Zarana comes to FSG with diverse experiences in community and economic development, criminal justice, youth services, and more. In her position as associate director at FSG, Zarana draws from her extensive work strategy development, nonprofit management, and leadership coaching, with expertise in strategic planning, program design, coalition building, data management, and leadership building. She is especially interested in systems thinking, with a focus on how to develop leaders and build institutions at all levels for equitable development.
Zarana’s career has been dedicated to building political, social, and economic equity for the marginalized. She has worked in nonprofits, government, and media for 20 years both in the U.S. and abroad. Through humbling experiences working in partnership with exceptional community leaders, she has developed an approach to focus on how organizations can act on their values and hold on to their vision through difficult and uncertain times. Systems change and adaptive leadership are cornerstones of her work.
Her career started with reporting on local politics on the edge of the Navajo reservation, led to writing for a human rights organization in India, advanced to managing government workforce services for 100,000 jobseekers in New York, and, recently, Zarana’s career and passions led to a community organization where she launched a program to reduce youth incarceration in Houston. Along the way, she has volunteered with her community, especially two years as a volunteer instructor and tutor for formerly incarcerated New Yorkers preparing for the GED and one year teaching English for immigrants and refugees in Houston. Just before joining FSG, Zarana leveraged her diverse experiences to help several small- to mid-sized nonprofits develop or refine their strategies.
- Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, MPA/MPP
- University of Houston, BA in Journalism
- American Leadership Forum, Houston Fellow
- Coro Leadership, New York Fellow
- Spanish (intermediate)
- Gujarati (intermediate conversation, beginning writing)
On Working at FSG
The FSG team is impressive in the experience and commitment they bring to the table. And I love being able to offer support, actionable strategies, and new insights to help all types of organizations operate in more effective and just ways.”