Board of Directors
Vijay Anand, is the co-Founder of 5th Pillar and has led the non-profit for a decade, following a successful career in the IT sector. An NRI software engineer, returned to India from the US in 2006 with the aim to better India by creating an informed and service-minded citizenry, is the co-founder and President of 5th Pillar. He lived in the US for almost 10 years, and wanted to use the knowledge and technology he gained there for the betterment of fellow citizens in India. Since then, he has been working to bring people together towards societal well-being by way of service to humanity especially the illiterate and the poor people. He has done commendable work towards strengthening and empowering rural communities, by facilitating access to quality education, better infrastructure, and health care.
He has dedicated his life for the improvement of poor and illiterate citizens living in rural India and below middle class and below poverty levels. He is gathering many more like minded Indian citizens within India and abroad to commit towards volunteering for making India proud for all its citizens.
An engineering graduate of the Government College of Technology, Coimbatore, Vijay Anand currently divides his time between Washington D.C. and India. Vijay Anand has also spoken at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna, Austria and at the Council of Europe’s Summer University of Democracy, at the "Brainstorming India" conference in Stanford University, California. He served on the board of the National Federation of Indian Associations (NFIA), the largest U.S.based Indian umbrella organization and also on the board of India Cultural Coordination Committee (ICCC) that aims to promote and foster goodwill and to cultivate cultural togetherness and encourage unity among all Indian organizations.
Vijay Anand co-founded and heads 5th Pillar, a nonprofit organization that aims to encourage, enable, and empower every citizen of India to eliminate corruption at all levels of society. 5th Pillar believes that the citizens of a society are the foundation for the nation. The main objective of 5th Pillar is to strengthen democracy by way of preparing the next generation youth to be dutiful and patriotic citizens in all aspects- following traffic rules, adhering to better environment friendly practices, helping fellow citizens to live a bribe-free life by educating them on the procedures they learn. In order to sensitize the young generation to become socially responsible individuals, to be informed about the various laws governing their functioning as part of the society, 5th Pillar has conducted awareness programs in more than 1600 schools and colleges to empower and train students on innovative methods for leading better and productive lives and thereby be useful to the society and the nation's progress.
5th Pillar has acquired a special consultative status from the United Nations' Economic and Social Council in New York and has taken part in the UN's Global compact program in India. 5th Pillar also won the citizens' media award from Ashoka Foundation for using creative methods to reach out its message to the public. 5th Pillar has been commended by almost all leading newspapers and television channels towards their selfless work of educating citizens on their democratic duties and rights.
Ms. Da Silva is Senior Trade Policy Adviser, International Trade Administration (ITA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She advises U.S. and foreign officials and the business community on services trade policy in the digital economy. She is well versed on issues pertaining to the digital revolution and social media, with the ensuing copyrights and intellectual property rights challenges faced by film, music, publishing, and the creative content industry globally.
Andrea currently works with the U.S.-India Business Council on digital economy and trade matters. Previously Andrea served as ITA's representative to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's Group on Services and as project leader for the U.S. delegation to the OECD Working Party on Information Security and Privacy.Â She is adept at turn-key projects with tight deadlines and takes a creative approach to advising industry and business leaders.
In her free time, Andrea is engaged in community and volunteer activities in support of youth education and neighborhood safety.
Andrea holds an MBA and an MA in International Development from American University. Prior to Commerce she worked in executive search on Wall Street. She serves on Women in International Trade's Leadership Team and on the Boards of 5th Pillar USA and the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Society for International Development.
Dr. Ramesh Narayanan
Staff, Volunteers & Interns
Renuka- Call-Center Counsellor, Chennai
JD Reegan- Administration, Chennai
M. Deepika-RTI Trainer, Coimbatore
Gowri- Call-Center Counsellor, Coimbatore