Meet the Staff
marty krasney, executive director
Marty Krasney, an educator, and organizational executive, was named as the first Executive Director of Dalai Lama Fellows in May 2010. His prior work in the not-for-profit sector includes having served as the first director of the Aspen Institute Seminars, (where we edited six editions of Aspen Institute Readings and launched the Corporation and Society seminars), the founding president of American Leadership Forum, executive director of The Coalition for the Presidio Pacific Center and program director of the National Humanities Series. His corporate employment includes directing public affairs for Levi Strauss & Co. and managing executive development at ARCO.
Marty also serves as Vice President of Commonweal, on the Executive Committee of Human Rights Watch's San Francisco Committee, on the Board of Heyday and on the Advisory Board of the Butler Koshland Fellowships. He has published poetry and short stories in American and British magazines; is currently at work on two books, one about citizen sector culture and the other a long inquiry into vision; and continues to write poetry. He graduated with honors from Princeton University, pursued graduate work in English Literature at the University of Michigan and in Communications at Stanford, and earned an MBA from Harvard.
Natalie Conneely, Director of Partnerships and Advancement
Natalie is a passionate development professional, born in the lowland jungles of Eastern Bolivia, the seventh of eight children. Complementing Natalie’s six years in development, she spent four years in corporate business development managing more than 54 million dollars in revenue from Europe, Middle East, and African Markets, while launching CNN International’s first Middle Eastern Production Hub in Abu Dhabi. Natalie co-founded Changing Stories, an international production platform and arts organization that provides transformative experiences for communities to share their stories. She launched Bolivia Corazón de America, an Ethnic dance group 16 years ago. She is the Co-Chair of the Human Rights Watch Young Professionals Network Membership Committee and has been Initiated as a Field of Love Meditation Guide. In her free time she is a working actor and filmmaker in San Francisco. She has a degree in Political Science and Film, Television and Theater from the University of Notre Dame and non-profit experience in development, education and the arts in Ghana, Peru, and India.
Rukmani Kapoor, Program Coordinator
Rukmani is an Atlas Corps Fellow from India who joined Dalai Lama Fellows in summer 2017. She has a deep passion for educational equity and has held various positions in the not-for-profit and social enterprise sectors, developing sustainable and scalable solutions. Before coming to Dalai Lama Fellows, Rukmani led government relations for Civic Response Team, a think tank in Maharashtra, India, developing a teacher training curriculum for public school teachers. Her work in education began in 2010, when she applied and was selected for the Teach for India fellowship. She has strong skills in project management, implementation and building partnerships. Her personal interests include food, reading and hiking.
Bela Shah, Director of Fellows
Bela manages the recruitment, selection and lifelong engagement of Fellows. She has worked with international development, education, and capacity building programs. She has collaborated on community development projects in Central America with Amigos de las Americas, worked on the US Department of State’s public diplomacy and international exchange programs, and is a volunteer with ServiceSpace.org. As a former attorney, Bela has represented women in human trafficking and political asylum cases and facilitated women’s empowerment workshops in Washington, DC. Bela holds an Honors degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center and the American University Washington College of Law. Bela finds joy through Vipassna meditation retreats, long walks in nature, and crafting poetry for children.
Pal Y. Brahmbhatt, Marketing & Social Media Intern
Pal was born in Gujarat, India but she grew up in Tanzania, East Africa. Currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, she joined Dalai Lama Fellows as a marketing and social media intern. Pal’s interests include betterment of education for kids across the globe. Apart from that, she is a storyteller enthusiast and creates stories for children. Her work in education began at an age of twelve, when she started teaching at the orphanage around her school in Dar-es-Salaam. Her personal experience of teaching kids, who faced inequality in education, motivated her to join Make A Difference (MAD) as an academic support and a wingman in 2015. Pal is also a travel enthusiast and has been travelling across the globe for past four years.
Dexter, Chief Humbition Officer
Savannah Lhasa, Chief Compassion Officer