Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director

Suman Raghunathan, SAALT’s Executive Director, joined the organization in February 2014. As Executive Director, Suman coordinates SAALT’s overall efforts to amplify diverse South Asian voices advocating for progressive change in the US. This includes developing, together with SAALT staff and Board of Directors, a vision for the organization, working closely with SAALT’s stakeholders, and expanding the resources necessary to implement that vision. Suman is a passionate and seasoned immigrant rights advocate with extensive experience on the range of issues addressed by SAALT, deep connections to South Asian communities, and relationships with key partners in the racial justice and immigrant rights movements. She has longstanding experience in leading non-profit organizations, having first served as Interim Executive Director and then as a long-time member of the Board of Directors of Chhaya Community Development Corporation, one of SAALT’s community partners.

The daughter of Indian immigrants, Suman has a keen understanding of the issues affecting South Asian and other immigrants in the United States. She has deep experience conceptualizing and coordinating multifaceted and multi-issue campaigns that span numerous proposals and stakeholders, and assembling the coalitions critical to advancing them. Through her work at organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, Progressive States Network, and the New York Immigration Coalition, Suman has developed expertise on policy issues, directed immigrant leadership development programs, launched newcomer civic engagement campaigns, and implemented capacity-building and advocacy campaigns.  Suman has been quoted in The New York Times and Washington Post, has appeared on the ‘PBS NewsHour’ and MSNBC’s ‘Up with Chris Hayes’  as well as National Public Radio and Al Jazeera English, and her Op-Eds have appeared in The Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee, and The Hill, among other publications.  Suman is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2015 Civil Rights Award for SAALT’s work on hate violence from Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, and the recipient of a 2014 Open Society Foundation New Executives Fund award.

To reach Suman, email suman@saalt.org