About Us

Serving the Chicago area community

South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization established in 2001 with the mission to serve South Asian Americans in the Chicago area, by using research to formulate equitable and socially responsible policy recommendations. SAAPRI’s work has included research and policy initiatives on civic engagement, hate crimes, access to health care, economic development, and immigration.

SAAPRI conducts research on emerging issues of importance to South Asian Americans in response to community needs. Projects are designed to create dialogue and better understanding, drawing from SAAPRI’s expertise in community-based research and collaborations with partner organizations, academic institutions, and community members.

SAAPRI advances public policy by responding to community issues and formulating data-driven solutions. SAAPRI voices the community’s concerns to public officials at the local, state, and national levels; conducts outreach to community members and media; works strategically in cross-racial coalitions; hosts public forums; and participates in speaking engagements to various audiences.

SAAPRI is proud to be supported by individual donors, community organizations, state and local institutions, and foundations.

  • Click here to find out more about the community we serve.
  • Read about SAAPRI in the media here.



Dhara Puvar

Executive Director

Dhara graduated with a B.S. in psychology from Loyola University Chicago, where she served as the coordinator for the first international, interdisciplinary conference on South Asian womanhood and girlhood. In 2015, she conducted independent research abroad in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she studied risk factors for suicide among female migrant workers and worked for a non-profit […]

Anil Methipara

Community Research Fellow

Anil has a B.A. in economics from Carleton College and has been involved in research in several public policy areas. His undergraduate thesis developed a model examining the relationship between income inequality and population health outcomes in developing countries and was presented at a 2016 conference held by the World Bank and the Institute for […]

Anar Parikh

Visiting Research Fellow

Anar Parikh is a PhD candidate in cultural anthropology at Brown University. She is currently in Chicago doing doctoral research on South Asian American citizenship and political belonging in the United States. Her research is inspired by a commitment to seeing greater documentation and representation of South Asian experiences at all levels of American cultural, […]

Ann P. Kalayil

President/ SAAPRI Founder / Board Chair

Ann P. Kalayil is the Bureau Chief of Asset Management for the 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 […]

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 […]

Tejas Shah

SAAPRI Board Member

Tejas Shah is immigration counsel at Franczek Radelet P.C., leading the firm’s immigration practice and serving as a member of the Labor & Employment and Higher Education Practice Groups. Tejas is actively involved with and has been appointed to leadership positions in many community associations. He served as the 2014 president of the Indian American Bar Association […]

Aditi Singh

SAAPRI Board Member

Aditi is an attorney at Chicago Appleseed where she works on Access to Justice and Criminal Justice issues. Prior to joining Chicago Appleseed, Aditi was a Staff Attorney at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights where she protected and promoted access to education for court-involved youth in the Chicago-area. In addition to being a […]

K. Sujata

SAAPRI Founder / Advisor to SAAPRI Board

Sujata has a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, Illinois. She moved into management of non-profits after several years experience in manufacturing industries. She has developed collaborations with universities in Chicago to add to the knowledge and information about South Asian victims of domestic violence. She has been invited to speak locally and nationally on issues affecting […]