Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director

suman_raghunathan_019-_019-__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 numer­ous times in The New York Times and has appeared on the ‘PBS New­sHour’ and MSNBC’s ‘Up with Chris Hayes’ as well as Nation­al Pub­lic Radio, Al Jazeera Eng­lish, and Fair­ness and Accu­ra­cy in Reporting’s Coun­ter­SPIN;  her Op-Eds have appeared in The Nation, 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 a 2014 Open Soci­ety Foun­da­tion New Exec­u­tives Fund award.

To reach Suman, please e‑mail her at