Aashka Merchant

Aashka Merchant is the Chief of Staff at the Legal Defense Fund.

In this role, she leads the ongoing review and alignment of organizational strategy with leadership priorities and key performance indicators, manages key organization-wide projects, and facilitates strategic engagement with critical internal and external stakeholders.

She has devoted her career to human rights, both civil and economic, social and cultural rights, and has used her expertise of strengthening operations and building organizational capacity to support mission-based organizations envisioning a future that is rooted in justice and equity. 

Most recently, Aashka served as Governance Officer at Amnesty International, an organization at which she has spent the last decade. Aashka held many different hats at the organization, including but not limited to working with their Board and Executive Team on strategy and impact, leading their NY office move and construction (a $1 million project), overseeing events and conferences, and research.  Aashka felt most empowered by the mission work she has done with the organization, including protest monitoring and missions to serve the indigenous communities defending against the Standing Rock pipeline and the asylum seekers at the U.S./Mexico border.

Aashka holds a B.A. in Political Science and Business Administration from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and a M.A. in Government and Politics (International Law and Diplomacy) from St. John’s University in Rome, Italy.

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