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Raising the Bar - May 2021

Monday, May 03, 2021 7:43 PM | SABA DC Communications (Administrator)

Vanita Gupta

The U.S. Senate confirmed Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Wednesday. With her confirmation, Gupta will be the first woman of color to be associate attorney general, the No. 3 position at the DOJ.

Gupta is an experienced leader and litigator who has devoted her entire career to civil rights work. Most recently, from October 15, 2014, to January 20, 2017, she served as Acting Assistant Attorney General and Head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Prior to joining the Justice Department, Gupta served as Deputy Legal Director and the Director of the Center for Justice at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). At the ACLU, she secured a landmark settlement on behalf of immigrant children from around the world detained in a privately-run prison in Texas that ultimately led to the end of “family detention” at the facility. In addition, Gupta created and led the organization’s Smart Justice Campaign aimed at ending mass incarceration while keeping communities safe. 

Gupta began her legal career as an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, where she successfully led the effort to overturn the wrongful drug convictions of 38 individuals in Tulia, Texas, who were ultimately pardoned by Governor Rick Perry. She then helped negotiate a $6 million settlement on behalf of her clients. She also consulted with European civil society organizations working to advance the rights of the Roma. 

Gupta graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and received her law degree from New York University School of Law, where she later taught a civil rights litigation clinic for several years.

SABA-DC congratulates Gupta on her historic confirmation. 

Zain Jinnah

Zain Jinnah recently joined Hyundai Motor Group’s Urban Air Mobility Division as Counsel, where he supports the development of electric-powered flying vehicles for urban transportation. Mr. Jinnah provides legal advice in all areas of the company’s needs, including commercial contracts, partnerships, intellectual property, employment, corporate governance, and trade controls.

Prior to joining Hyundai, Mr. Jinnah served as an Associate at White & Case, where he represented multinational corporations and sovereign governments in complex international law disputes before United States courts, foreign courts, and international tribunals. His major clients included the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Uzbekistan, and the Russian Federation. Mr. Jinnah has experience working on disputes ranging in value from tens and hundreds of millions of dollars to $50 billion - and encompassing a variety of sectors including oil and gas, renewable power, mining, textiles, and tourism.

Mr. Jinnah also had an extensive pro bono practice that included advising on topics of international and comparative law in Asian and African countries. He is also a former President of the Capital Area Muslim Bar Association.  

Mr. Jinnah received his J.D. from the Harvard Law School, his M.P.P. from The University of Oxford, and his B.A., with distinction, in International Relations and Political Science from The University of Calgary.

SABA-DC congratulates Mr. Jinnah on his recent career move.

Suchismita Pahi

Suchismita (Suchi) Pahi was recently promoted to Acting Chief Privacy Officer at Rally Health, Inc., a non-integrated subsidiary of Optum/UnitedHealth Group (UHG). She advises the business on global strategy informed by the privacy and cybersecurity landscape, manages a team of privacy attorneys, and continues to work with Rally's various non-legal teams on regulatory compliance (health and non-health), product and feature development, and commercial agreements.

Prior to joining Rally, Ms. Pahi worked in private practice, advising clients in data privacy, healthcare regulatory response, cybersecurity compliance and incident response, domestic and international data protection, privacy by design, and technology implementation.

SABA-DC congratulates Ms. Pahi on her recent promotion.


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.

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South Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C.

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Washington, D.C. 20035

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