Pukar Malla

Dr. Pukar Malla

Executive Coach

Dr. Pukar Malla has been leading parallel careers as a leadership coach, community organizer, and innovation specialist. As Founder and Executive Director of a leadership non-profit, Daayitwa, he has been organizing youth to lead innovative solutions in the government, business and civil society sectors. As a Former Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School, he investigated and piloted frameworks for communities of innovators to lead change. As a Senior Innovation Policy Specialist at the World Bank, he supported the Indian, Chinese and Ghanaian governments to promote innovation and inclusive growth. Prior to that, he led technology designs at Intel, AMD, Silicon Graphics, and a Silicon Valley start-up, and secured 2 US patents. He received his Bachelors from Swarthmore College, with a focus on engineering and economics. He spent 3 years at Cornell, attaining a MS/PhD in Electrical Engineering with a Minor in Business Management. He earned his MPA from Harvard Kennedy School. While at Harvard, he also led the university-wide Harvard Graduate Student Government as its elected President

Diva Shrestha


Diva Shrestha is passionate about developing the leadership capabilities of change-agents and believes that change is only effective if citizens from different generations, genders, and socio-economic backgrounds co-define the country’s evolving perspectives. She is particularly interested in studying and identifying leadership practices that inculcate behavior and mindset change towards progress and impact. Her professional journey includes eight years of senior leadership roles in admissions and financial aid offices at Nazareth College, Bucknell University, and Colby College in the U.S. She served as a Board Member for Nepal ko Yuwa (Daayitwa U.S.) and co-led the Nepal Rising campaign. She has been fortunate to travel across four continents and looks forward to exploring Nepal. Since returning to Nepal in 2018 after spending 12 formative years in the U.S., she has been crafting her own leadership journey through the management of the Youth Engagement for Youth Employment Campaign and leading the Academy. She is taking this opportunity to understand the challenges and realities of the community that she calls home and reintegrate into the daily intricacies of life in Nepal. Along with ensuring the organization’s growth, she also administers courses to high school students as a Coach and has worked as a Coaching Advisor for multiple courses. She has a Masters in Public Policy with a concentration in International Development and Education Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Bachelors from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY.

Apurba K.C.

Senior Leadership Research Officer

Apurba K.C. is an advocate at Nepal Bar Council. She’s a Dean’s List law and liberal arts graduate of Tribhuvan University; currently pursuing a Masters in Constitutional and International Law. She has built foundational experience in leadership, youth engagement and advocacy through her leadership in YUWA as an executive board member (2016-2018). Her internship at the International Legal Foundation counselling indigent clients, and work with The Carter Center as an LTO Assistant during Nepal’s legislative elections of 2017, fuelled her interest in working with the grassroots communities. Building on this passion, she has been working at Nepal Leadership Academy since January 2018, conducting research, design, and evaluation of NLA’s leadership courses. She has worked as Coaching Advisor in 20 leadership courses including cohorts belonging to Daayitwa Public Service Fellowship 2018 and Yuwa Aaja Campaigners 2018. She is deeply interested in interventions synergizing leadership, law and governance.

Riya Tiwari

Program and Outreach Associate

Riya has served in various multilateral organizations assuming diverse responsibilities ranging from planning and programming to liaison and coordination, communication, and resource mobilization. At UNDP in Bangkok, she worked with Civic Society and Governance Team in drafting a Regional Youth Project on Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship that is implemented in all throughout UNDP country offices in the Asia-Pacific region. Most recently, she was employed at The Salvation Army Divisional HQ in Chicago where she coordinated campaign activities in Salvation Army Corp Centers in Chicagoland, Northern Illinois and Northern Indiana. In addition, she supported the organization in tasks such as collaboration with private and public sectors, data management, and reporting. With an avid interest in international development, leadership, and  research, Riya is enthusiastic to provide a fresh perspective and effectively contribute to the mission and vision of a resilient and thriving Nepal. 

Elina Thapa

Finance Officer

Elina Thapa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Development Finance from Kathmandu University and is currently pursuing her MBA in Finance from Pokhara University. In addition to this, Elina is also training to become an ACCA certified professional accountant. Immediately after graduation, Elina joined Deprosc Nepal as an Account and Data Handling Assistant and spent 9 months working in Sindhupalchowk. After that, she was the Finance and Admin Officer at Yonder Music Nepal, where she was a part of the core founding team and earned valuable experience working in a multinational team. Before joining NLA, she was involved with Daayitwa as the Finance Officer. At present, Elina heads the finance team and is responsible for all matters related to Finance. She is passionate about numbers.

Asmita Rijal

Operation Assistant

Asmita Rijal completed her +2 from Gyankunj college Kalanki. Currently, she is pursuing a bachelor in business studies at Everest College, Tribhuvan University Based. She volunteered during the devastating Earthquake 2072 at FEDO-Feminist Dalit Organization. She organized a fundraiser event at Kathmandu for earthquake relief program with the local club named ‘Sunaulo Samaj’ and donated sanitary napkins in the earthquake affected areas of Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk and Kavre district. She has also worked as a receptionist at Sankalpa-Woman alliance for Peace Justice and democracy. In addition, she has supervised a group of volunteers assigned during the local level election 2074 at Sankalpa. Asmita works as a Operations Assistant in NLA.

Annie Shrestha


Annie Shrestha is a high school graduate from Little Angels’ School (LAS). She started taking up major leadership roles in school from grade nine. Besides organizing school level competitions and voluntary projects with her student council, she independently organized a fundraiser event for disadvantaged orphans in grade nine. She received the Student of the Year Award in the years 2016 and 2018 from LAS and Chetaki Rajya Laxmi Chhatrabriti Purashkar from Chetaki Rajya Laxmi Foundation in 2017. Furthermore, she served as the Secretary in Interact Club of Little Angels’ for the Rota Year 2018/19 and volunteered in Chepang Project through Voluntary Club to elevate the status of Chepang Chatra Baas by distributing utilities and conducting interactive sessions. She is an ardent learner and has devoted herself to learning about the actual ways leadership should be practiced in the context of Nepal through NLA.