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Mission Statement

The South Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C. (SABA-DC) is a voluntary bar association dedicated to the needs, concerns, and interests of the South Asian legal community in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. SABA-DC was founded in 2001 as the successor to the Indian-American Bar Association of Washington D.C. (IABA-DC).

SABA-DC's key objectives are to:

  • Advance the professional development of South Asian lawyers and law students in the D.C. metropolitan area;
  • Provide a forum for professional and social networking;
  • Increase awareness and dialogue regarding legal issues facing South Asians in the United States;
  • Improve access to legal services for the South Asian community in the D.C. metropolitan area, particularly among the least fortunate; and 
  • Promote a greater understanding of the legal, political, economic, and cultural environment of South Asia and its people. 


Board of Directors



President

Nandu Machiraju (he/him/his)

sabadcpresident@gmail.com

Nandu Machiraju is Counsel in Baker & McKenzie LLP's Antitrust & Competition Practice.  Before joining the firm, Nandu  worked for the federal government for several years and practiced at another private law firm in its Washington, DC and Brussels offices.  

Nandu first gained exposure to SABA-DC when he served as the SABA-DC student liaison for Georgetown Law.  Starting in 2016, Nandu served on the Board as a General Director for two years and the Vice President of Programming for a year.  After a year-long hiatus, Nandu rejoined the Board as President-Elect.

Nandu was named a 2020 Rising Star by SABA-NA and was selected as a 2021 Fellow for the SABA Leadership Institute's inaugural class. 


President-Elect
Deb Sengupta (she/her/hers)

Deb Sengupta is Counsel in the Intellectual Property and Technology practice of Dentons.  Deb's practice focuses on the chemical, pharmaceutical and nanotechnology areas, including counseling, preparation and prosecution of domestic and international patent applications, patent infringement and validity opinions.

Deb received her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School, where she served as the President of the GW Law Chapter of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund.  Deb received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cornell University.  

Deb was a 2021 LCLD Fellow and a 2020 NAPABA Leadership Advancement Program Fellow.

Deb has a long history of volunteer service in the D.C. community, and is a Board member of the Constellation Theatre Company.




Vice President of Programming
Avani Uppalapati (she/her/hers)
sabadcevents@gmail.com

Avani received her J.D. from The Georgetown University Law Center, where she was an editor of The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law, the president of the South Asian Law Students Association, and a participant in the Federal Legislation Clinic. She received her B.A. in English and Public Policy from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.




Vice President of Communications
Kirti Suri (she/her/hers)
sabadccommunications@gmail.com

Kirti Suri joined the SABA-DC Board in 2022. Kirti is an Assistant Attorney General in the Government Contracts Section of the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. She developed her background in government contracts and procurement through her role with DC At-Large Councilmember Robert White as Deputy Committee Director for the Committee on Government Operations and Facilities. She is passionate about local government's role in improving the lives of District residents. Before beginning her legal career, Kirti gained experience in the nonprofit and corporate sectors, having held positions at American University as a Program Coordinator and J.P. Morgan Chase as a Senior Associate. 

Kirti earned her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law in 2018 and her B.S. in Accounting and Finance from the University of Delaware in 2012.




Vice President of Membership 
Neaha Raol (she/her/hers)
sabadcmembership@gmail.com

Neaha Raol is a litigation associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP.  Her practice focuses on internal and government investigations, civil False Claims Act and FIRREA litigation, and commercial disputes.  She also counsels clients on various government contracts related matters, including post-award disputes, and serves as government contracts counsel in mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, and joint venture transactions.  Neaha has an active pro bono practice which currently includes representation of non-citizen soldiers in the military in multiple class action lawsuits.  She has been recognized for her pro bono work by being named to the Capital Pro Bono High Honor Roll in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Prior to law school, Neaha worked as a fund financial associate and analyst, specializing in equities and derivatives, at The Vanguard Group. 

Neaha received her JD from the University of North Carolina in 2010, where she was a member of the North Carolina Law Review, and her BBA from the University of Texas in 2004.


Co-Vice President of Gala
Janki Kaswala (she/her/hers)

Janki Kaswala is a litigation associate at McGuireWoods LLP in D.C. where she focuses on white collar defense and assisting corporate clients navigate government investigations. Previously, she served as a judicial law clerk to thirteen judges at the District Court of Maryland in Montgomery County. Janki is the co-founder of Samsara Global Relief Foundation, a charitable organization that provides humanitarian aid in natural disasters both locally and abroad.

Janki received her J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law, where she was the president of the South Asian Law Students association, and a B.A. in history from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Co-Vice President of Gala
Ithi Joshi

Ithi Joshi is an associate attorney with a specialization in corporate, transactional, and employment law in Northern Virginia.  Previously, she was an attorney with a national law firm specializing in M&A transactions.  Ithi was recently honored as a Legal Elite Corporate Counsel (2021) by the Virginia Business Magazine.

Ithi received her J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law, where she was a member of the Moot Court Team, and her B.A. from the University of Virginia.



Treasurer
Suparna Reddy (she/her/hers)
sabadctreasurer@gmail.com

Suparna Reddy serves as Legislative Counsel to Senator Jack Reed (RI) in the U.S. Senate. Previously, she practiced antitrust law as an associate at a large law firm. Suparna is also the Program Director for the Washington Leadership Program, a non-partisan organization that seeks to involve South Asian American college students in politics and policy.

Suparna received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her B.A. in political science and economics from The Ohio State University. 

Secretary
Deepti Bansal Gage

Deepti is an associate at the  environmental law firm, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., where she focuses on climate change, EHS, ESG, renewables, and international regulatory work. 

Deepti received her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School where she was a member of the GW Law Review and received her B.S. in Business Economics from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. 


General Director
Zain Jinnah

Zain Jinnah is Counsel to Supernal, Hyundai Motor Group's startup developing electric-powered flying vehicles. He was previously an Associate at White & Case LLP, where he represented foreign governments and multinational companies in complex international arbitrations and litigations. He was also previously the President of the Capital Area Muslim Bar Association.

Zain received his JD from Harvard Law School, his MPP from the University of Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government, and his BA in International Relations and Political Science from the University of Calgary.



General Director
Ravi Kambhampaty

Ravi Kambhampaty is an Attorney at the Department of Justice (DOJ), in the National Security Division. Ravi also serves as  a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Army Reserves and previously served overseas on Active Duty in Eastern Afghanistan, Bogota, Colombia, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Prior to joining the DOJ, Ravi was an Associate General Counsel with the Inter-American Foundation, an independent federal agency that provides direct foreign assistance to the organized poor in Latin America and the Caribbean. Before moving to the Washington D.C. area, Ravi was a Senior Staff- Attorney with Immigration Legal Services of Long Island, a non-profit organization in New  York.

Ravi received his J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, where he participated in the Law School's  International Law Clinic, and spent his last semester working on Human Rights issues in Windhoek, Namibia. Ravi received his B.A., Summa Cum Laude, in Political Science and History from the State University of New York at Binghamton. 



General Director
Snehal Massey (she/her/hers)

Snehal is the principal of SPM Law, LLC. where she practices all aspects of family law.  Prior to launching her own firm, she worked as an associate at two prominent family law firms in the Baltimore area.  She also argued a case in the Court of Special Appeals in 2019, which resulted in a published opinion by the intermediate appellate court.

Snehal received her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2015. After law school, Snehal gained invaluable experience when she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ronald A. Silkworth (Ret.) at the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

She currently also serves on the board of Christalis, Inc., a non-profit organization that develops and maintains programs to aid underserved children and families in various parts of the world.


General Director
Devika Persaud (she/her/hers)

Devika Persaud is a litigation associate at DLA Piper LLP, where she focuses on trademark and copyright litigation in federal court and proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). Prior to focusing on intellectual property, Devika worked on general complex commercial litigation and dispute resolution matters in areas including securities and structured finance, consumer financial services, product liability, bankruptcy, and breach of contract.

Devika received her J.D. from The University of Michigan Law School, where she was a faculty research assistant, the president of the South Asian Law Students Association, and a student participant in the Urban Communities Clinic based in Detroit. She received her B.A. in political science and public policy from The University of Chicago.


General Director
Avni Amin (she/her/hers)

Avni Amin is an associate with Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch, P.C. where she represents employees in a variety of complex employment issues including discrimination and retaliation, and whistleblower cases. Prior to joining KNCF, Avni worked as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Labor. Avni is committed to pro bono work, community outreach and education. She works with organizations that address issues such as homelessness, poverty, and immigration.

Avni received her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School and her B.B.A from the University of Georgia.



General Director
Jomy J. Methipara

Jomy J. Methipara, Partner at Dickinson Wright PLLCis a business attorney who advises entrepreneurs, business executives and general counsel on corporate and securities law matters such as corporate formation and structuring, mergers and acquisitions, contract negotiations, and efforts to raise capital.  Mr. Methipara is also well experienced in intellectual property law matters.  Mr. Methipara represents clients including Fortune 500 companies, startup companies, technology companies, and individual inventors before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).


General Director
Amandeep Singh Sidhu (he/him/his)

Amandeep (Aman) S. Sidhu is a partner in the Litigation practice group of McDermott Will & Emery. He has substantial experience representing companies across the healthcare, life science and pharmaceutical industries in compliance/regulatory matters, investigations, and high-stakes litigation. Aman serves on McDermott’s Diversity/Inclusion Committee and Pro Bono and Community Service Committee. He is also a co-founder of the Sikh Coalition, a civil/human rights nonprofit organization created in the aftermath of 9/11. Over the past two decades, Aman has led lobbying efforts in US Congress regarding hate crimes, profiling and workplace and public accommodation discrimination and currently serves as lead counsel in a 10+ year effort to end the US military’s presumptive ban on the service of observant Sikhs and other religious minorities.

Aman received his JD from University of Richmond School and Law and dual BAs in economics and government from the College of William & Mary.  He is admitted to practice in Washington, DC and Virginia.



General Director
Asha Scielzo (she/her/hers)

Asha Scielzo serves as the Director of the nationally ranked Health Law and Policy Program at American University Washington College of Law. Asha is deeply committed to mentoring law students and junior lawyers to support them in developing rewarding and impactful careers. She teaches a variety of experiential and innovative courses on the topics of health care fraud and abuse, corporate compliance, governance, digital health, and health care business transactions.

In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of South Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C., Asha serves on the Board of Directors of the American Health Law Association (the nation’s largest, 501(c)(3) educational organization devoted to legal issues in the health care field) and the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, a nonprofit educational organization with the mission of providing high-quality scholarship, debate, and critical thought for professionals at the intersection of law, medicine, and ethics.  She brings over 20 years of health care industry experience (including 15 years of large law firm practice) to the law school.  

Asha received her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and her B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania.


General Director
Moh Sharma (she/her/hers)

Moh Sharma is currently a Member Services and Outreach Director and a Policy Advisor in the U.S. House of Representatives. She was previously a Senior Policy Advisor and the Director of Outreach and Member Services for the Committee on Small Business in the U.S. House of Representatives under Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez, a Senior Policy Advisor for the House Democratic Caucus, and a Legislative Aide for the Office of Congresswoman Judy Chu and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) 

Moh has previously worked at the Connecticut Center
for Economic Analysis, the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, the Connecticut Technology Council and the Connecticut Judicial Branch.

Moh received her B.A. (Hons.) and M.A. in Economics from theUniversity of Connecticut, M.S. in Global Affairs from NYU, and J.D. from CUNY School of Law. She is admitted in CT and NY.



Immediate Past President
Priya L. Bhanu (she/her/hers)

Priya L. Bhanu is an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State.  Previously, she was an attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, where she focused on litigation and antitrust, and a law clerk to the Honorable Paul S. Grewal on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  

Priya received her J.D., cum laude, from University of Michigan Law School and her B.A., phi beta kappa, in International Studies and East Asian Studies from Johns Hopkins University.


Former SABA-DC Presidents

Year


 President

 2021 Priya L. Bhanu
 2020 Amisha R. Patel
 2019 Moh Sharma
 2018
 2017 
 2016
 Hardeep Grover
 Ritu Kaur Cooper
 Rahul Das
 2015  Habib F. Ilahi
 2014  Shuchi Batra
 2013  Kavitha Babu
 2012  A.J. Dhaliwal
 2011  Habib F. Ilahi
 2010  Anita Khushalani/Habib F. Ilahi
 2009  Dharmesh Vashee
 2008  Rahul Das
 2007  Neal Seth
 2006  Hrishi Karthikeyan
 2005  Rudhir Krishtel
 2004  Rudhir Krishtel
 2003  Geeta Oberoi
 2002  Ajay Kuntamukkala
 2001  Richard Verma
 2000  Rupal Kothari*
 1999  Krishna Kumar*
 1998  Reggie Agarwal*

* President of the Indian-American Bar Association of Washington, DC (IABA-DC)--the organization that preceded SABA-DC


South Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C.
P.O. Box 65349
Washington, D.C. 20035

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