Karen O'Brien

Karen Peabody O’Brien

Karen Peabody O’Brien joins Sangam Arts’ Board of Directors, bringing with her extensive experience in institutional change and grant-making from the environmental, health, and community-building arenas.

She founded and directed the nonprofit Advancing Green Chemistry (AGC), which worked to build creative connections between chemists and biologists seeking to create safer materials. AGC produced a revolutionary new chemical design regime: the Testing Protocol for Endocrine Disruption (TiPED).

Prior to AGC, Karen worked to shift institutional perceptions on inherently safer chemicals from “cost’ to “opportunity”: first at the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia; second, at the American Chemistry Society’s Green Chemistry Institute.

In addition to serving on several foundation boards and associations, Karen worked as at the W. Alton Jones Foundation as Program Officer for ‘New Ventures,’ the foundation’s effort to identify and act on emerging issues and support rising social entrepreneurs. Karen has joined several NGO boards, including Heart to Heart International Children’s Medical Alliance, Hakone Gardens, and Sangam Arts.

Karen holds a BA from UC Berkeley in Development Studies, an MA from the University of Virginia in Government and Foreign Affairs, and a PhD in Political Science. She is a mother, wife, potter, gardener, beekeeper, and hiker. She loves exploring trails in the hills around Saratoga and learning about California native plants and wildlife.

Shay Franco-Clausen

Shay Franco-Clausen

Shay Franco-Clausen is a member of multiple social-justice oriented local County and State Commissions, and works tirelessly to advocate for the rights of LGBTQ individuals and for the inclusion of all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, and gender. Shay founded and directs a nonprofit called “The P.L.A.Y.C.E.,” which teaches the importance of acceptance, tolerance, and guidance with the purpose of strengthening her own community.

In 2016, Shay managed a hard-fought and ultimately winning campaign for the California State Assembly Member Ash Kalra, while graduating from Emerge California program and from West Valley College. Shay was recognized as the 49ers Foundation’s Community Quarterback in 2016, she won the YWCA Empowerment Award in 2017, and the New Leaders Council’s LGBTQA + Rights Changemaker of the Year in 2017.

Shay was elected to be the first LGBTQ Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, and was also elected to the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority for District 5, as preservation and environmental justice is at the root of her soul. Shay plans to take her passion for public service, her love for community, and dedication to solving issues that impact her community as far as she can.

Usha Alve

Usha Alve

Usha has served as a Sangam Arts board member since 2014. She is a poet, philanthropist and a passionate advocate of world music. She is a dedicated patron of SFJAZZ and cherishes its core values of openness, joyful collaboration, and community connection. She has published a book of poems called “Land of Dreams.” Usha is a Senior Technical Program Manager at high tech company in Silicon Valley and has held several management positions at technology companies in the Bay Area.

Usha Srinivasan

Usha Srinivasan

Usha Srinivasan is the founder and president of Sangam Arts, a Silicon Valley 501(c)3 nonprofit

whose mission is to promote multicultural understanding through performing arts. She believes

that the increasing cultural diversity in the US demands new models of social integration. Her mission with Sangam and its latest initiative, Mosaic America, is to develop systemic ways to engage with each other in congenial, creative settings that help us see our common humanity while celebrating our differences.

Usha also runs Twelfth Man – a consulting practice providing product strategy and marketing services to high tech companies in Silicon Valley. She holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Usha is a former member of the Cultural Commission of the City of Santa Clara. Knight Foundation selected her as a Creative Community Fellow in 2016. She sits on grants panels for National Endowment for the Arts, SVCreates, City of San Jose’s Office of Cultural Affairs, and others. She has also served on the Board of World Arts West, the producer of the famous San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and on the board of Wildlife Rescue, Palo Alto.

Usha is a trained Bharatanatyam (Classical Indian) dancer and performs with her daughter

locally and in India. She lives in Saratoga with her husband, two young daughters and a dachshund Milo. She is a fan of British mysteries and an ace solver of cryptic crosswords.

Aparna Srinivasan

Aparna Srinivasan

Aparna Srinivasan has been a Sangam Arts board member since its inception. A Bay Area resident since 1994, Aparna has 20 years of experience in the medical device and diagnostics arena in statistical consulting. She has worked as a statistician at major robotic companies including Behring Inc., LifeScan, and Abaxis Global Diagnostics Inc, and currently is the managing principal of post market data analytics and Intuitive Surgical.

She earned her PhD in decision sciences and engineering systems from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and her M.Sc and M.Phil in statistics and operations research from the University of Hyderabad. She is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

Aparna learnt Bharatanatyam as a child, and is always looking for new ways to support and facilitate collaborative and cross cultural projects.

Aparna Srinivasan

Ginger Lai

Ginger believes that the arts and music are essential for a life well lived, and for this reason she is delighted to support the mission of Sangam Arts. She is a native San Franciscan, a UC Berkeley alum and has had the privilege of residing on both East and West coasts. She has worked in both the corporate and nonprofit worlds and enjoyed jobs in advertising, marketing, fundraising and collaborating on unique projects and special events. Former employers include Norton Opax, Rexham plc, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the Maryland Food Committee, and she recently retired from AACI (Asian Americans for Community Involvement). She is currently on the board of Saratoga Sister City, serving as president for three years, and also a board member of KSAR 15, Saratoga’s community access TV station where she served as vice chair. Ginger is a member of Saratoga Taiko, Hakone Gardens and ChiAm Circle.