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Shobhini Mukerji and Danièle Castle elected to the board of the Swiss NGO Helvetas

The members of Helvetas, the Swiss organization for development cooperation and humanitarian aid, elected two experienced development experts to the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting on June 21, 2024. 

With Danièle Castle and Shobhini Mukerji, the Board once again consists of 14 members.   

Shobhini Mukerji has been the Director of the South Asian regional center “Jameel Poverty Action Lab” (J-PAL) since 2011 – a center that conducts research on overcoming poverty. 

She began her professional career in 2002 at Pratham, one of India’s largest NGOs, which campaigns for universal and high-quality primary education. Mukerji holds a Master’s degree in Social Research Methods from the London School of Economics.   

Mukerji is passionate about the use of evidence and data in policy making. She advises multilateral organizations and donors on effective spending to eradicate poverty and fundamentally improve living conditions.

She has worked with Nobel laureates such as Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo on large-scale randomized trials on basic education in India and has developed highly effective literacy programs. Her approaches are currently being scaled up in several Indian states and parts of Africa, reaching more than 60 million children.  

Similarly, Danièle Castle is an expert in lifelong learning at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). She co-developed and co-directs the Diploma Program (DAS) in Strategic and Operational Philanthropy at the University of Geneva. Castle is a member of the VentureKick jury, which finances start-ups, and she sits on the board of a small company in the circular economy.  

Castle began her career in B2B public relations at Burson-Marsteller International in Geneva. After working at Elizabeth Arden and Ares Serono International, where she headed the Corporate Public Relations department worldwide, she founded her own agency, Genevensis Healthcare Communications, in 1999. Later, at the World Heart Federation, she was responsible for cause-related marketing.   

In 2013, Castle took over the management of Graduate Women International, an international non-governmental organization focusing on girls’ and women’s education in over 80 countries.