Meet HAF's 2015 Congressional and Advocacy Summer Interns

Washington, D.C. (June 26, 2015) - The Hindu American Foundation is pleased to welcome five outstanding undergraduate students to its annual summer internship program.  New to this year's program are the dual track options: Congressional and Advocacy.   Congressional track interns spend eight weeks in a Congressional office on Capitol Hill while Advocacy track interns work alongside HAF's fulltime staff in the Foundation's office.  Take a moment to learn more about this year's interns.

Congressional Interns

Neethi Nayak, Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA)

Neethi is a rising junior at Rice University studying Energy Policy and Sociology. As an undergraduate research fellow, her research experience focuses on women's rights in the Middle East and the presence of religion in public life. She is representing HAF in Congressman Ami Bera’s office this summer, focusing her legislative interests on women’s reproductive health policy. Outside of academics, Neethi sings for a collegiate a capella group, serves as a student government representative, and cooks plenty of tex-mex food!  This intern position has been endowed by Drs. Kiran & Pallavi Patel.

Pooja Patel, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)

Pooja is a sophomore at Princeton University, pursuing a major in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a certificate in American Studies. She interns with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, the nation's first Hindu member of Congress. In addition to previously interning with her District Attorney's office, Pooja is involved with the Women's Mentorship Program and has been a contributor to The Daily Princetonian. She enjoys art museums, the West Wing, and brunch.

Advocacy Interns

Aditi Dinakar

Aditi is a sophomore at Creighton University, studying Economics and Health Administration and Policy, with a minor in Public Policy. Aditi is the Chair of the External Affairs Committee for student government, the programming director for the women's center, and a YP4 fellow with People for the American Way. She enjoys reading, Game of Thrones, and eating copious amounts of ice cream.


Manu Kondapi

Manu is a sophomore at Harvey Mudd College; she plans to bridge her interest in science and technology with her penchant for international affairs by creating her own major with an emphasis on energy and development. In addition to her former internship with the City of Chandler’s Department of Environmental Resources, Manu is a Mudd tour guide; the college outreach coordinator and social media director for CEELI, a nonprofit to improve educational access in developing countries; and a soon-to-be mentor for the 2015-16 school year. Manu is an avid Carnatic vocalist, loves to travel and write about her experiences, and enjoys eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Rina Patel

Rina is a sophomore at Bryn Mawr College, where she is studying Political Science and Urban development focusing on education, human rights, and environmental justice. Rina works as an advocacy intern in the HAF office. Rina is a Gold Award winning Senior Girl Scout, the secretary general of the Bi-College Model United Nations team, and has hosted a science-themed game show in Chicago. On campus, Rina stays busy by hibernating and watching Netflix.