Diverse, global experience meets passion

EmancipAction is a non-profit organization working to disrupt the business of child sex trafficking. The focus of its work is in building capacity within the existing anti-trafficking system, with a specific emphasis on increasing access to effective mental health care support for trafficking victims. We have been supporting anti-trafficking organizations in India since 2012.

The leadership team of EmancipAction is comprised of diverse individuals with a wide range of global experience, from the clinical setting to the board room. But it is this eclectic mix, combined with our passion, that sets us apart from most non-profit organizations. Our technology and business experience drives our efficiency and operational standards. Our in-the-trenches, real world clinical and research work fuels our practicality, measurement guidelines and innovative thinking. And our combined zeal for holistically releasing children from the bondage of slavery - body, mind and soul - to a place of wellness and peace, drives us with daily urgency to make an impact.

 

Laura Entwistle

Co-Founder and CEO of EmancipAction

  • Canadian
  • University of Western Ontario; Harvard MBA
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Hong Kong, India, Singapore
  • Family, Friends, Faith
  • "I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

  • Laura has lived and worked in Asia for two decades, advising clients in Hong Kong, China and India. As the CEO of EmancipAction, Laura is passionate about using her professional skills and networks to augment, amplify, and accelerate the essential work being done by the many brave and committed people fighting on the front lines in the fight against sex trafficking.

    After receiving an MBA from the Harvard Business School, Laura gained professional experience consulting in both the corporate and nonprofit sector with the Boston Consulting Group in New York and Hong Kong.

    During her five years living in Mumbai, India, Laura served as President of the Board of Trustees at the American School of Bombay and founded the Mumbai Chapter of Room to Read. She was asked to do some strategic consulting in the anti trafficking space. That work pointed to the importance of "and lack of capacity for" mental health care for traumatized children rescued from sex slavery. EmancipAction is a response to that original call for help.

    Laura currently lives in Singapore along with her husband, Brooks, and her three daughters. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Singapore American School, Young Life Singapore and the Battery Dance Company.

    Laura's favorite place outside of Asia is her cottage in Canada where family and friends come together a good meal, beautiful sunsets and koinonia.



    Darcy Pierce

    Co-Founder and COO of EmancipAction

  • Pilot and world traveler
  • Corporate and humanitarian aid strategist
  • Maine, USA
  • Football, technology, faith and family
  • "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." - Henry Ford

  • As the COO of EmancipAction, Darcy is passionate about delivering tangible results through innovative thinking, technology, streamlined operations, and non-traditional working environments. Comfortable getting deep in the weeds or operating at the highest visionary level, he loves guiding EmancipAction's operations by creating replicable and effective approaches to help young girls recover and thrive in the world, when others had given them up as lost. Darcy has extensive corporate and international aid experience spanning 45 countries on five continents, including previous positions in aviation, the investment services industry, along with international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

    Darcy gained experience in corporate management, strategic planning, and labor relations during his 20+ year aviation career, which concluded with his retirement as a captain on the Airbus A-320 with American Airlines. He also served in various leadership positions with the Air Line Pilots Association, Regal Wealth Group and Food for the Hungry International. Darcy has been involved in long-range planning and strategic development of international NGOs. He has served on boards of organizations all over the world including Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America, and has managed both start-up and reorganization projects. A father of three grown children and two grandchildren, Darcy and his wife love the New England lifestyle. Next year, he also plans to tackle a big item on his bucket list by setting sail with his brother from St. Thomas to Hawaii via the Panama Canal.


     
     

    Dr. Priyanka Halli

    Chief Medical Officer and Psychiatrist

  • Indo Canadian
  • University of British Columbia Medicine
  • Harvard University MPH
  • Inner City Youth Mental Health Program
  • Winnipeg, Vancouver, Mumbai
  • Sufi music, yoga, Hindi movies
  • "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." - Viktor Frankl

  • Despite growing up in Canada, Priyanka always felt a pull to India and lived there on and off during her youth. She completed medical school and her psychiatry residency at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

    Priyanka's interest in equalizing mental health care around the world led her to complete a Master of Public Health from Harvard University.

    After finishing her residency, Priyanka worked at the Inner City Youth Mental Health Program in Vancouver, Canada which provides holistic mental health programs for homeless youth. In particular, she incorporated Dialectical Behavioral therapy and mindfulness into her clinical practice.

    Learning that suicide is the number one cause of mortality among adolescents in India but there is a lack of mental health specialists, she moved to India in the hopes of building non-specialized staff-led mental health care programs. She initially volunteered at organizations like SNEHA and KHPT, helping with mental health awareness and parenting workshops. She is happy to have found her place at EmancipAction working with the most marginalized youth of India.

    Priyanka now lives in sunny Mumbai, where she enjoys being close to Sufi Music, yoga and Bollywood films.



    Vandana Kripalani Bala

    Vice President– EmancipAction India Foundation

  • Indian
  • Anthropology & Sociology, Franklin & Marshall College, PA
  • Market Entry Strategist & Entrepreneur
  • Justice Seeker & Human Rights Defender
  • Believer of Grace
  • "You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You cannot have both." - Brenee Brown

  • As the Vice President of the EmancipAction India Foundation, Vandana brings her expertise and passion for supporting the needs of trafficking victims and developing public-private partnerships. After graduating from Franklin & Marshall College in the U.S., Vandana returned to India in 2007 and began a successful career in consulting, eventually launching her own market entry strategy firm. During this time, she began to exercise a developing passion for humanitarian issues and women's rights. She left consulting in early 2013, to become the CMO for Set Beautiful Free, a non-profit that rescues, rehabilitates and reintegrates victims of sex trafficking in India.

    In her work with Set Beautiful Free, Vandana participated in several United Nations Conferences, presented to the US Congress, and was instrumental in raising more than USD 1.4 million in support. In 2014, Vandana worked with the organization to set up their new school, the BTC Academy, in collaboration with the American School of Bombay, (a partnership seeded by EmancipAction) which serves children rescued from the red-light areas of Mumbai. Vandana has been invited to share her expertise at several international forums on trafficking including the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in 2013 and 2014; the Nexus Global Youth Summit in 2015; and to the 63rd and 64th National Presidential Prayer Breakfast on Human Trafficking.

    Vandana was awarded "Woman of Substance 2016" from among 500 nominees across India by the All Ladies League for her work and commitment to the cause of human trafficking in India.


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