Jasjit Singh, 34
Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Justice
Hometown: Chicago, IL
How did you get here?
After being the Executive Director at the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund for the past 7 years, I wanted to continue working on community-related issues but also felt there was more work to be done from the government side to support communities that have found themselves in the cross-hairs of racial and religious tension. With this new position I am looking forward to utilizing my skills and experiences to serve a community need.
Who or what has been the greatest influence on your career?
The greatest influence on my career has been my dad. He came to the US from India in the late 70's and despite his advanced degrees, he was forced to work menial jobs, largely as a result of discrimination. Despite initial setbacks, he kept his faith and persevered towards better opportunities. As a result of his tireless work, I have had the privilege of working on issues that I am passionate about -- an idea which he had to forgo to ensure stability for our family. I often think about his sacrifice and without knowing everything he went through, I am grateful for everything he has done.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment during the Obama administration?
I think my greatest accomplishment is yet to come. I am excited to continue my work with the Arab, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian communities who I know are facing unprecedented challenges as they relate to hate crimes, racial profiling, school bullying and employment discrimination. I hope to be a positive force towards community peace and healing.
Can you describe your time working for the Obama administration in 10 words?
Some of the most motivated and impressive people I've met.
Complete the sentence: "When I'm not working, I..."
When I'm not working, I'm planning my upcoming wedding (or rather supporting my awesome fiance!)