With great pride and much excitement, NAPAWF is ecstatic to announce the latest appointee from the Obama Administration. Our very own Kiran Ahuja has been named Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders!
Last month, President Obama signed an Executive Order reinstating the Initiative, which will work to “improve the quality of life and opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through increased access to, and participation in, federal programs in which they may be underserved.” NAPAWF applauds the Obama Administration for appointing a fierce sister to lead this important effort.
For almost twenty years, Kiran Ahuja has dedicated herself to improving the lives of women of color in the U.S. Well-known as a leader among national and grassroots Asian and Pacific Islander (API) and women’s rights organizations, Kiran served as the founding Executive Director of NAPAWF from 2003-2008. Through her leadership, Kiran built NAPAWF from an all-volunteer organization to one with a paid professional staff who continue to spearhead successful policy and education initiatives, and expanded NAPAWF’s volunteer chapters and membership across the country.
Kiran grew up in Savannah, Georgia, where her understanding of race, gender and ethnicity was formed as a young Indian immigrant. She attended Spelman College and worked for Georgia’s first African American Congresswoman since the Reconstruction. She attended law school at the University of Georgia, and was chosen as one of five Honors Program trial attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, where she litigated education-related discrimination cases and filed the Department’s first peer-on-peer student racial harassment lawsuit. In addition, she participated in the Division’s National Origin Working Group as part of a core group of attorneys who organized response efforts for the Division after the September 11 terrorist attacks.