Chhaya Announces New Executive Director

Chhaya CDC announces the appointment of its new Executive Director, Ms. Annetta Seecharran. Annetta is no stranger to Chhaya, having served as a board member for three years and then as Interim Executive Director for the past six months. In these two roles Annetta demonstrated her unwavering commitment to Chhaya’s mission as well as her deep understanding of the organization’s programs, making this a seamless transition.

Annetta brings over 20 years of leadership and management experience to Chhaya. She led South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!) for eight years during its foundational growth period and later served as Director of Policy and Advocacy at United Neighborhood Houses, a preeminent policy and advocacy organization working on poverty and community development issues. These related experiences have given her extensive knowledge of the issues and programs that drive Chhaya’s work. In addition, Annetta serves on several citywide and national nonprofit boards that address many of the issues core to Chhaya’s work.

“Annetta is a proven leader, with an impressive track record in building successful organizations and movements for change. Her deep roots in the South Asian social justice movement, her breadth and depth of knowledge on immigrant issues, housing policy, and community development combined with her vision to ensure that the needs of low-income South Asians are included in public policy decisions and that the root causes of poverty are addressed make her the ideal leader for Chhaya’s next phase of growth.” — Shona Chakravartty – Board Co-chair

Local Councilman Daniel Dromm says, “Not only is Annetta a valued member of the Jackson Heights community, but she is also a respected leader in the immigrant rights movement. I could not be more delighted about her appointment at the next leader of Chhaya!”

“Annetta is a seasoned leader with vision and passion to build community power. I am confident Chhaya CDC will continue to grow and be a strong voice for the South Asian community locally and nationally under her leadership.” – Seema Agnani, Managing Director at National CAPACD and former Executive Director of Chhaya (2001-2014).

“I am thrilled to be leading Chhaya at this juncture in the organization’s growth and build upon the great work of Seema Agnani (founder and former executive director) and the many staff, volunteers and board members. Chhaya’s work to build the economic and social inclusion as well as political power of South Asians is critical for our community’s and city’s future.” – Annetta Seecharran

 Annetta officially began her new role as Executive Director on November 1st. We thank you for your support during this time of transition and look forward to your continued partnership in the future.

About Chhaya

Founded in 2000, Chhaya’s mission is to work with New Yorkers of South Asian origin to advocate for and build economically stable, sustainable, and thriving communities. Chhaya carries out its mission through a holistic approach that combines community organizing and direct services. Our programs achieve a range of positive outcomes in the areas of housing, asset building, and civic engagement. Chhaya not only addresses the needs of individuals and families, but organizes and empowers them to create lasting changes in their lives. We connect individuals to social justice movements in NYC and nation-wide to build a powerful collective voice. Each year, we provide direct services to over 2,500 clients and reach over 100,000 people through our large scale workshops, street fairs, and community organizing.

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