The following Eight candidates are running for six board slots.

You can select up to SIX of the following candidates. More than six and your vote will be null and void.

Full SAJA members can vote here.

You must be logged in and a full SAJA member to vote. Any questions, please contact SAJA secretary Nina Sen at secretary@saja.org.
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Priya Arora -

Why I want to join SAJA board:  SAJA has been a cornerstone of my journey, and it would be a dream to be able to give back to the community through support and empowerment. As a budding grad student who was on a non-journalistic career path, SAJA became my freelance safe haven. It not only gave me the opportunity to build support and network with those from the industry, it also helped me see that a career in journalism was possible. I believe so strongly in the power of storytelling, and as a queer South Asian non-binary person, I know that marginalization both in the media and in newsrooms is at a crucial juncture. I want to be part of the force behind representing SouthAsians in media, celebrating those who are already doing this work and opening doors for others like me who are seeking a path to their true calling.

Please tell us about your journalism experience. *

I wrote for Brown Girl Magazine for several years before joining India.com as a Content Editor full-time. I then moved on to Hearst Business Media as a Web Editor, before moving to my first newsroom: Yahoo News as a front page editor. Then, seeking a full-time position instead of as a contractor, I moved to the front page team for HuffPost. Finally, I've moved to The Times, to continue as an on- and off-platform editor for the News Desk.



Parul Kapur Hinzen -
It’s been impressive to watch SAJA’s evolution into an important resource and forum for journalists across mediums. As a lifetime member who has written for a variety of national publications, including The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal Europe and Esquire, I would love to contribute the skills I’ve gained as a journalist and volunteer producing events for non- profits to the organization. If elected to the Board, I hope to empower members by creating programs with political, cultural and business leaders. I believe SAJA can help journalists grow their voices by facilitating dialogue and connections with notable figures in both the American and South Asian landscapes. I’ve proudly been part of SAJA since its inception. As a press officer at the United Nations in the early 1990s, I met with fellow South Asian journalists to discuss ways of organizing ourselves. SAJA was founded after I moved to Europe as a freelancer, but later, working as an arts writer in Atlanta, I became involved with a fledgling chapter there. Having served as an awards judge and participated in a number of events over the years, I am back in the New York area and passionate about working to support SAJA in all ways that I can.

Please tell us about your journalism experience. *

I have a broad range of international experience working for magazines and serving in the press office of the United Nations. My articles and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal Europe, Esquire, GQ, Conde Nast Traveler, ARTnews, Art in America, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution and Newsday. Born in India and raised in the United States, I began my career as a reporting intern at The Advocate (Stamford, CT), then returned to India for a year as a reporter at the city magazine Bombay. Subsequently, I was an assistant editor at Travel & Leisure magazine in New York. While my focus has been on writing about culture, society and the arts, I spent two years as a press officer at the UN, covering the contentious political issues of the day. Following that, I worked as a freelance writer in Europe, contributing articles to national magazines and newspapers from Frankfurt and Paris. In 2010, living in Atlanta, GA, I founded the Books page at ArtsATL, Atlanta's leading online arts publication. I was chief book critic there until 2014, overseeing a staff of three, and reporting on the local literary scene in addition to reviewing books. I now live in Connecticut, writing on culture and the arts for Guernica, Slate and other publications.



Zainab Imam –

I’m seeking another term on SAJA’s board because of my firm belief in the organization’s goal and its promise. Having diverse voices in the news is exceedingly important so that our newsrooms can represent the diversity of our country and society.

Since I joined the board in 2017, I have opted to become part of the executive committee in order to play a larger role in SAJA’s administration and expand its ability to advance South Asian-American journalists’ careers in significant ways. As Secretary, I worked with former president Anusha Shrivastava to create a coherent communications strategy including updating the newsletter format, managing memberships, and running social media accounts.

In 2018, I was elected as Vice President and was responsible for SAJA’s Awards Gala held this October. As part of a new team putting together our biggest event of the year, I found myself scrambling to make deadlines and fulfilling every requirement of my role. We were able to put on an excellent show, but I am certain that we can do better. This is why I want to return: to use the knowledge I have built up this year to help SAJA have even more impact in the coming years.


Please tell us about your journalism experience. 

I worked as journalist in Pakistan for 5 years. I now work for a media development organization in Washington, D.C., called International Center for Journalists where I work on several programs both in South Asia and the U.S.



Ankita Rao -

I’m interested in SAJA because I believe that it’s important to support and cultivate a diverse pipeline of journalists to the industry. South Asians have made huge strides but remain underrepresented in media. I’ve seen the impact that SAJA and its network have had on my career and would like to support other journalists with the same opportunities to report and lead.


Please tell us about your journalism experience. *

I've been a reporter and editor for 8+ years.



Nina Sen –

SAJA has given me so much over the years as a journalist. I got my first CNN fellowship through SAJA, I found freelance work through the job portal and I brought my work to center stage through networking events. To give back was the initial reason I joined the board in 2017. Now, I am running again not only because I have received so much, but to also make sure our programs continue to spark across the media industry. Far from being a job that South Asian parents look down upon, journalism has risen to become a profession of choice. I believe that younger generations working in multimedia, video, audio and other skills can use SAJA as a point of contact as they progress through the industry and find their footing. I would like to be a part of that.


Please tell us about your journalism experience. *

I have been a journalist for about a decade working in progressively larger positions at AP, ABC and now New York One. 



Sameepa Shetty –

I’m urging your consideration to be on SAJA’s executive board because of my vision to elevate SAJA’s work beyond recruitment and move in the realm of stronger industry representation and wider name-recognition, making it a one stop shop for talent, information and advocacy on behalf of the South Asian journalist community.

To fulfill this vision my capability to work with a cross section of people, ability to leverage my own CEO/media networks for the benefit of internal resource groups at CNBC (as head of events for CNBC’s “MyAbilities” group and Ignite conference) and experience in organizing events and representing my brand in wider industry groups will benefit SAJA.

Examples of my success in this domain include CNBC events that drove revenue, ideas and knowledge across the company by getting everyone from Silicon Valley venture capitalists to meditation experts to donate their time and insights for our NBC community.

Most of all a SAJA board position will allow me to put my vast contacts to use for our benefit so we can create more branded and higher profile events as we establish a presence in campuses and newsrooms across the country.


Please tell us about your journalism experience. *

Sameepa Shetty is a global multimedia communications specialist. She currently works at CNBC producing three-hours of prime-time business news programming for the network's award winning stock market-open coverage and reporting on technology. Previously working at Al Jazeera America she helped launch the network through the creation of two business and economic shows. She's also worked as a reporter for Fortune Magazine and digital media outlet CoveringBusiness. Prior to this Sameepa was on-air, anchoring shows for Bloomberg TV in India and reporting on the Indian economy and markets for Bloomberg TV globally. She joined TV after creating and hosting radio talk shows for India's pioneering effort in english talk-radio for women. Starting her career as an investment banking analyst for Citigroup after completion of her undergraduate studies in finance, she chose to pursue a dual-degree in business and economics at Columbia University's journalism and business schools.


Prerana Thakurdesai – 

I have served on the SAJA board for two years and have been the President for the present year. I'd like to run again for the board so that we can continue the work that we have been able to achieve in the last year. Now that I'm more familiar with the workings and needs of the organization, I feel, I am better equipped to continue the important work, and take the organization to the next level. Personally, SAJA has given me immense learning opportunities for personal growth as well. Working with an all-volunteer team comes with its own joy as well as challenges and it's been enjoyable collaborating with diverse networks and individuals to give back to the organization that helped me find my feet in the US.


Please tell us about your journalism experience. *

I have 14 years of experience being a journalist in India and the US. In India, I began as a print journalist with Indian Express, Mi-dDay and India Today. I switched to television reporting with NDTV and Times now, after which I switched gears to long form reporting for Satyamev Jayate, a television show on social issues. In the US, I write and report for Indian publications and make documentary films for non-profits. 


Mihir Zaveri -

I've been a member of the South Asian Journalists Association for more than four years. In that time, I've recouped several benefits: thousands of dollars in grants, connections to individuals in top journalism organizations, and lasting friends. I’ve personally experienced the value of this organization, as I’ve built my career as a young, forward-thinking reporter. As a professional journalist, I now appreciate the necessity of organizations like SAJA. For example, in my four years in Houston, TX, I’ve witnessed how coverage of South Asian communities was not prioritized, despite a large an influential South Asian population. SAJA provides a vital network and support structure for people to have successful careers in an industry still grappling with deficiencies in diverse hiring and professional development. Most recently, as a board member for the Asian American Journalists Association, I became fascinated with how these groups are run, and the impact I can have on the board. I’d like to take on a leadership role in SAJA so I can help maximize the benefits I’ve received for others, as well as grow the organization.


Please tell us about your journalism experience. *

Throughout my career, I’ve sought to combine the best of traditional newspaper journalism with the cutting edge. A range of internships—at the Associated Press, the Center for Investigative Reporting, The Washington Post—helped me understand different organizations’ missions and approaches to covering the news. I learned about innovation, web development and data journalism while earning my master’s degree in multimedia journalism from UC Berkeley. Since then, I’ve steeped myself in the nuts and bolts of reporting and writing, both at a regional newspaper in Texas and now at The New York Times. Throughout my career, I’ve written dozens of front-page stories, investigated corruption and featured underserved communities. I’ve pitched and shepherded projects that revolutionize traditional coverage, such as a multi-team effort to cover Houston’s diverse communities. The package included a multimedia presentation and a front-page spread highlighting the stories of immigrants who now live in Houston. Simultaneously, I have consistently advocated for diversity. During graduate school, I helped form a diversity committee that successfully lobbied for a cultural sensitivity training. I did the same thing at the Chronicle. And I have ramped up my participation in AAJA, and plan to do so with SAJA as well.


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