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Janina Gavankar

The Womens Conference

How She Empowers Others

Janina Gavankar is an actress and musician. She is trained as a classical pianist, vocalist, and orchestral percussionist. She majored in Theatre Performance at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Signed to Universal Records with a pop group in Chicago, she now lives in Los Angeles, as a full time actor.

Musically, she has had songs licensed to movies and television, and plays marimba on film scores. Currently, she has a pop project charting in India.

Gavankar's most notable roles are that of "Papi", in The L Word, and "Ms. Dewey", Microsoft's snarky interactive search engine ( She has appeared in theatre, commercials, independent films, as well as Barbershop and its sequel, and television shows like Stargate Atlantis, My Boys, Spike TV's Factory, Grey's Anatomy, and Girlfriends.