Commission Members

Chitra Aiyar

Chitra Aiyar, Executive Director of the Sadie Nash Leadership Project: Chitra Aiyar is Executive Director of Sadie Nash Leadership Project a feminist social justice youth leadership program that strengthens, empowers, and equips low-income young women of color to be agents of change in their lives and communities.  Prior to joining Sadie Nash, she was Senior Staff Attorney at African Services Committee, representing African and Caribbean immigrants at the intersection of poverty, HIV, and migration.  Chitra has also worked in international development at Grameen Foundation USA, supporting microcredit replication programs in East Africa and India and was a Fulbright Scholar in Bangladesh  researching BRAC's expansion of accessible schooling for poor rural girls, the world's largest and most successful non-formal primary education program  She has taught at various women's prisons, high schools, and founded the Berkeley-based People's Test Preparation Service (a nonprofit that was awarded the Presidential Service Award by Bill Clinton in 1995). Chitra has worked in radio as one of the hosts of Asia Pacific Forum, a show that covers progressive issues in Asia and Asian-America on WBAI 99.5 FM and in film as co-producer of Claiming Our Voice, a short documentary on Queens-based migrant domestic workers engaging in art and activism.  She has been an adjunct professor at Hunter College, Teachers College/Columbia University, and New York Law School teaching courses on gender and migration, human rights, and negotiation skills for attorneys.  Chitra is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and New York University School of Law.