Sayu Bhojwani is the Founding Executive Director of the New American Leaders Project (NALP). Prior to NALP, Sayu served as the New York
City’s first Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs under Mayor Michael R.
Bloomberg, from 2002 to 2004. During her tenure as Commissioner, New York City established Immigrant Heritage Week to honor the contributions and cultures of immigrant communities in the City. Her office facilitated the passage of the earliest laws to increase immigrants’ access to translation and interpretation — Local Law 73 — and spearheaded the writing and Mayor’s signing of Executive Order 41, an unprecedented policy to protect the confidentiality of immigration status for those seeking City services.
In 1996, Sayu started South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!), to develop the
leadership potential of immigrant youth in Queens. The first and only
organization of its kind, SAYA! currently works with over 500 youth each
year. Sayu holds a M.Ed. in Comparative Education from Teachers’ College,
Columbia University, and is a recipient of numerous awards for her community leadership. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate in the Politics and Education program at Columbia University, where she is researching the role that public schools play in shaping immigrant students’ civic stance. Sayu
serves on the boards of the National Immigration Forum and The AfterSchool
Corporation (TASC). She is an immigrant of Indian descent who was raised in Belize, Central America, and is a naturalized citizen of the United States.