with Farooq Mitha
Neha has long been active in both local and national politics. Most recently, she founded and served as the National Director for South Asians for Biden, an organization dedicated to engaging, educating, and mobilizing the South Asian community to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. In 2016, Neha served as the National Co-Chair for South Asians for Hillary and was appointed by Hillary Clinton to the National AAPI Leadership Council.
Previously, in 2015, Neha was appointed as a guest of honor by the Consulate General of India in New York City where she was selected to speak about gender equality for International Women's Day. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Neha chaired the New York Chapter of South Asians for Obama and also served on the steering committee for Lawyers for Obama in New York. For several years, Neha served as an Officer of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, an organization affiliated with the National Lawyers Council of the Democratic National Committee and comprised of Democratic lawyers and voting rights activists. Similarly, for many years, Neha served as an advisory board member of New Leaders Council, a national organization focused on training and supporting progressive political entrepreneurs. She has also been active in her local community board and political clubs. Neha served as the President of the South Asian Bar Association of New York in 2012, and now sits on the organization’s Board of Directors.
Mobilizing the South Asian Community & Building Political Power
Ann Ratnayake Macy
Ann Ratnayake Macy JD/BBA is the Executive Director and founder of the National Center for Child Abuse Statistics and Policy (“NCCASP”). NCCASP champions child safety by introducing innovations in law, technology, and science into the U.S. child protection system. NCCASP’ exposes gaps in the U.S. child protection system and introduces solutions to save lives.
Ann began her career working on children's issues at the National District Attorney’s Association’s Child Abuse Unit. As a Senior Staff Attorney, she worked strategically as a liaison between state prosecutors and federally funded child abuse initiatives. Ann assisted front-line prosecutors on functioning as a subject matter expert. She has drafted legislation, reports, and memorandums on child abuse, neglect and other criminal justice issues. Ann supervised attorneys, communicated with stakeholders and configured grant applications to meet the needs of the field. She also managed and tracked deliverables, and wrote the final, progress, and semiannual reports for 5.9 million dollars of Department of Justice grant funding.
She managed complex trial advocacy trainings, conferences, and wrote for NDAA's publications. Her primary area of research focuses on addressing family and domestic violence within the in the framework of the criminal justice system. Her articles include: U.S. v. Jones: Signaling Change to Search and Seizure under the Fourth Amendment, Juvenile Sex Offenses: Finding Justice, and Berghuis v. Thompkins: Invocation and Waiver of the Miranda Right to Remain Silent, The Confrontation Clause After Ohio v. Clark: The Path to Reinvigorating Evidenced-Based Prosecution in Intimate Partner Violence Cases was co-published by NDAA and the George Washington Law Review, and a Precarious Gap in U.S. Criminal Codes for Cases of Child Torture published in the Journal of Child and Youth Review. She has also written three chapters for the American Bar Association's State of Criminal Justice Book Series.
For 2019-2020, Ann co-chairs the victim's committee for the American Bar Association, serves on the criminal justice section council and is a member of the Commission on Youth at Risk. In 2019, she won the American Bar Association’s Top 40 Under 40 “On the Rise” Lawyers in America award. Ann was also honored to be accepted into the class of 2018 for the prestigious Presidential Leadership Scholars Program as an agent of change. Ann has also worked on Capitol Hill for the Texas 17 District, at the International Trade Administration, and for the Western District of Texas – Waco Division, Federal Court. She is licensed to practice law in both Texas and the District of Columbia Bar. She graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University Mays School of Business in 2005 where she received the Ford Foundation Scholar Award, and from Baylor University Law School in 2009 where she was awarded the Alice Gist Dunaway Foundation Professional Responsibility Award and the Dean's Academic Excellence Award. Ann is an advocate for policies that eradicate family violence.
Ravi Chaudhary is Senior Strategic Advisor for South Asians for Biden, and hails from Springfield Virginia. Dr. Chaudhary is a former Presidential Appointee in the Obama/Biden Administration, where he established a robust AAPI Veterans and Military Families support strategy. Ravi joined the Biden Campaign in September of 2019 and played a key role in organizing and launching South Asians for Biden. He also serves on Vice President Biden’s Task Force for Veterans, where he launched the group, AAPI Veterans for Biden.
In April of 2020, Chaudhary was selected as a Delegate to the Virginia State Democratic Convention. Chaudhary has completed a distinguished career in the U.S. Military, and is a decorated combat Veteran who has deployed to Iraq and flew critical combat missions in Afghanistan after 9/11. Dr. Chaudhary holds engineering and liberal arts degrees from the U.S. Air Force Academy, St. Mary’s University, and Georgetown University. He is an engineer and former Air Force pilot with over 3000 hours of flight time, including 750 hours of combat time.
Devang is a life-long resident of Maryland. He has been actively involved in the Democratic Party serving in various volunteer capacities. He currently serves as the Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party AAPI Leadership Council, as Vice Chair of the Maryland State Finance Committee and is a Trustee of the Maryland Democratic Party. He also served on the Montgomery County Steering Committee for Anthony Brown for Governor, was a Trustee for Martin O’Malley for President, and on the National Finance Committee
for Hillary Clinton for President. Mr. Shah was also Co-Chair for Indian Americans for Hillary Clinton, working at the grassroots to mobilize Indian Americans to register and vote.
Mr. Shah co-founded and serves as Vice President and Board Member of the Maryland Democratic Business Council which provides a voice for business-oriented Democrats. He was appointed by Maryland Governor O’Malley to serve on the Governor’s Commission on South Asian Affairs. He serves on various Boards including Interfaith Works, Asian Indians for Community Service and National Council of Asian Indian Associations. Mr. Shah obtained his Master of Law degree from Georgetown University Law School, and Juris Doctorate from The American University Washington College of Law. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. He is also a graduate of Leadership Montgomery class of 2016.
Khyati Yogeshkumar Joshi
Khyati Y. Joshi is a public intellectual whose social science research and community connections inform policy-makers, educators, and everyday people on issues of race, religion, immigration, and social justice in 21st century America. Her most recent book is White Christian Privilege: The Illusion of Religious Equality in America (NYU Press, July 2020).
Her other publications include Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, 3rd Edition (Routledge, 2016);
New Roots in America’s Sacred Ground: Religion, Race, and Ethnicity in Indian America (Rutgers U. Press, 2006), and Asian Americans in Dixie: Race and Migration in the South (U. of Illinois Press, 2013). In addition to numerous presentations to U.S. academic conferences, Dr. Joshi has been invited to present her research on Hindu communities at the White House; to advise policy-makers at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, Austria, on the racialization of religion as it relates to the development of policies to prevent and combat hate crimes; and to address academic faculty and popular audiences in India and Lebanon on the experiences of the Indian Diaspora. As a Professor of Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Dr. Joshi received the 2014 FDU Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship.
In 2013, Dr. Joshi co-founded the South Asian American Caucus (SAAC), the first caucus of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. She served as co-chair from 2013-2019, during which time the Caucus mobilized South Asian Americans across the state to support Democratic candidates. Through candidate trainings, fund-raisers, and other public events, SAAC raised the profile of South Asian American communities and assisted numerous first-time candidates from South Asian backgrounds win elected office. The Caucus was intentional about being religiously, generationally, and linguistically diverse in its grass-roots organizing; by creating a network reflecting the diversity of New Jersey’s South Asian Americans, it has positioned numerous individuals to serve in government as staff, members of state, county and local governing and advisory commissions, and as candidates and elected officials. It was a model for other caucuses of the NJDSC. Dr. Joshi was a proud Hillary delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. She served on the Bipartisan Coalition on Women’s Appointments after the election of Governor Phil Murphy; is a Trustee of the Drumthwacket Foundation and a member of the New Jersey Amistad Commission; and co-chairs the Passaic County Complete Count Committee for Census 2020, building on her Census outreach work in 2000 and 2010. She is a co-founder and board member of Jersey Promise, a policy and advocacy organization for New Jersey’s Asian American communities.
Mr. Lutfi Hassan is a resident of Houston, Texas for the past 40 years. Mr. Hassan currently serves on the boards of advisory of several multinational companies in the U.S. and Asia. Mr. Hassan is the founder and promoter of Apex Group of Companies, who brings with him a wealth of knowledge in international relations, a strong sense of entrepreneurship, and many years of experience in consulting in the United States and abroad.
He has assisted many fortune 500 companies to establish themselves in overseas markets around the world.
Mr. Hassan has served as an advisor on Presidential, Gubernatorial, Senatorial, Congressional, Mayoral and Judicial campaigns in the United States for the past twenty years.
He has served as a national finance co-chair for the Obama campaign in 2008 and 2012 campaigns. Over the years Mr. Hassan has also served as a NAB (national Advisory board) member of Democratic National Committee.
As a pioneer in representing the South Asian interest, Mr. Hassan was selected to serve on the newly formed SAALC (South Asian American Leadership Council) based out of Washington, DC. Mr. Hassan is an established civic leader, representing the South Asian community in main stream American politics and as such has dealt with issues and concerns of the community at the highest level with the U.S. Government.
On Jan 9th, 2003, a US flag was flown over the U.S. Capitol in Washington by the order of House Of Representatives (United States Congress) to honor Lutfi Hassan for a decade of his community service. It was later presented to him in a ceremony with the certificate of the archives.
Among his historic and noteworthy appointments served with dignity and honor are:
Presidential appointment to the board of Central-Asian American Enterprise Fund (USAID) by President Bill Clinton in the year 2000-2004.
Mr. Hassan was elected as a national delegate from Texas to the Democratic Convention in the year 2000.
Currently serving the board of City Of Houston’s GHCVB (Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau). This entity is responsible for the incoming Trade Missions, Protocols at the airports, all Conventions & the City Of Houston Image.
Currently Serving on the Advisory Board on (TSA) Transportation & Safety Administration (Homeland Security founded as an aftermath of 911) task force formed by the Hon. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. She is the chair of the Transportation Sub Committee.
Served as Chairman of MABIAD (Mayor’s Advisory Board for International Affairs & Development) from 1999-2003.
Appointed to serve on the 23 members Transition Team by Mayor Elect Lee P. Brown in year 1998. Transition Teams evaluate the policies and set the tone for the new administration. This includes recommendations for the hiring and firing of the key personnel of the administration.
Mr. Hassan was the first ever South Asian to serve on the prestigious board of the Urban League (oldest civil rights organization) in year 1999-2000.
He had the pleasure of serving on the board of the Memphis Tennessee based Gandhi Institute for Non Violence founded by Arun Gandhi, the Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1999-2002.
He is the founding charter member of TiE Houston (The IndUS Entrepreneurs) 2001-2003.
Mr. Hassan was also a founder and former Chairman of the SAAPAC (S. Asian American Political Action Committee) Of Texas 2000-2002.
For the past 20 years, as an Indian born American, Mr. Hassan has always assisted the Indian community in accomplishing significant milestones of recognition with the elected officials. Among the landmark achievements is the installation of the Gandhi Statue at the Hermann Park. The City Grant of U$ 500,000 for the India House and the India Fest (which got the whole year of recognition and study of India including the inclusion in the text books of all the students at Houston Independent School District).
Mr. Hassan has always actively participated in assisting the Indian mission in the US with various Congressional bills and amendments that matter to India. The most recent two important bills in the US Congress & US Senate of being the Indian Civil Nuclear Deal and the US Consulate selection of Hyderabad, AP.
Mr. Hassan has extensively traveled with world leaders on various missions. Mr. Hassan has traveled to South Africa and Western Africa in the African continent, China, Japan and Taiwan in the Asian continent and Qatar, Saudi Arabia & U.A.E. in the Middle East.