Board of Directors
Seema Sohi [President] earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of Washington, Seattle. She is currently an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder where she teaches courses in Asian American Studies. Her book, Echoes of Mutiny: Race, Surveillance, and Indian Anticolonialism in North America, was published in September 2014.
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 documentary on Indian American spelling bee kids, Breaking the Bee.
Amber Abbas is an Assistant Professor of History at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia where she teaches courses on World History, South Asia, and Oral History Methodology. She completed her Ph.D. in South Asian History at the University of Texas at Austin under the supervision of Gail Minault. Amber’s 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. Her research looks specifically at the graduates of a Muslim university in India who had been students in the 1940s during the run-up to independence and partition. These students were active in formulating and spreading expectations about Pakistan and the future of Indian Muslims that remain relevant in South Asia today. In 2014, she was a participant in the 9th National History Center Seminar on Decolonization. She served as co-chair of SAADA's Academic Council from 2014-2017. She has worked in archives in the United States, England, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
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.
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