Simran Noor, Independent Consultant
Simran Noor currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for South Asian Americans Leading Together. Simran is an independent consultant focused on strategy development, institutional change/organizational development and movement building with a focus on developing processes and setting clear outcomes to achieve racial equity. She brings over ten years of experience working directly with impacted communities, developing policy and strategy, leading organizational change processes and serving as staff within the philanthropic sector. She is also currently a Senior Fellow at the new Race Forward. Previously, Simran served as CSI’s Vice President of Policy & Programs, a key senior level manager who worked directly with the President and Senior Vice President, providing programmatic leadership through the management and coordination of all program staff, strategy development, program management, organizational networking, alliance building, and relationship management. In this role, Simran’s primary responsibilities included programmatic strategy, planning, implementation, staffing, and evaluation. During her tenor as Vice President, she also served as a Deputy Director of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) where she supported the team in developing strategies and tactics to support local and regional government to achieve racial equity. Prior to joining CSI, Simran served as Program Manager at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation where she worked with the Food, Health & Well-being, Racial Equity, and Civic & Community Engagement portfolios. She also served as Program Assistant at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where she supported the Policy Research and KIDS COUNT teams. Simran has written and commented for a variety of media including the Detroit Free Press, The Times-Picayune, The Hill, Aljazeera America and City Limits Magazine. She also has been a featured panelist on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry. Simran holds a dual bachelor’s degree in American Studies and Political Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a dual master’s degree in Public Administration and Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.
Anand Subramanian: Senior Director, PolicyLink
Anand Subramanian is the Vice Chair of SAALT’s Board of Directors. At PolicyLink, Anand directs efforts to advance community-centered policing, including serving as the Executive Director of the San Francisco Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency, Accountability, and Fairness in Law Enforcement. He formerly led strategic communications for several PolicyLink initiatives, including the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, the California Equity Leaders Network, and the PolicyLink Center for Health Equity and Place. Previously, he worked at the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, where he facilitated the Experts of Color Network and examined methods to effectively frame and message policies supporting financial security for communities of color. He has served on the boards of the Oakland Asian Cultural Center and Japanese Community Youth Council, and was a collective member of Organizing Youth!, which aimed to provide progressive South Asian youth with tools to work for political, social, and economic justice. Anand is an attorney and sings and plays guitar in the sibling dream pop duo, Fair and Kind.
Nitasha Sawhney: Garcia, Hernández, & Sawhney, LLP
Nitasha is the Secretary of SAALT’s Board of Directors. Nitasha is a partner in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles offices of Garcia, Hernández, & Sawhney, LLP. She specializes in education, labor and employment law. Nitasha serves as legal counsel to public school districts, community college districts, charter schools and other educational institutions on matters concerning school governance and policy, labor negotiations, employment, educational foundations, public meeting, ethics laws and strategic planning and problem solving. Nitasha also serves as a Commissioner on the California Commission on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs. She was initially appointed to the Commission in 2006 and was reappointed in 2010 by the Speaker of the State Assembly. In May 2006, Nitasha was awarded the Spirit in Action Award from the Interfaith Councils of the cities of Garden Grove, Stanton, and Westminster for her work in raising funds and awareness to aid victims of genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan and her dedication to public service. In April 2008, Nitasha received the Public Interest Award from the South Asian Bar Public Interest Foundation of Southern California for her dedicated commitment to community service and public interest work. In May 2011, Nitasha received the Asian Pacific Island Heritage Award for Excellence in Civil Rights from the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus on the floor of the State Assembly. Nitasha received her juris doctorate from the University of California, Davis and her bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Amina Khan: McLean Furniture Gallery
Pakistan-born Amina immigrated to the United States with her family as a high school sophomore. Amina has been involved with efforts as an attorney and activist through her work with the Buxton Initiative, the Pakistan American Public Affairs Committee, and the USPAK Foundation. She has been interviewed by The Washington Post, Voice of America, Pakistan TV, and other media and radio organizations on issues relating to Pakistan. She has spoken at Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced and International Studies and other institutions on issues relating to Islam and Women. Prior to these efforts, Amina served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy under President Clinton’s Administration. Amina attended Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She attended Widener University in Delaware for her Juris Doctor degree and returned to Georgetown University Law Center for an LLM in International and Comparative Law, with Honors. Amina currently works as a Director at McLean Furniture Gallery, a family business founded by her parents. She lives in McLean with her husband and two children.
Shruti Garg: Senior Associate, Nonprofit Finance Fund
Shruti Garg is a seasoned social justice advocate, having worked both domestically and internationally. She currently serves as a Senior Associate at the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), where she works to strengthen the financial health of nonprofit organizations across the US. Before joining NFF, Shruti spent 6 years working in the philanthropic sector. She served as Membership Engagement Director for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), where she partnered with over 50 foundation and 400 individual members to oversee national programs that increased investments to Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Shruti has worked for major philanthropic institutions including the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Foundations (OSF). At OSF, she managed the investment of more than $45 million over 3 years to immigrant rights, racial justice, and low-wage worker rights organizations. In international work, she worked at the New Delhi-based gender justice organization CREA, where she coordinated a national human rights training institute and collaborated with funders and advocates on international dialogues. Based in Los Angeles, Shruti graduated from Smith College and received her Master of Public Policy from the University of Southern California.
Sasha Neha Ahuja: Change Lead, August Public Inc.
Sasha Neha Ahuja is a social worker, community organizer and advocate from New York City. Sasha got her start in movement building work at the NY Taxi Workers Alliance over a decade ago. Since then, Sasha has built her career anchoring racial and gender justice and facilitating community-driven policy change. Alongside years of work in South Asian-serving organizations in New York City, Sasha also spent six years as an organizer of DC Desi Summer (now East Coast Solidarity Summer), a radical political education program for South Asian youth that built on the legacy of Youth Solidarity Summer (YSS). Sasha currently is a Change Lead at August Public Inc. where she helps teams build capacity for the future of work. Prior to this, Sasha served as Deputy Director of the Policy & Innovation Division, within the Speaker’s Office at the NYC Council where she most notably drove Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Young Women’s Initiative, the first-in-the-nation initiative dedicated to lifting up young cis and trans women and girls of color. Sasha is an Adjunct Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and Touro Graduate School of Social Work, and trainer with a range of progressive political training organizations working with folks interested in deepening their racial justice analyses to engage in the work that drives them. Sasha holds a BA from Hunter College of the City University of New York (free CUNY!) and a MS in Social Work from Columbia University.
Darakshan Raja, Founder/Co-Director, Justice for Muslims Collective
Ms. Raja is a Pakistani Muslim immigrant woman from the Bronx who moved to Washington DC in order to impact social policies. She has worked on a range of issues that includes organizing against anti-Muslim racism and state violence, gender-based violence, human rights abuses and the national security system, and the criminal justice system. She currently serves as the Founder/Co-Director of Justice For Muslims Collective, a Muslim-led space organizing against Islamophobia in the DC metro area. She formerly served as the Interim Executive Director of the Washington Peace Center, a local grassroots organization focused on providing political education, strategic resources, and support for actions and mobilizations locally. At the Washington Peace Center, she has managed the DC Trainers Network, a monthly training for local grassroots activists. Prior to joining the Washington Peace Center, Ms. Raja worked at the Urban Institute on a range of criminal justice evaluations for state and federal government agencies. She currently serves as a board of trustee for the Consumer Health Foundation. Ms. Raja holds an MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.