Deepa Iyer


As Senior Fellow at the Center for Social Inclusion, Deepa Iyer provides analysis, commentary and scholarship on the ways to build racial equity and solidarity in light of the rapid demographic transformation in America’s neighborhoods, schools and workplaces. Deepa is an attorney who has worked on civil and immigrant rights issues in the non-profit and governmental sectors for 15 years.

Most recently, Deepa served as Executive Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) for a decade. While at SAALT, Deepa shaped the formation of the National Coalition of South Asian Organizations (NCSO), a network of local South Asian groups, and served as Chair of the National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA). Prior to her tenure at SAALT, Deepa served as Legal Director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center; Trial Attorney at the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; and Staff Attorney at the Asian American Justice Center.

Deepa is the author of the book, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future, published in November 2015. Deepa’s opinion editorials on issues ranging from the post 9/11 backlash to immigration reform to anti-Black racism have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Al-Jazeera America, and The Nation.

An immigrant who moved to Kentucky when she was twelve, Deepa graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School and Vanderbilt University. Deepa is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Race Forward. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

(original photo above by Les Talusan Photography)

Selected Blogs:

Selected Media:

CSI Newsletter

Sign up now!


Make a donation Find out more
how to support CSI >