Dhara Shah is a Senior Engagement Associate at Public Agenda, with over a decade of experience in social design, facilitation, and community organizing. She brings her own intersectional experiences and critical systems analysis to support community engagement efforts with non-profits, local governance structures, and organizations working towards social change through 1:1 coaching, organization-wide training, and offering technical assistance to operationalize equity.
Dhara’s background merges all elements of her life’s passions: engineering, social design, and community organizing. She has designed curriculum and facilitated racial equity training, going beyond DEI initiatives and supporting organizations operationalizing values of equity in their day-to-day. She has held roles such as Learning & Education Manager at Creative Reaction Lab leading racial equity initiatives at top design institutions and organizations nation-wide, and also is a founding member of JustDesign Co-op where she co-designed operations to provide anti-oppressive engineering and design services to grassroots organizations. Dhara holds a MFA in Design for Social Innovation from School of Visual arts as well as a BS in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Biology from Illinois Institute of Technology. Her graduate thesis was recognized by the School of Visual Arts for developing a customized participatory budgeting process for a Business Improvement District in Queens, which elevated the voices of immigrant-owned small businesses in community revitalization efforts.