A writer, actor, and child-rights activist, Nandana Dev Sen is the author of six children’s books, translated into more than 15 languages globally. She grew up in India, England, and America, and has starred in over 20 feature films from four continents. Nandana’s first book Kangaroo Kisses was selected by 320 UK schools as a “Book of Excellence,” and her interactive workshops have been loved, in person, by more than 30,000 young people across the world. Nandana has worked with children for over 25 years, promoting the cause of girl safety in India and internationally.
After studying literature at Harvard and filmmaking at USC, Nandana worked as a book editor, a screenwriter, a translator, a script doctor, and as Princess Jasmine in Disneyland. The winner of several Best Actress awards as well as the Last-Girl Champion Award for lifetime achievement in child protection, Nandana has served on the jury of numerous child-rights commissions, global film festivals, and international literary prizes. As an ambassador and advocate, she has represented prominent organizations to fight against child abuse, including UNICEF, RAHI, and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
Nandana loves to find new ways of sharing her stories — from schools in Kolkata, Colombo, New York, Delhi, Dhaka and Tbilisi; to bookstores in India, England, France, America, and China; to hospitals and orphanages in Asia, Africa and Europe. In all her professional work, Nandana has focused on the causes of social equity and progress, and, in particular, the rights of women and children, themes that recur in her books as well as her films.
Nandana is Child Protection Ambassador for Save the Children India, and a Director of the Women’s Refugee Commission in New York.
"I was a painfully shy child, raised by two women poets and, yes, a house full of books, my closest friends. I was lucky, because books, like friends, inspire children to be curious, confident, and kind, encouraging them to dream, and to reach. With its clear-eyed focus on literacy and education, Room to Read unlocks a whole world of wonder and fulfilment for children who are less privileged than I was, bridging gaps in resource and opportunity through the magic touch of books. I’m delighted to join the marvelous team of Room to Read, for every child deserves to play, and to flourish — and Room to Read ensures that she does."
-Nandana Dev Sen