SAAPRI Board of Directors

Ann Lata Kalayil

SAAPRI Founder, Board Chair

Ann P. Kalayil is currently the Associate Vice President of Facilities and Construction at Columbia College Chicago. Ann served from March 2017-December 2019 as the Bureau Chief of Asset Management where she managed a diverse portfolio of real estate for Cook County government. She was named by President Obama as the Regional Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Great Lakes Region in January 2011. Prior to this appointment, Ann worked for more than 18 years at the University of Chicago in Information Technology Services. She has taught courses at DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Ann received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Northeastern Illinois University, and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2012, Ann received the Distinguished Alumna Award from Northeastern Illinois University. Ann serves on the Board at Presence St. Francis Hospital, was appointed by Governor Pritzker as Trustee to Northeastern Illinois University, on the Board of Center For Neighborhood Technology, and is a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow. She has spent years advocating for the Asian American and South Asian American community to gain more access to our political system. Ann is a co-founder of SAAPRI.

Padma Rangaswamy

SAAPRI Founder, Board Member

Padma Rangaswamy has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is an historian and author. Among her major publications are Namasté America: Indian Immigrants in an American Metropolis, a comprehensive study of Asian Indian immigration, and Indian Americans, a secondary level reader chronicling the achievements and hardships of Indian immigrants in North America. She has taught courses on Immigration History, World History and Global Cultures at Chicago-area universities, including University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, and Loyola University. Padma is also a founder member and on the Board of Trustees of the Indo-American Heritage Museum, a non-profit dedicated to preserving, documenting and promoting the understanding of Indian American history and culture.

Mita N. Shewakramani is a licensed attorney for her firm Regal Law Group LLC. She received her bachelors in International Studies and Spanish from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and her Juris Doctor from Penn State Law. In addition to her legal work specializing in commercial transactions and real estate, Mita is a managing real estate broker and the resident GIA Certified Diamond Specialist at Regal Jewels, which has served the South Asian community for generations.

Deeply involved in the Rogers Park/West Ridge community, Mita also serves on the board of the West Ridge Chamber of Commerce and Regal Foundation, the charitable organization that founded Little India’s own Shree Ganesh Temple of Chicago. Mita is thrilled to be a member of the SAAPRI Board and continue working with and for the South Asian community.

Anita Banerji is currently a consultant to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Education Fund, a national nonprofit organization. Formerly, as Forefront’s Democracy Initiative Director, Anita created and led the Illinois Count Me In 2020 program composed of an IL funders’ collaborative and a nonprofit advocacy coalition. She worked closely with the City of Chicago, Cook County, the State of Illinois and nonprofit organizations for 2020 Census outreach efforts. She also served as a City of Chicago Complete Count Committee Member and was an appointed member to the Cook County Complete Count Census Commission. 

Over the course of two decades, Anita has worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and the Illinois State Government, as well as the larger nonprofit sector. Anita has lobbied on the sugary sweetened beverage campaign through the American Heart Association and also served as Legislative Director for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Print Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in Communications from DePaul University. She is a 2010 Illinois Women’s Institute in Leadership (IWIL) alum, a 2019 Edgar Fellows Alum, and in spring of 2021 was appointed to the State’s Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes.