A note from New American Leaders Founder and President, Sayu Bhojwani.
Ten years ago, I started New American Leaders with a vision for people like us. Today, that vision is our movement. With alumni elected to the Phoenix Union School Board and the Redmond, WA City Council, and state legislators serving in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, New York and Michigan, NAL is making American democracy what it should be — of, by, and for the people.
From its early days as a fledgling startup, NAL has grown to a staff of 16 with a national network of hundreds of elected officials and over 1,000 alumni. In 2020, more than 100 NAL alumni are on the ballot, and we remain the only organization whose work is solely focused on ensuring that New Americans can run, win and lead in ways that center our communities and concerns.
I couldn’t be prouder of what we have built — an authentic, love-filled network of movement leaders committed to making our democracy stronger. The staff, board, alumni and supporters who were and are a part of the New American Leaders and New American Leaders Action Fund family are dedicated and determined pioneers whose work has transformed the way we run campaigns and serve in government.
As the Founder of NAL, I feel deep satisfaction about where we are as an organization and about the critical role that we play in the growing field of democracy reform. I know that we have a long way to go before our government is fully reflective of and responsive to our people, and I also know that it’s time for a shift in my focus and thus a transition for the organization.
At NAL and in all my past endeavors, I have had an unwavering commitment to gender equity. That’s why, at the end of this year, I am stepping down as President of New American Leaders and New American Leaders Action Fund to launch the Women’s Democracy Lab, an effort that will ensure female-identifying political leaders are supported and can thrive. In this work, my path will cross with many of you in the NAL and NALAF family, which makes it even more exciting.
Meanwhile, the boards of NAL and NALAF have established a transition process and will engage in a search for someone to lead our c(3) and c(4) work to another decade of transformation and growth.
After my departure, Sara Le Brusq, our Chief Operating Officer, will serve as Interim CEO. Since Sara joined us in 2018, she has made an indelible mark on our work by establishing the New American Leaders Action Fund and helping transition NAL from a fiscally sponsored organization to an independent entity. We are fortunate that she is stepping up to lead during this time of transition, and I know she will bring unparalleled commitment to our mission.
Thank you for being a part of our movement and supporting us as we enter the next chapter. I am holding you each in my heart in the final days of this election season. We are the ones we have been waiting for, and our democracy is stronger because of each and every one of you.
President, New American Leaders and New American Leaders Action Fund