SAJA members elected one incumbent and added four new members to the board for next year, in the group's annual election where eight candidates ran for five open seats.

Those elected at the annual meeting on Dec. 18 were Sovy Azhath, Meena Ganesan, John Laxmi, Ali Rizvi and Swati Sharma.

The other candidates, in what was a close election, were Anu Mahadev, Mahida Qureshi and Navneet Chugh.

Sovy Azhath is a Producer for CNN in New York. He will be serving his 5th term on the board. In the past 8 years on the board, he has served: 2010 as events coordinator; 2011 as Secretary; 2012 as VP; 2013 as the national President; and the last 4 years as a senior advisor. 

Meena Ganesan is a social editor atFiveThirtyEight. She has worked at C-Span, PBS Newshour, The Washington Post and others. She hopes to strengthen SAJA with networking, mentorship and events that aim to inspire. 

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John Laxmi has served as a Board member since 2001, initially as secretary and later as treasurer then most recently as an advisor to the Board. His return to the board will assure SAJA of invaluable experience and continuity.

Ali Rizvi is a video producer at McClatchy DC where he creates short character facing documentaries. He hopes to encourage more South Asians to pursue journalism as a career and focus on the importance of the region in the future.

Swati Sharma is an assignment editor at the Washington Post. She hopes to increase networking opportunities, work with other diversity organizations and inspire younger journalists to become leaders in their newsrooms.

They join current board members Ankita Rao, Zainab Imam, Nina Sen, Malik Siraj Akbar, Prerana Thakurdesai and Hamdan Azhar.   

Leaving the board is SAJA President Anusha Shrivastava, after her third term at the helm. A former journalist at The Wall Street Journal, she is now the Associate Director for Career Development and Alumni Relations at Columbia University’s Department of Statistics and faculty adviser for the SAJA student group at the university.

Also leaving the board is SAJA Treasurer Geetika Rudra.  She is a product manager for Dataminr, a former ABC News reporter and alum of Columbia University.

The board will hold its first meeting in January, when it will elect officersfor SAJA's executive committee made up of SAJA's president, vice president,treasurer, secretary and an at-large officer.

The new board hopes you will get involved in SAJA activities in the new year.Send ideas, tips, suggestions to

If you haven't made a donation to support SAJA's work this year, please consider doing so -- every dollar goes to support our programming, scholarships and fellowships.

If you haven't signed up or renewed your membership (just$40 for journalists; $40 for non-journalists; $20 for students), please do so now.

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