Pragya Mahendru grew up in New Delhi, India. She graduated from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore where she learned the power of design thinking. She believes that to design is to create new experiences, in which happiness is the essential outcome. She enrolled in DSI with the intent to equip herself with the tools necessary to take her ideas from prototypes to meaningful system change.
Since graduating, Pragya now lives and works in New York and is working at the United Nations Development Program as part of the Brand and Marketing team. At UNDP, she has launched and now manages the Marketing Services Hub. This hub is an in-house agency, which provides design services to all UNDP country offices and regional hubs. At the UN, Pragya started a consultants union called WE@UNDP (Workforce Equality at UNDP). The aim was to make sure that consultants get the same social benefits as staff members do. The union engaged consultants from across different bureaus, created a business case for their demands and pushed senior leadership to take action. After 2 years of their efforts, a new contract modality has been established for long term consultants that provides social benefits to all consultants in 170 country offices around the world.