Deepa Iyer, Strategic Advisor

Deepa Iyer Headshot 2013Deepa Iyer, for­mer­ly the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), Deepa has been a civ­il and immi­grant rights advo­cate for 15 years. An immi­grant who moved to the Unit­ed States when she was twelve, Deepa has devot­ed her pro­fes­sion­al career to research, analy­sis, and advo­ca­cy on issues such as race and race rela­tions, immi­gra­tion, the post 9/11 envi­ron­ment, lan­guage rights and access, cen­sus, polit­i­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion and vot­ing rights.

Pri­or to her nine-year tenure at SAALT, Deepa served as Legal Direc­tor of the Asian Pacif­ic Amer­i­can Legal Resource Cen­ter; Tri­al Attor­ney at the Civ­il Rights Divi­sion of the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice; and Staff Attor­ney at the Asian Amer­i­can Jus­tice Center.

Deep­a’s writ­ing has been fea­tured in the New York Times, New Jer­sey Star-Ledger, Detroit Free Press and Huff­in­g­ton Post. She served as guest edi­tor of Field Notes from the 9–11 Moment, an aca­d­e­m­ic jour­nal, and was the Exec­u­tive Pro­duc­er of a 26-minute doc­u­men­tary about hate vio­lence which has been screened at col­lege cam­pus­es, con­fer­ences, and film festivals.

She cur­rent­ly serves in a con­sult­ing role as SAALT’s Strate­gic Advi­sor, teach­es at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land, is at work on a book about the chang­ing racial land­scape in Amer­i­ca, and tries to keep up with her 4 year old. Fol­low Deepa @dviyer, vis­it her web­site at, and con­tact her at