WALTHAM, MA–Indian American Forum for Political Education Massachusetts President Sanjay Kudrimoti has resigned and is being replaced by President-Elect Sonali Lappin. The IAFPE executive committee and board of trustees are scheduled to meet on Sunday to chart out the future course of action.
Kudrimoti assumed presidency in January last year for a two-year term, which was scheduled to expire in January 2018.
“I have stepped down as president and Sonali Lappin is taking over as president. Some changes are going to happen but only after this weekend. Technically, I am still the president,” Kudrimoti told India New England News in a telephone interview. “Because this Forum is to be unbiased, I was feeling restrained. I was emotionally distraught.”
Kudrimoti said that he is a political liberal, and could not express himself because of the organization’s charter to be neutral.
Kudrimoti said that the organization’s executive committee members and board of trustees will meet this Sunday, Feb. 25, in Belmont, MA, to discuss the transition.
“I needed to remove my shackles to express myself, especially in this political climate,” Kudrimoti said. “I just want to be myself.”
The election of Lappin to the forum’s presidency will be officially formalized on Sunday during the meeting of the executive committee and the board of trustees.
“We are in the process of defining our next steps,” said Lappin, who was elected President-Elect in 2016.
Ramesh Advani, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the organization, said he has not received the formal resignation from Kudramoti.
“As the Chair, I have received no formal indication or note from the President, Sanjay Kudramoti, that he has resigned from his position. His term runs through till the end of 2017. And so does the term of the rest of the Executive Committee. If it is true that he wants to resign, we have a formal process in our By Laws that I shall ask the Trustees to take up when we meet,” Advani told INDIA New England News.
Advani confirmed that the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee are meeting this Sunday.
“And the reason for the meeting is because I have been deeply concerned that this Executive Committee has not been visible and active since its formation in Jan 2016,” Advani said. “Furthermore, the recent political events of a divided nation and the actions related to Immigrants and people of color seems to have created fear in the minds of legal residents and citizens wondering what is coming next. It behooves an organization like the Forum to be visible and active to the Indian American community in the Commonwealth. Hence, I’ve asked our leadership to meet and talk about how we go forward.”
Lappin is a political operative working in and around Massachusetts state politics and a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she studied Comparative Political Science. After working as an Aide to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Lappin served as the Director of Constituent Services and Communications for State Senator Barry Finegold, according to her official bio at the Forum website.
She continued her work in political communications as Finegold’s campaign Press Secretary during his run for State Treasurer in 2014 and as a volunteer Field Organizer for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community during the Martha Coakley Campaign for Treasurer.
In her free time, Lappin writes short plays and performs classical Indian dance at local cultural festivals and charity fundraisers to help promote elements of Indian culture in non-traditional settings. Having been raised in a multi-cultural family; a Jewish-American father and Punjabi-Indian mother, Lappin also seeks ways to foster cross-cultural dialogue and collaboration.