Sheela directs Transparentem’s investigative portfolio, develops and executes programmatic strategy, manages overseas personnel, and serves as subject matter expert on human trafficking and child labor.
Prior to joining Transparentem, Sheela served at the US Department of State for nearly a decade, where she helped develop and implement policy across Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. In the Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, she advised senior-level US officials and foreign counterparts on policies and programs, produced country assessments for the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, and exposed previously hidden forms of forced labor. She also negotiated human rights resolutions in the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council, and managed almost $10 million in foreign assistance to promote justice in West Africa. Previously, Sheela worked for the World Bank, the US Department of Labor, human trafficking NGOs in India and the United States, and an indigenous rights organization in Ecuador. She has been part of the antitrafficking movement since 2002, when she began volunteering for a community group in Washington, DC.
Sheela earned an M.A. from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. from Tufts University.