Karuna joined the Packard Foundation in December 2020 as an evaluation & learning officer. In this role she provides guidance and technical assistance to staff in monitoring, evaluation, learning (MEL) and continuous improvement efforts. In addition, she leads cross-foundational learning to ensure that all staff have the skills, tools and resources to support robust and right-sized MEL initiatives.
Karuna brings over 15 years of experience in evaluation and applied research, working both domestically and internationally and across various settings – nonprofits, international development agencies, academia, and non-profit consulting. Her career has been dedicated to ensuring a balance between rigor and feasibility of implementation, using context-and-culturally responsive evaluation practices, and promoting stakeholder collaboration. Before joining the Foundation, Karuna was a Project Director at John Snow Inc., providing evaluation and strategy consultation and technical assistance to local/state/federal agencies and their grantees, health plans, and philanthropy in the areas of health care delivery transformation, women’s health, maternal and child health, violence/trauma prevention, and systemic and social determinants of health and wellbeing.
Karuna began her career in academia where she trained and applied various social science methods including community-based participatory research in some of India’s most marginalized communities to support the democratization of development and elevation of community voices. Throughout her career, Karuna has sought out ways to support communities in ‘owning’ and employing data for program refinement, sustainability, and to maximize and communicate impact. Karuna holds a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health and a Fogarty International post-doc from the University of California, San Francisco’s Center of Excellence in Women’s Health & Empowerment.
In her spare time, Karuna can be found learning about the journey and history of spices and experimenting with them; and exploring the world through the eyes of her two children. Karuna has always been passionate about promoting gender equity, and serves on the Board of Directors of CORA, the sole agency in San Mateo County dedicated to meeting the needs of individuals and families impacted by domestic violence.