Founder and Head of Operations
Erin Zaikis is the Founder of Sundara. Raised in Marblehead, Massachusetts, she graduated from the University of Michigan's Gerald Ford School of Public Policy. Erin has lived in India, Thailand, Israel and New York before making the Upper West Side in NYC her home.
She loves Afrobeats, blogs about Asian desserts and hangs out with her cockapoo Yoshi in her free time. Her favorite part of working at Sundara is feeling connected to people around the world who are trying to make their communities healthier and safer.
She is a Forbes 30 Under 30 (Social Impact - 2018), is a Summit Series Fellow, has been recognized by the Huffington Post, ONE, CNN, BBC and the Clean India campaign and has spoken at universities and conferences across the US, Canada and Europe, including a Tedx talk.
Michelle Fusco is the Executive Director of Sundara. Originally from Toronto, Canada she comes to Sundara with a Postgraduate degree in International Development and an Honours BA in Global Studies and Communication Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University.
She brings 12 years of experience in nonprofits and international development, having previously worked in South Africa, El Salvador and Nepal. Michelle has spent extensive time at Sundara's India and Uganda operations, deepening her ability to work across different cultures and to ensure Sundara’s programming tackles complex issues and concerns voiced by our beneficiaries themselves. The highlight of her time with Sundara is spending time connecting with our hygiene ambassadors on the ground and working alongside an incredible team of women to co-found RISE.
Director of Operations
Ali currently resides in New York City and is a Program Manager working in innovation and research for emergency response programs at the International Rescue Committee. Previously, Ali studied Arabic, Economics and Public Health at the George Washington University in Washington DC, and has WASH and research field experience in Myanmar, the Middle East and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
Her passion for travel combined with her desire for a cleaner and healthier world is one of the many reasons why she is so happy to be a part of the Sundara team!
Rachel earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees in International Development and Social Change, from Clark University. Born and raised in the United States, she moved to Israel eight years ago. Over the last several years Rachel has consulted for diverse nonprofits, foundations, and social initiatives around the world.
She has founded two non-profits, worked as the Director for a humanitarian aid organization in Kenya, and as the Assistant Director for a Development organization in India. In addition to her leadership roles, Rachel has been involved with community development programs in Haiti, Nepal, Kenya, Zambia, and Israel, and coordinated research and planning for several disaster response initiatives across the globe.
When she isn't working you can find Rachel knitting, sewing, or making ceramics.
Lauren is based in the North of England and is currently in the final year of her Politics with Global Development degree in Leeds. She has experience working for international charities in Ghana, Nepal, South Africa, as well as the UK.
She first found Sundara while volunteering in India and saw the potential that Sundara has to both empower women and to prevent illnesses. Inspired by her time spent in India, Lauren continues to support Sundara from the UK. Lauren taps into her creativity and keen attention to detail as she manages Sundara's social media platforms, marketing and communications.