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As New American Leaders (NAL) ramps up in preparation for what promises to be a historic election cycle, the organization welcomed its new board chair and two new members to its board of directors earlier this month. After term-limiting out, Carolyn Sauvage-Mar stepped down from the role following the election of Parag Mehta, executive director of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. 

“Democracy works best when everyone participates, when all voices are represented at the tables where decisions get made,” said NAL Board Chair Parag Mehta. “It is not enough to build a government that looks like America. It has to sound like America and reflect the diverse set of values that make our country great. New American Leaders is devoted to leading the movement to make this vision for our democracy a reality. I am proud to serve as their new board chair, especially ahead of the critical 2020 election to ensure that immigrants and refugees vote, that they run for office and that they win.”

“This is a pivotal moment for both New American Leaders and our country as a whole; one that will require bold, visionary leadership,” said Sayu Bhojwani, NAL’s president and founder. “Under Carolyn Sauvage-Mar’s leadership as our previous board chair, NAL has grown exponentially, preparing us to start our tenth year stronger than ever. We have every confidence that Parag will carry on her legacy of leadership and usher in a new era full of opportunities and decade of activism.” 

The board also welcomed two new members, Arizona State Representative Athena Salman and Harvard’s associate director of Democratic Governance Programs Teresa Acuña.

“New American Leaders is reimagining our democracy. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, I am humbled to join a group of visionaries who are building an inclusive movement to assure representation of new and first generation Americans in all places of power,” said Teresa Acuña, associate director of Democratic Governance Programs, Ash Center at the Harvard Kennedy School and new NAL board member.

“It’s an honor to join the board of New American Leaders. Having roots that span across three continents, this country has allowed my family to dream in ways that were once unimaginable,” fellow new NAL board member, NAL alumna, and Arizona State Representative Athena Salman continued. “I can think of no better way to pay forward the sacrifices and opportunities that benefited me than to further NAL’s mission of building an inclusive democracy that works for everyone at a time when it is more critical than ever.”