Staff & Board

SAN’s staff, volunteers, and board include: a majority of women, who are persons of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Nepali origin from Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist traditions; first-generation immigrants and American-born; speakers of Hindi, Nepali, Gujarati, Urdu, Bangla, Punjabi and Sinhala; and queer and heterosexual members.

SAN’s diversity reflects the multiple identities within the community, as well as multiple issue areas and methodologies for community building.  Staff come with extensive experience and knowledge of public health, civil rights/ immigrant rights, intimate partner violence and community education.

Staff Members

Shikha Bhatnagar
Executive Director
Shikha Bhatnagar has been working in the nonprofit sector for over 20 years, focusing on community organizing, fundraising and communication, program management, and strategic planning. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin, and a Masters degree in International Affairs with a concentration on Economic and Political Development from Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, New York, NY. Shikha has served as Executive Director for Akshaya Patra Foundation USA, and Teach for India; and Associate Director, South Asia Center for the Atlantic Council. Additionally, she has experience as an independent consultant providing services to nonprofit organizations and emerging and established leaders. Prior to accepting the role as Executive Director for the South Asian Network, Shikha served as Director of Development for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association in Washington, DC.

Saima Husain
Deputy Director
Saima was born in Pakistan, raised in four countries, and speaks five languages. With a Ph.D in Human Rights, Saima started at SAN in 2007 as community advocate with AWAZ, she later coordinated the AWAZ unit, and is now SAN’s Deputy Director. In 2009, Saima was selected as a Fellow for the Women’s Foundation of California’s Women’s Policy Institute, a project that trains women to take on leadership roles in state policy advocacy. She has previously worked on police violence, disability rights, and governance.

Nutan Kafle
Office Administrator

Tami Shaikh
Civil Rights Advocate
Tami Shaikh was born in Santa Monica and moved to Lahore at the age of 9. She moved back to Orange County at 19 and has lived here ever since.Tami also lived in Dubai for 9 years and worked with people from all socio-economic and racial backgrounds. She has a Masters degree in Education and years of experience working with under privileged kids around the world. Tami has always had a passion for Social Justice and Civil Rights. Her work has included organizing fundraisers for UNICEF , making weekly visits to the local prisons and organizing events in the community to raise awareness on issues impacting our communities. She is fluent in spoken and written Urdu. She is also a blogger for the Huffington Post and an author of two books.

Nina Sharmin
Community Advocate
Nina has a Bachelor Degree in Political Science from Dhaka University, Bangladesh. She worked in SAN’s Health Unit from 2002-2008. Nina also worked as the Resident Care Coordinator and a Cal-Works Case Manager at a domestic violence shelter. Nina is currently a Community Advocate in SAN’s CHAI and AWAZ programs. Nina mostly works with the Bangladeshi community in Koreatown and various other places. Nina can speak Bangla and Hindi.


Deanna Cherry, Executive Coaching

Katherine Kubarski, Grant Writing

Danyaal Mashedy, Technology

Purvi Shahpatel, Mental Health

Janis Weir, Fundraising

Holly Witham, Accounting

Board Members

Board Chair – Neetu Pahal, Pahal, Vora & Associates

Board Secretary – Meena Makhijani, Motion Picture & Television Fund/UCLA

Board Treasurer – Pawan Chaturvedi, UCLA Investments Co.

Sanjay Chhugani, Birdi & Associates

Firdaus Dordi, Dordi Williams Cohen, LLP

Sayema J. Hameed, Cabada & Hameed LLP

Milan Kapadia, Boeing, Inc.

Vidhya Ragunathan, Inner City Law Center

Manju Ramareddy, Arodhum

Sonia Shah, Kaiser Permanente

Rohit Shendrikar, Yahoo! Inc.

Brinda Vasisht, Whisper

Nisha Vyas, Public Counsel