research experiences from University of Liverpool, UK and National Tsinghua University, Taiwan. His expertise/interest includes GHG accounting, Data analysis, sustainability-tools development and sustainable product design. He is a core team member of GHG accounting & Data analysis projects.
Ms. Ramya Ramnath
Ramya has graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and Education from Hamilton College, N.Y. She has focused on providing education opportunities to low-income families. Her interests lie in harnessing the effectiveness of technology to provide quality education on a large scale, specifically to populations who do not have access to reliable education. She has worked in curriculum development with the Common Core, a D.C.-based non-profit. Ramya is currently working on the CERE project to promote Financial Literacy in Schools across India.
Mrs. Avanti Mehta
Avanti Mehta has a degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Maine, USA and has trained in Captive Breeding of Endangered Species at the Durell Conservation Learning Centre, Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, UK. She has had vast experience planning and working at large zoos like the Mumbai Zoo & Sudarvan in Ahmedabad. Avanti has worked as a naturalist across India & Nepal and with the Indian Institute of Public Administration (Delhi) in association with the World Bank to design Eco-Development plans for Protected Areas in India.