SAALT Names Suman Raghunathan as Executive Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      Contact: Auri­a­Joy Asaria
Jan­u­ary 7, 2013                                                               301.270.1855


Suman Raghu­nathan will be join­ing SAALT as Exec­u­tive Direc­tor in February.

The Board of Direc­tors and staff of South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT) are pleased to announce that Suman Raghu­nathan will join our orga­ni­za­tion as Exec­u­tive Direc­tor on Feb­ru­ary 3, 2014.

Ms. Raghu­nathan is a 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 stake­hold­ers. Through her work at orga­ni­za­tions includ­ing the Amer­i­can Civ­il Lib­er­ties Union, Pro­gres­sive States Net­work, and the New York Immi­gra­tion Coali­tion, Ms. Raghu­nathan has devel­oped exper­tise on pol­i­cy issues and imple­ment­ed capac­i­ty-build­ing and advo­ca­cy cam­paigns. She is also well-versed in lead­ing non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions, hav­ing served first 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 close part­ners. She received her under­grad­u­ate degree in inter­na­tion­al rela­tions from Brown Uni­ver­si­ty and has a Mas­ter’s in Non­prof­it Man­age­ment from Milano School of Inter­na­tion­al Affairs, Man­age­ment, and Urban Pol­i­cy in New York City.

“Suman has the opti­mal com­bi­na­tion of skills, expe­ri­ence, and abil­i­ty to con­nect to peo­ple that will deep­en SAALT’s social change mis­sion and expand our reach. She is a pas­sion­ate advo­cate who is sure to iden­ti­fy and imple­ment strate­gic and inno­v­a­tive oppor­tu­ni­ties to ampli­fy the voic­es of South Asians in the Unit­ed States,” said Nitasha Sawh­ney, Co-Chair of the SAALT Board of Directors.

“I am thrilled and hum­bled by the oppor­tu­ni­ty to lead such an influ­en­tial, com­mu­ni­ty-cen­tered, and vital orga­ni­za­tion as SAALT,” said Ms. Raghu­nathan. “As a daugh­ter of Indi­an immi­grants who has been anchored in the immi­grant rights move­ment, I believe whole­heart­ed­ly in the impor­tance of South Asians play­ing a crit­i­cal role to work towards inclu­sive and respon­si­ble pub­lic poli­cies in our nation on issues rang­ing from civ­il rights and xeno­pho­bia to health access and gen­der equi­ty. I look for­ward to work­ing with SAALT’s com­mit­ted staff to forge coali­tions across eth­nic, racial and class lines, and strength­en the lead­er­ship of South Asian orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­u­als around the country.”

Deepa Iyer, SAALT’s out­go­ing Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, will remain in her posi­tion through Jan­u­ary 2014, and then tran­si­tion to serv­ing as a strate­gic advi­sor in a con­sul­tan­cy role. “I am so pleased to wel­come Suman as she steps into the role of Exec­u­tive Direc­tor at SAALT,” said Ms. Iyer. “SAALT has been a labor of love for me for over ten years, and I am ful­ly invest­ed in sup­port­ing Suman, and our staff and Board mem­bers, dur­ing this tran­si­tion and beyond.”

SAALT is a nation­al, non­par­ti­san non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that ele­vates the voic­es and per­spec­tives of South Asian indi­vid­u­als and orga­ni­za­tions to build a more just and inclu­sive soci­ety in the Unit­ed States. SAALT is the only nation­al, staffed South Asian orga­ni­za­tion that advo­cates around issues affect­ing South Asian com­mu­ni­ties through a social jus­tice lens. SAALT’s strate­gies include con­duct­ing pub­lic pol­i­cy analy­sis and advo­ca­cy; build­ing part­ner­ships with South Asian orga­ni­za­tions and allies; mobi­liz­ing com­mu­ni­ties to take action; and devel­op­ing lead­er­ship for social change.

Please join us in wel­com­ing Suman by tweet­ing a wel­come mes­sage to her @saaltweets and@SumanSAALT. For more infor­ma­tion, please vis­it or email us at