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Meet Ananya Tiwari, one of 7 'Leaders to Watch' & 1st recipient from Asia-Pacific


Tiwari, who studied at St Stephen's and Ashoka University and co-founded SwaTaleem Foundation, will receive $30,000 for personal or professional development and be mentored by senior leaders at Google.

Meet Ananya Tiwari, one of 7 'Leaders to Watch' & 1st recipient from Asia-Pacific

Google’s philanthropic arm has named Ananya Tiwari, Co-Founder and Executive Director of SwaTaleem Foundation, as one of the seven ‘Leaders to Watch’ from non-profits around the world.

Tiwari is the first recipient selected from the Asia-Pacific region. She, along with the other awardees, will receive $30,000 for personal or professional development and will be mentored by senior leaders at Google.

“This support comes at a pivotal time, as we address the digital divide in India. I’ve met women from all walks of life who have inspired the work that I’m doing, so I’m looking forward to learning from Google mentors and using the funding we receive to drive advocacy and strengthen existing partnerships across the world,” Tiwari said after receiving the grant.

SwaTaleem Foundation, which has recently received a $700,000 grant from, partners with Humane Warriors to educate marginalised women and girls in rural India through a creative, low-tech platform. Tiwari co-founded the SwaTaleem Foundation with Vaibhav Kumar.

Who is Ananya Tiwari?

Tiwari graduated from St Stephen’s College and did her post graduate diploma in liberal arts from Ashoka University. She dabbled in neuroscience in Cambridge, Göttingen and Stockholm before switching to education. Her LinkedIn profile says she has done her PhD in educational psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign between 2020 and 2022.

Teacher from the beginning

Tiwari worked as a teacher in a rural school and opened schools in villages. Between 2012 and 2015, Tiwari volunteered as a teacher, content and assessment developer for students’ initiative called Prayas at IIT Kanpur. She taught classes 4-12 and college students.

Tiwari also worked with Patna-based non-profit organisation CorStone on resilience-based interventions. With international NGO STiR Education, Tiwari worked on the intrinsic motivation in Indian teachers in public school system at a systemic level.


Tiwari received several coveted awards, including the Illinois Innovation Prize, the Illinois International Achievement Award, UFJ-Mitsubishi Japan (Sanwa Bank) Award, Due and Ferber Research Award and the Bailey-YMCA Fellow

Apart from teaching, Tiwari loves swimming and is an occasional runner.

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