Board of Directors
Amber Abbas [President] is an Associate Professor of History at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia where she teaches courses on World History, South Asia, South Asian America and Oral History Methodology. She completed her Ph.D. in South Asian History at the University of Texas at Austin where she trained in oral history training with Martha Norkunas. Amber’s oral history and archival research focuses on the period of transition associated with the 1947 Independence and Partition of India that ultimately resulted in the creation of three separate states: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. She served as co-chair of the Academic Council of South Asian American Digital Archive from 2014-2017. She serves on the OHA Education Committee and has published in South Asian History and Culture, The Appendix, and The Oral History Review. She has worked in archives and conducted oral histories in the United States, England, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
Amit Khanna [Treasurer] is a second generation Indian American whose career has been firmly rooted in legal practice, though in a variety of settings. From 2007 through 2015, Amit was an attorney with the law firms Paul Weiss and Fenwick & West, where is practice spanned a variety of matters, with a particular focus on advising mission-driven technology companies and their investors. He then served as the inaugural Mission Investing Fellow for Eric and Wendy Schmidt's family foundation in Palo Alto where he helped build a platform for investment in early-stage enterprises focused on social, economic and environmental impact. Since early 2017, he has served as General Counsel of Knotel, a New York-based company that builds, designs and operates fully-customized flexible offices for companies across the US, Europe, Asia and South America. Amit actively advises and invests in a number of early-stage technology companies as well.
Pawan Dhingra [Secretary] is Professor of American Studies and Contributing Faculty in Anthropology/Sociology at Amherst College. He is Former Curator and Senior Advisor to the historic Smithsonian Institution’s Beyond Bollywood project. He has written on various aspects of the South Asian American experience, including award-winning books, op-eds, award-winning articles, and more. He and his work have been profiled on numerous media and public outlets, including National Public Radio, The Washington Post, the White House forum on AAPI heritage, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Colorlines, Times of India, and many more. He also appears in the Netflix documentary on Indian American spelling bee kids, Spelling the Dream.
Samip Mallick is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of SAADA. He was formerly the Director of the Ranganathan Center for Digital Information (RCDI) at the University of Chicago Library. Mallick holds a M.S. in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Illinois, a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan College of Engineering, and has done graduate work in Indian History at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. He was also previously the Assistant Bibliographer for the Southern Asia Collection at the University of Chicago Library and has worked for the South Asia and International Migration Programs at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).
Mika Rao Kalapatapu is a communications leader with a passion for storytelling, justice and equity. After graduating from The University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communications (with a minor in South Asia regional studies), Mika has worked as a change management consultant with Accenture and directed communications and marketing teams at large healthcare systems including Memorial Hermann and K+S Consulting. She is currently the Managing Director for Communications and Public Affairs at Teach For America. She is an active volunteer and board member with a number of local philanthropic organizations. Mika received her Masters of Science degree in communications from Boston University. She lives in the greater Houston area with her husband and two children.
Ayshea Khan is the Asian Pacific American Community Archivist at the Austin History Center, where she works alongside community members to collaboratively collect, preserve and provide access to Austin’s vibrant Asian American history. She holds a B.S. in Cinema & Photography from Ithaca College and she received her MSIS in 2016 from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a Certified Archivist and has served in leadership positions with the Society of Southwest Archivists and Breaking Library Silos for Social Justice collective in Austin, which facilitates resource gathering, workshops, and conversations centered on creating more just library/archival/museum spaces. She has been a longtime SAADA volunteer and served as the Co-Chair for the SAADA Archivists' Collective.
Arun Venugopal is a reporter at WNYC and host of Micropolis, which explores race & identity issues. Prior to joining the station, he worked at India Abroad. He's a regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and On The Media. His work has appeared in The Guardian, Salon and the Wall Street Journal, along with Outlook India. Arun holds an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School and a B.A. in Religion and Communications from Trinity University.
Past Board Members
Sindya N. Bhanoo
Tina Bhaga Yokota
Jennifer Dolfus Ford