Vijaya Pastala '89
(international development activist)
A women’s studies and international relations major, Vijaya Pastala is "a foodie" and "loves to catch up on her reading" when she finds free time, even though there are plenty of undertakings that keep this entrepreneur busy throughout the day.
After completing her degree from Mount Holyoke in 1989, Vijaya earned a master's degree in regional planning from MIT and began her career in international development. She has worked at the World Bank, Aga Khan Foundation and European Commission, among others. Drawing on significant expertise gained during work with rural farmers for two decades, Vijaya then decided to create Under The Mango Tree, "a certified organic agricultural trading company." Under The Mango Tree has grown significantly since its founding, and today it not only "provides beekeeping training, capacity - building and ensuring access to market to nearly 3000 farmers across six states in India," but also "impacts more than 15,000 rural lives including farmers' families."