in Environmental Design and Planning from Virginia Tech in 2005. She researched collaborative networks between three leading housing nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and five state government agencies working to house those living in slums and squatter settlements in the city of Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India. Her interest in the housing concerns of Mumbai developed during her Master’s training in social work at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from, her home city, Chennai, India.
She has trained with diverse NGOs including a night shelter for street boys, a housing rights advocacy NGO, and with the micro-credit operations of a rural NGO. She has professional and research experience in a variety of institutional settings including non-profit, state, and corporate entities in India and the United States. Ramanath began her professional career helping initiate a new, not-for-profit, micro-finance institution in South India. Prior to coming to the U.S., in 1999, she also worked with leading private and public sector housing finance and development institutions in India.
Ramanath began her academic career in 2006 teaching nonprofit management, leadership and public policy at Grand Valley State University’s School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration. Ramanath was a David Stevenson fellow (2007-08) with the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council. As part of her fellowship, she completed research on the successes and challenges of small faith-related community organizations working in a public service delivery initiative in Michigan. Her more recently completed research projects include a national study on the circumstances and challenges shaping formal collaborations among nonprofit organizations across the United States and a quality of life study of Habitat for Humanity homeowners in Holland, Michigan. At DePaul, she is studying the evaluation practices of an international nongovernmental organization working with women in East Africa and is also commencing a gender-based audit of the relocation and rehabilitation experiences of former slum dwellers in Mumbai, India.
Her research has been published in the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Sage Reference publication on Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations, and with Public Voices.