Earth Hacks is run by a dedicated team of volunteers all committed to securing a livable future through community based innovation.


Executive Director

Sanjana Paul is the executive director and co-founder of The Earth Hacks Foundation. She holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and physics, and is currently working on engineering problems at NASA. Previously, she worked as an NSF REU participant in extreme ultraviolet engineering in the Kapteyn-Murnane Lab in JILA at the University of Colorado Boulder, and as a Conservation Innovation Fellow at Conservation X Labs. When not shooting lasers around or coding solutions to climate issues, she likes exploring the outdoors and baking delicious treats.


Innovation Director

Bhargav Sathish is the Innovation Coordinator and a founding member of the Earth Hacks Organization. Bhargav holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering from VCU. Bhargav participated in over 10 hackathons during his undergraduate career, and was part of two organizing committees for Earth Hacks events. Outside of Earth Hacks, Bhargav has actively held leadership positions in multiple engineering organizations, and volunteers at a rescue squad. In his free time, Bhargav enjoys cooking and learning new things.


Deputy Director

Jake Holweger is a founding member of the Earth Hacks organization. Jake is currently studying Mechanical Engineering and is an undergrad at VCU Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2022. Jake was the chief organizer in the VCU Earth Hacks partner event. Outside of Earth Hacks, he serves as a robotics mentor and a Filtration and Fluid Mechanics researcher. When Jake isn't in the lab, he loves riding his bike around Richmond's alleys and gravel trails.


Communications Director

Maya Koehn-Wu is the Social Media and Marketing Director at Earth Hacks. She currently is studying at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies. Maya is interested in pursuing a degree in Environmental Sustainability and/or Urban Planning and dance. In her free time, Maya enjoys flamenco dancing, whitewater kayaking and playing her pink ukulele.

Gayu Chakkangal

Advisory Board Member

Gayu Chakkangal is a London based Negotiation Specialist, well experienced in using Transformative and Narrative Mediation and has a special interest in Environmental Conflict Resolution. In her previous role, she worked as the Chief Mediator and Negotiator at Meta-Culture Consulting. Here she also handled research, public relations and trust management and worked with the Compliance Advisory Ombudsman, World Bank as a researcher. She has organized and facilitated citizen’s engagement dialogue groups in Bangalore, India to improve citizen participation in civic issues and democracy. 


As an Environmentalist, she has supported organizations such as London Wildlife Trust and Food Cycle. Gayu has consulted for clients such as Accenture, Nokia, LG, Coke, Wrigley’s, MacMillan Publishing and Nike. She has worked as a researcher on projects supporting Google and Facebook at AIAIOO, a tech company specializing in artificial intelligence. She is currently supporting sustainability initiatives at a market research agency servicing the African region. She is also pursuing her Master’s in Environmental Policy and consults independently in Environmental and Stakeholder Engagement projects. When not working, you can find her in a Jazz club or in a neighbourhood pub or theatre.

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The Earth Hacks Foundation

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