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Statements of Candidacy

SABA-DC 2018 Board of Directors

*Statements will be posted here as they are received*


President Elect

Moh Sharma

I am honored to be running for President-Elect of the 2018 SABA-DC Board of Directors. It has been a privilege serving South Asian lawyers for the last eight years. I have been a part of SABA since law school because I have a deep commitment to the South Asian community and to the development of the legal profession. 

I graduated from City University of New York School of Law in 2009 and began my legal career at a small community lawyering non-profit, followed by a fellowship and then a clerkship in superior court.  I moved to DC in 2011 and now work for the U.S. Congress as a Senior Policy Advisor. In addition to my current SABA leadership role, I am President of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association and Vice President of the Congressional South Asian American Staff Association on Capitol Hill.

I began my SABA service in 2010 with SABANY as VP of Public Interest Fellowship and Law Student Relations. In 2012, I joined the SABA-DC Board as a General Director and I have thoroughly enjoyed being a member of the SABA-DC board for the past six years.

As a SABA-DC board member, I have helped plan over 25 events and my vision for SABA-DC for the next two years is creating programing that further develops the skills of our members, helps the community, is more inclusive, and takes advantage of our location. I would like to have more regular trainings for our members to further develop their legal skills, and to bring back regularly scheduled SABA-DC Dinner Series events on timely topics. In addition, I intend on working with the Board to create regularly-scheduled legal clinics for SABA-DC members who are interested in volunteering. I want to have more family friendly events for our members with children. I am currently confirming a date for SABA-DC members to have the opportunity to get sworn in to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. I am also planning a tour of the Supreme Court, which starts in the original Supreme Court Chamber at the U.S. Capitol and ends in the current Supreme Court. These are just my ideas, however, and as President-Elect, I would like to hear from the membership about the types of programming and resources you want from SABA-DC.

During my tenure on both SABA boards, I have helped in selecting over 30 law students who received public interest fellowships. I am deeply committed to SABA-DC’s Public Interest Fellowship program and intend on helping it grow. I am currently chairing SABA-DC’s Women’s Mentoring Circle (WMC) and the Public Interest Committee (PIC) and I look forward to helping both committees progress further. I am committed to SABA-DC, and regardless of whether I am elected to the Board again, I plan on continuing to support SABA-DC.

I have enjoyed my time on the SABA-DC Board and if given the chance, I am eager to take on the role of being your next President-Elect. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Vice-President of Programming

Nandu Machiraju

My name is Nandu Machiraju, and I am running for Vice President of Programming for SABA-DC.  I have been a part of the D.C. community for nearly 15 years: attending college and law school at area schools; interning and working for various government agencies; practicing at a private law firm; and now serving as an attorney for the federal government.  I attended the SABA-NA conventions in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, and the most recent convention in Washington, D.C.  I have participated in SABA-DC since 2009, and, as a law student, I was the SABA-DC liaison for my school.  Finally, I have been an active member of the antitrust bar, serving as a member of the Media & Technology Committee of the ABA’s Antitrust Section. 

I have spent the last year serving as General Director on the Board, where I co-chaired the Membership Committee.  As co-chair of the Membership Committee, I helped resurrect SABA-DC’s Mentorship Program and, along with my co-chair, Naomi Abraham, built a Program with approximately 90 participants.  I also helped coordinate the Wone Clerkship Conference and organize a number of other events.

After a year of serving on the Board, I hope to hope to take the platform of Vice President of Programming and use it to build on last year’s successes.  As VP of Programming, I hope to create a slate of programs designed promote networking, continuing education, and community building.  If elected VP of Programming, I plan to organize:

  • ·         Quarterly panel events;
  • ·         Bi-monthly dinner series;
  • ·         Bi-monthly networking events;
  • ·         Bi-monthly pro bono events; and
  • ·         Other community events (e.g., Nationals, DC United, and Wizards games, Lawyers Have Heart team, SABA-DC book club).

I also plan to develop events designed to broaden SABA-DC’s base.  In particular, I hope to broaden the geographic reach of our programming across DC, Maryland, and Virginia, and create programming targeted at area law students to help grow our base of SABA-DC members.

I thank you for considering my candidacy, and I hope you will consider casting your vote for me in the coming election.  


Vice-President of Communications


Treasurer


Secretary

Neaha Raol

My name is Neaha Raol, and I am running for Secretary for SABA-DC.  I have been a member of SABA-DC for the past several years, and I was fortunate to attend the SABA national conventions in Houston (2016) and DC (2017).  As a member, I have met some incredible South Asian attorneys dedicated to furthering SABA-DC’s mission, and I am excited about the opportunity to serve the members of SABA-DC.

I am an associate at Fried Frank, where I am a member of the firm’s litigation practice.  I have worked at the firm since I graduated from law school in 2010.  During this time, I have been an active member of my firm’s affinity groups, mentorship program, and committees involving various aspects of the firm, such as associate development and recruiting.  I also have dedicated substantial time to pro bono matters, ranging from representation of individuals seeking asylum to various litigation matters in federal court. 

I would be honored to serve as Secretary of SABA-DC, so that I can utilize my organizational skills to support the Board and also continue to serve our community and advance SABA-DC’s mission.  Thank you for your time and consideration.

General Director

Abhishek Kambli

My name is Abhishek Kambli.  I am honored to have the opportunity to run for a General Director position for SABA-DC.  My entire legal career has been dedicated to public service.  I have been an officer and a lawyer with the Air Force JAG Corps for the past five years.  My first tour I did as a prosecutor and defense attorney in Texas.  A year ago, the Air Force moved me to DC where I work at the Military Commissions defending Guantanamo Bay Detainees.  I would now like the opportunity to serve with SABA-DC.  My vision for the program would be to include more programming for government attorneys as well as those who are veterans.  I believe my unique experience and dedication to serve will allow me to be an asset to SABA-DC and I look forward to having the opportunity to serve in the role of General Director.

Amisha Patel

My name is Amisha Patel and I am running to be re-elected as General Director for the 2018 SABA-DC Board of Directors. I am a litigator at Dechert LLP and focus on complex commercial and business litigation. I also engage in significant pro bono work related to immigrant rights and diversity issues.  This past year, I was part of SABA North America’s inaugural class of Rising Stars and honored for my achievements in my practice, leadership, community service, and commitment to diversity. Prior to joining Dechert, I spent seven years practicing at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in D.C., and in 2015 was awarded its firm-wide Diversity & Inclusion Award for my contributions enhancing diversity and inclusion within the firm and the legal professional generally.

For the past two years, I have served on the SABA-DC Board as a General Director. In this role, I helped plan and moderate events, served on the Endorsements Committee, and spearheaded the organization’s 2017 rebranding efforts. This past summer, I was also appointed co-chair of the South Asian Women’s Association Network (SAWAN), which is a section of SABA North America. In this new role, my goal is to implement programming and highlight issues specifically affecting South Asian female attorneys. 

SABA-DC has been integral to my development as a lawyer in the 10 years I have been in D.C.  My hope in continuing on the Board is to help the organization grow and to serve as an important resource for law students and attorneys in the area. Personally, I took advantage of the mentorship program as a law student and have served as an attorney mentor to law students over the years. My goal for SABA-DC in the upcoming year is to enhance its programming and member outreach. Specifically, I’d like to plan events surrounding business development and navigating professional advancement in private practice as a young attorney. I’d also like to facilitate discussions surrounding issues affecting diverse attorneys in today’s legal landscape, such as implicit bias and barriers to advancement. I would also like to serve as SABA-DC’s liaison to SABA North America in light of my new role with SAWAN and connection there.  Regardless of if I am re-elected, I remain committed to the success of SABA-DC moving forward and intend to help the organization however I can.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Avani Patel

My name is Avani Patel and I am running for a General Director position on the 2018 SABA-DC Board of Directors. I have had the pleasure of being a part of the board this past year and hope to continue to contribute to the organization as a board member.

I graduated law school in 2006 and spent the bulk of my career practicing law as a supervising attorney with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation.  Here, I litigated complex civil law matters, recruited and trained attorneys to handle public interest law cases, and participated in the organization’s efforts to increase pro bono legal services.  I relocated to DC two years ago for a legal recruiter opportunity at Major, Lindsey and Africa.  I still hold an active license to practice; and currently, I utilize my legal degree and experience in a business development capacity at iDS. 

I am passionate about promoting the professional development of attorneys, legal professionals, and law students and furthering the interests of the South Asian community.  This year, I pursued this passion by assisting with fundraising and organizing events.  Additionally, I organized and moderated a panel at the national convention.

My goals for the upcoming year include increasing our membership and attendance to SABA-DC events, organizing volunteer opportunities, and offering more panels and networking events with other bar associations.

Thank you for letting me be a part of the 2017 board and thank you for your consideration. 

Deven Parmar

My name is Deven Parmar and I would like to be considered for a General Director position on the SABA-DC 2018 Board of Directors.  SABA-DC has been a strong community that has consistently provided invaluable support in my career, whether through the dynamic pro bono fellowships offered when I was a law school student, or the successful SABA conference that we hosted this year. The tight network of stellar lawyers SABA is able to bring together has widened my exposure to our profession and I would be honored to have the opportunity to give back.

I am now an associate at O'Melveny & Myers working in their litigation practice, which has given me a great platform to deepen my legal experience.  From working on high-stakes complex litigation cases to important pro bono immigration issues that directly impact our community, I hope to open our SABA network to greater opportunities.  Further, I hope to leverage my global experiences, having worked or studied in India, Kenya, the UK, Japan, Canada, and now the US, to provide a more international perspective to our industry.  For example, I believe that events that bring to light important issues that affect our community, including immigration policy, diverse representation in our governments, healthcare, and criminal justice, increasingly require that we learn from the rest of the world when crafting effective solutions.  This is the type of perspective I hope to bring to SABA.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Kashish Parikh-Chopra

Roses are red, violets are blue.  I've spent 2 years on the SABA-DC executive Board, but it's time for something new!  After two years serving on the SABA-DC Board in the role of Secretary, I am ready to shift my energy and attention towards being a more active member across SABA-DC programming, particularly with Health Law Section.  I hope to continue supporting and serving the SABA-DC membership as a General Director on the 2018 Board.

Naomi Abraham

My name is Naomi Abraham and I am interested in running for the position of General Director on the 2018 SABA-DC Board of Directors.  During the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of holding the position of General Director and co-chairing the SABA-DC Mentorship Program.

I graduated from American University in May 2017 and now I work at a law firm in D.C. During my first year as an attorney and on the SABA-DC Board of Directors, I have assisted in programming various events related to the Mentorship Program and the Womens Circle.

My vision for SABA-DC this upcoming year includes more programming for the SABA-DC Mentorship Program, co-sponsoring more events with other D.C. bar organizations, and offering more opportunities for pro bono work. I would love to continue to contribute to the South Asian community through the role of General Director. Thank you for your consideration. 

Namrata Loomba

My name is Namrata Loomba and I am running for a General Director position for the 2018 SABA- DC Board. Currently, I work as a real estate attorney in Leesburg, Virginia. I provide counsel on a wide array of issues including commercial and residential development, investing and property management.

I have been actively involved with SABA-DC for the past five years. If elected, I will strive to increase membership and enhance ties between SABA-DC and the numerous bar associations in the DMV.

I am extremely passionate about serving SABA-DC and the South Asian community of legal practitioners. It would be an honor to serve as a SABA-DC General Director. Thank you for your consideration and support. 

Priya Bhanu

Upon completion of a clerkship with Judge Paul Grewal, I relocated to DC—where I joined Cleary Gottlieb as an associate—and joined SABA-DC shortly thereafter in November 2015.  Since then, I have begun to establish a community by attending many SABA events, such as the panels, galas, and national conventions.  In addition to making new connections and friends, I value SABA-DC's commitment to developing programming that educates the DC legal community and addresses specific concerns of the South Asian legal community.  After two years spent getting my feet wet both in the DC and SABA legal communities, I welcome this opportunity to become more involved in SABA-DC by joining the Board as a General Director serving on the Programming Committee.

In our profession, where diversity struggles constantly, I feel strongly that young attorneys must push for initiatives to help themselves and others advance.  While at my firm, I have spent the last two years trying to push the firm and its diversity efforts forward.  I chose Cleary, in part, because of its commitment to diversity.  But even so, once I arrived, I realized there was still more work to do.  So, I got to work.

I went to the firm leadership and successfully encouraged them to extend offers to our diversity fellows to enable them to return to the firm after their second year to be eligible for a full-time offer.  I explained that a diversity fellowship was ineffective without a means to harness these diverse associates long-term. 

Then, I organized a meeting with the other diverse associates to discuss the challenges we face collectively.  I came away with the acute understanding that, while the firm had lumped us together into a single diverse associates group, each individual’s experience varied considerably based on his/her specific diverse attributes.  We were Asians, South Asians, African Americans, Hispanics, and members of the LGBTQ community.  I learned that not one of these subdivisions felt affected by their diverse status in the same way.  But I realized that we could all learn to support each other, even if our perspectives and needs were not naturally aligned.  I went back to the leadership at the firm and convinced them to sponsor monthly informal lunches for the diverse associates, in order to facilitate an environment of understanding, so that we could learn to support each other, despite our differences, in the often trying conditions of big law.  This understanding will also serve me in addressing concerns of the broader South Asian community in DC.

I’ve also got some ideas for promoting diversity outside of my firm, through SABA-DC.  For example, SABA-DC could put together an event with the U.S-India Business Council, which would bring together members from both the business and legal communities in DC and allow for cross-pollination of ideas.  As a general director, I will offer not only new ideas but also logistical support to ensure the continued success of the organization.  I would appreciate your support!

Shankar Krithivasan

I, Shankar Krithivasan, would like to be a part of the Board and serve as a General Director of SABA-DC 2018.  I’m new to the D.C. area, and I look forward to belonging to the group of talented and likeminded individuals working as a team in the SABA-DC Board.

I’m a Principal of a boutique IP firm in Fairfax, VA; and a new dad.  Between work and my baby boy, it has been a challenge to cross the Potomac and start networking, with the ultimate goal of being able to contribute more meaningfully to one of the most influential communities in the world.  Some of my 2018 goals,  both for my family and for SABA-DC, happily converge when it comes to exploring the culturally significant aspects, events, places, and personalities of the greater D.C. area to aid in, curating, planning, and organizing events for the betterment of the my new community. 

Among the various professional and cultural organizations that I currently belong to and/or have been a part of, a charity organization that I had co-founded with some of my engineering classmates to benefit underprivileged children in India comes to mind.  My experience with running this organization combined with volunteering efforts with orphanages and children’s shelters provided me with several useful insights which I would like to harness if elected.  My wife is a pediatrician and has a good network of other pediatricians in the D.C. area.  She has a large South Asian patient base.  I would like to help with SABA-DC’s pro-bono advocacy opportunities for its members to be able to partner with medical professionals in helping abused and neglected children.

My professional background involves a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.  I have significant experience as an engineer in the semiconductor industry prior to my legal career, and my current work primarily focuses on advising and assisting clients, ranging from solo inventors, small and medium size startups, to large corporations, in various aspects of patent law. 

I am also a movie producer! In less attention grabbing terms, I enjoyed co-producing a comedy movie on patent trolls, which debuted in Austin’s SXSW film festival a couple of years ago; and I promise to hold a forced viewing party, to try to find a way for it to count for CLE credits at a SABA 2018 event (probably not ethics credits though). 

I would be honored to receive your vote for General Director, bringing new ideas while working to strengthen the amazing work that SABA-DC currently does.

Shikha Singhvi

My name is Shikha Singhvi and I am running for the position of General Director. I am an attorney at the Federal Reserve Board where I practice banking and finance law. 

I previously served on the SABA-DC board as a General Director for one year and as the Vice President of Finance for three years. In those roles, I enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to the organization’s growth and fulfill its mission by organizing several events such as speaker series, seminars and networking sessions.  I have previously served as the chair of SABA-DC’s Women’s Mentoring Circle and as the chair of the Pro Bono committee. As VP of Finance, I was responsible for the safeguarding of all funds received by SABA-DC and for their proper disbursement in accordance with budget parameters. I briefed the SABA-DC Board of the organization's financials and I prepared and filed financial regulatory reports. I believe that my leadership skills, attention to detail, and strong organizational skills would make me a successful candidate for General Director. 

Thank you for your consideration and I would be honored to have your vote for General Director.

Shruti Costales

I am writing this statement to express my interest in becoming a General Director of SABA-DC for 2018.

I am currently Patent Counsel at HP Inc. with over fourteen years of experience in patent application preparation, patent application prosecution, patent counseling, transactional matters, and litigation matters. Prior to HP Inc., I was in private practice for about thirteen years. During this time, I worked for a mid-sized law firm and two patent boutiques. I also successfully founded and ran my own patent boutique for over six years. I am also a former patent examiner in the polymers and fuels technology areas. My technical experience includes undergraduate research on drug delivery systems and working as an engineering intern at Fortune 500 chemical and pharmaceutical companies. I earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in 2000 and a JD from Franklin Pierce Law Center (now University of New Hampshire School of Law) in 2003.

I am currently Vice Chair of the Intellectual Property Owners Association’s Women in IP Committee and I am also currently the Vice Chair of the Diversity Committee for the PTAB Bar Association.

Last year I founded the Push Forward subcommittee for the IPO Women in IP committee. The main goal of this subcommittee is to encourage the retention of women in the legal profession. Under my leadership of the Push Forward subcommittee for the IPO Women in IP committee since last year, my subcommittee and I have created toolkits and white papers on topics like Implicit Bias, Speaking with Influence, Vague Feedback, and Work-Life Balance. Some of these materials can be accessed here - http://www.ipo.org/index.php/publications/member-articles-journal/ipo-law-journal-businessand-litigation-issues-section/.

This year I have spoken on topics varying from Tips on Best Practices in Ex Parte Appeals before the PTAB (for SABA-DC) to Implicit Bias & Ethical Duties of Lawyers (for IPO during the IPO Annual Meeting).

Given my current position as in-house counsel, my diverse legal experience, and my involvement with other highly respected organizations (e.g., IPO), I can add great value to SABA-DC. Some of the ways I can see myself contributing to SABA-DC as a General Director include, but are not limited to - (i) providing my in-house perspective on diversity/legal issues and (ii) collaborating with highly respected organizations like IPO on diversity goals/objectives and/or events.

I look forward to contributing to SABA-DC in the coming year. 




SABA-DC 

Our goal is to address the needs and concerns of the South Asian American legal community in Washington, D.C. while providing our members with the knowledge and support necessary to reach their personal and professional goals.


You can find us here:

South Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C.

P.O. Box 65349
Washington, D.C. 20035


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