In 1996, Sayu started South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!), to develop the leadership potential of immigrant youth in Queens. The first and only organization of its kind, SAYA! currently works with over 500 youth each year. Sayu holds a Ph.D. in Politics and Education and an M.Ed. in Comparative Education from Teachers' College, Columbia University, and is a recipient of numerous awards for her community leadership. Sayu serves on the boards of the National Immigration Forum and The AfterSchool Corporation (TASC). She is an immigrant of Indian descent who was raised in Belize, Central America, and is a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Guilty pleasure: cupcakes and champagne
Founder and President
German holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Southern California and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Favorite Hobby: Learning Foreign Languages
Born in Bacolod City, Philippines, she has retained a fervent interest and commitment to the Fil-Am community and the preservation of Filipino culture. She led Liga Filipina, Columbia’s Filipino student organization, in its efforts to raise money and coordinate relief efforts with other NYC organizations after Typhoon Haiyan struck in late 2013. She also served as a National Coordinator for Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network (KBKN), a newly formed student led network aimed at continuing disaster relief and development support to the Philippines.
Favorite pastime: karaoke
For nine years, Jessica served on the Board of the New York Asian Women's Center, an organization dedicated to helping women and their children overcome domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault. Her tenure included serving as Board Chair for four years, and she continues to serve on the Advisory Board. Jessica also served on the Board of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of NY for seven years.
Jessica graduated from Columbia University and holds a Master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Born and raised in New Jersey, Jessica is the daughter of an immigrant from Switzerland and granddaughter of a Chinese “paper son” who immigrated 100 years ago.
Unattainable goal: To cook as well as my mother
Favorite Quote: "We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all the civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States, be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever." Declaration of Women’s Rights of the United States.
Eddie is also an alumnus of the Humanity in Action Fellowship and actively works to affirm and celebrate the diversity of our society.
Adriana was born in Jalisco, Mexico and grew up on the South Side of Chicago. She began organizing as a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was involved with organizations such as Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA), United States Students Association (USSA), Multi-Cultural Student Coalition (MCSC) and La Mujer Latina.
Adriana completed a fellowship through the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) where she served in the D.C. office of Congressman Luis Gutierrez. During the 2010 election cycle Adriana ran the Center for Community Change’s Community Voting Project's non-partisan electoral work in Colorado, Iowa, Ohio and North Carolina.
She has her J.D. from DePaul University. While at DePaul, she was the Editor-in-Chief of the DePaul Journal for Social Justice. Adriana is currently a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Hispanic National Bar Association.
Prior to being a consultant, Pakou served as a Senior Trainer with Wellstone Action, the Voter Protection Director for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and Deputy Vice President of Field Operations for the Children's Defense Fund in Washington D.C. She has also served as the Minnesota Field Director for America Votes, Deputy Political Director for Senator Paul Wellstone's 2002 re-election campaign and Campaign Manager for State Senator Mee Moua's historical 2002 special election.
Pakou graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Masters in Political Science in 2008 and Yale University in 1999. She has conducted extensive research in political psychology and voting behavior among New Americans and is well versed in statistical and survey data analysis. In 2007, she contributed two essays to the book: Voices of Hope: The Story of the Jane Addams School for Democracy. Pakou is a recipient of the prestigious Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Award and the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans.
During the 2008 elections, Mr. Mehta served as Director of External Communications for the Democratic National Committee. Mr. Mehta previously spent three years as National Training Director for the DNC, organizing trainings for more than 22,000 party staff, candidates, leaders and activists in all 50 states and around the world. Mr. Mehta also managed a team of 183 field organizers who ran training programs in 49 states. He also served as the Deputy Political Director for America Votes, developing new media tools to help coordinate voter contact activities and direct their 21 million members to unified campaign events in 17 battleground states.
In 2003, Mr. Mehta served as a Deputy Political Director for Governor Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, based in Burlington, Vermont. Prior to that, in 2000, Mr. Mehta was selected for the prestigious Presidential Management Fellows program where he served as a policy analyst for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and later as a speechwriter for the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Immediately following the fellowship, Mr. Mehta joined the U.S. Senate campaign of former Dallas Mayor and former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
For over a decade, Senator Ulibarri has worked in nonprofit advocacy advancing policies that promote opportunity and fairness. Before running for office, he was the Public Policy Director for the ACLU of Colorado, where he directed all legislative advocacy efforts for the affiliate. He also worked as the State Director for Mi Familia Vota, where he created and implemented the largest Latino nonpartisan GOTV program in Colorado’s history. During his freshman term in the Colorado Legislature, Senator Ulibarri helped to repeal Colorado’s “Show Me Your Papers” law, passed an in-state tuition bill for undocumented students, authored the law to permit undocumented residents the ability to secure a driver’s license and secured legislation to protect workers from wage theft.
Color of Democracy Fund
Four Freedoms Fund of NEO Philanthropy
German Marshall Fund
Kindling Fund of the North Star Fund
Latino Community Foundation of Colorado
New York Community Trust
Pacific Gas & Electric
Panta Rhea Foundation
Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
W.K. Kellogg Foundation