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
Harini Krishnan is a Nationally Acclaimed Political Organizer who currently serves as National Organizing Chair for South Asians for America (SAFA). In this role, Harini has helped SAFA establish state chapters in 18+ states and build relationships with key South Asian elected and community leaders as well as AAPI & other coalition groups nationwide.
Harini previously served as a Lead Volunteer Organizer for the Presidential Campaign of Vice President Kamala Harris in California in 2019, Harini co-founded NorCal Joyful Warriors for Joe and Kamala in early 2020, was elected as a Biden Delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and was featured in several videos at the historic convention. Harini was also a founding member of Kamala Harris For the People South Asian Finance Council, and a member of the National Finance Committee of both VP Harris and President Biden's Presidential Campaigns.
Harini also served as the National Grassroots Organizing Lead and California State Director for South Asians for Biden (SAB) and helped mobilize the South Asian community nationwide in 2020 to help elect President Biden and Vice President Harris.
In addition to her involvement with SAFA, Harini is also an Assembly District 21 Delegate and Vice Chair of the Finance Committee of the California Democratic Party; a San Mateo County Democrats Central Committee Alternate; a Board Member of Fund Her, which elects progressive women to state legislatures nationwide; and Board Member of Equal Access International, an International NGO which combines media programming with community mobilization to address gender inequities and increase civic engagement.
An Indian Classical Performing Vocalist and Cross-Cultural Arts Lecturer, Harini served on San Mateo County Arts Commission for 6 years, is actively involved in National and State Arts advocacy efforts with groups such as Americans for the Arts & Californians for the Arts, and had the honor of performing at the Inaugural Arts Advocacy Day at the California State Capitol.
In 2019, Harini was fortunate to learn from the social justice organizing legend Marshall Ganz, Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Organizing and Civil Society at Harvard Kennedy School, who participated in the Mississippi Summer Project, and worked with Cesar Chavez & the United Farmworkers movement in the 1960s. Professor Ganz is also credited with devising the successful grassroots organizing model and training for Barack Obama's winning 2008 presidential campaign. Harini was fortunate to complete coursework in "Leadership, Organizing & Action" and in "Public Narrative: Leadership, Storytelling and Action" taught by Professor Ganz.
A resident of the Town of Hillsborough in Northern California for more than 2 decades, Harini is the recipient of the 2020 Hillsborough Citizen of the Year Award, 2018 Jefferson Award for Public Service, 2021 Trailblazer Award from the California Democratic Party API Caucus, and 2023 "Samaj Seva Ratna" (Community Service) Award from the Indian Fine Arts Academy of San Diego.
Harini holds a Bachelors degree in Political Science from University of California, Irvine (UCI), a Masters degree in International Public Administration from the University of Southern California (USC), and is currently enrolled in the Harvard Kennedy School's Public Leadership Program.
Harini is the proud daughter of trailblazer Annapurna Krishnan, the first South Indian woman to climb the third highest mountain in the world, Peak Kanchenjunga as a teenager in the 1960s in India, receive the title "Malai Eriya Mangai" (the young woman who climbed the mountain) upon her return to her hometown of Chennai & be featured in an Indian Government 1964 Newsreel entitled "Stairway to the Sky (Gagan Ki Sidiya)"
Harini and her husband Vikas are the proud parents of Janani (J. Maya), a recent Harvard College graduate, musician and rising Harvard Law student, and Abhaya, a recent Uuniversity of Southern California (USC) graduate, Computer Science professional & musical theatre performer, and enjoy travel with their daughters as a much needed break from their empty nester routines.