A global citizen, Tanya was born in India, raised in Dubai and Australia and then moved to Dallas, Texas, after graduating with First Class Honors from Curtin University in 1998. From 1999 until 2012, Tanya worked in Brand Management at The Richards Group. Her fast-track career encompassed a diverse range of accounts such as Travelocity, Nokia and Children’s Medical Center. Today, Tanya divides her time between her own consulting firm, “Shakti Consulting” and “Baal Dan”, (which means “Donation to Children”) the US 501c3 charity she founded in 2006. For over seven years, Tanya almost single-handedly ran Baal Dan with no staff and while working full-time. Baal Dan has raised over $850,000 in just seven years through Tanya’s efforts and that of countless volunteers and the charity has provided aid to almost 3,000 children. Tanya’s reputation as an innovative and dedicated social entrepreneur has received both national and international attention. Recognition for her work includes: Curtin University Australia’s prestigious humanitarian leadership award, “The John Curtin Medal” (2011), Harvard University’s Women’s Empowerment Conference “Women of the Year Award” (2010), and the Sri-Sri Ravi Shankar Award for “Uplifting Human Values” (2007). She has been a featured speaker at Harvard, TEDxSMU and other conferences. An accomplished and inspiring speaker, Tanya never fails to move audiences with her passion for her work with vulnerable children. Tanya is based in Dallas, Texas, but travels extensively in the US and globally for her work. Follow Tanya Pinto on Twitter: @TanyaPinto
Born in India and grew up in Dubai and Australia
What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”
Going against the grain means having the courage to stand out and stand up for what you believe – no matter how hard the path.
What made you decide to pursue a career in the non-profit industry?
I did not really choose to go into the nonprofit industry. I felt I had a calling to help children in need so I guess it chose me!
What have been some of the challenges you faced/lessons you learned as an Asian American in this field?
People want stereotype me or compartmentalize the work I do. Sometimes people think all I care about is children in India. I care about protecting and helping vulnerable children everywhere. It is just that I decided to focus for a few years on starting my work in India. This year my charity will expand globally to help children in other parts of Asia, Africa and Haiti.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment, and why?
Building a school for 150 children that has completely transformed a very poor, rural area in India. The school is the lifeline for hundreds of people and will change future generations.
What’s up next? My work is going global!
Quote to live by: “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” Mother Teresa
Sign (Eastern Animal Sign & Western Zodiac): Snake & Libra
Passionate about: Trying new things!
Favorite food: Thai Green Curry (Vegetables) with Jasmine Rice
Can’t live without: My cup of tea in the morning!