Sumeet Kaur Bal
Director of Special Projects
Currently serving as SALDEF’s Director of Special Projects, Sumeet Kaur Bal, represents the interests of the Sikh American community and is an ardent civil rights activist for all Americans. She is currently overseeing a digital project for the organization that will promote the diversity of the Sikh American community, share Sikh values, and highlight the contributions of the Sikh community.
Before Bal began overseeing SALDEF’s “Special Projects,” she managed the full time operations of the D.C. based office as Interim Executive Director, where she maintained the strategic vision of SALDEF while also supporting a Government and Policy Fellow and a Communications Fellow.
In addition, as a career journalist, Bal was also SALDEF’s Communications Director, where she ran the organization’s comms strategy and was responsible for press releases, op-eds, media trainings, and social media. After more than 10 years experience working for Entertainment Weekly, Parenting Magazine, and MTV, Bal used her professional background to train Sikh Americans on how to share their stories with media during the Rose Parade, and continues her work with Sikh professionals and SikhLEADers. Mentored by top editors from Time, Inc. and the New York Times, and producers from the Today Show, ABC and CBS News, Bal has covered hard news, culture and fashion for print and broadcast media.
Prior to her career in media, Bal was a paralegal at the Center for Individual Rights and a recruiter/paralegal at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart in New York City.
Bal served on the board of the Interfaith Alliance and SALDEF’s Media Advisory Board, and is an active advocate of diversity in the New York City and San Francisco independent schools.
She graduated with an M.S. in Broadcasting from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and a B.A. in Religion/Political Science from Duke University.
Jyotswaroop Kaur joined SALDEF’s Southern California office with 10 years of experience in youth education programs, teaching, economic and social justice work. In her role at the helm of the Education Initiative, Kaur is responsible for the strategic growth and development of the organization’s two SikhLEAD programs: The Internship Program and the Leadership Development Program. While she spends the majority of her time running the Southern California Bureau, Kaur has brokered relationships with organizations, government bureaus, and offices on Capitol Hill securing coveted internships for the prestigious Internship Program. Kaur not only hand picks each candidate, but also grooms them with resume and interview coaching prior to their arrival in D.C. Just as she winds down her D.C. partnerships, Kaur begins creating the strategic plan and class for the Leadership Development Program where she carefully culls pioneers and changemakers from our nation’s top industries—entrepreneurs, lawyers, journalists, and community organizers— to speak with her incoming LDP class. Kaur also oversees much of the community relations work including the Law Enforcement Partnership Program.
She serves on the Board of Directors of SAJE (Strategic Actions for a Just Economy) — a community based organization in South Los Angeles.
Kaur graduated with her M.A. in Public Administration, Non-Profit Management and Policy degree from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, and received her B.A. in English with a minor in Conflict Resolution from the University of California at Irvine.