WALTHAM, MA–Sonali Lappin, current President-Elect of the Indian American Forum for Political Education-Massachusetts, has replaced Sanjay Kudrimoti as the organization’s president. Kudrimoti , who resigned after completing only one year of his two-year term, will stay on the Executive Committee as a Member-at-Large.
“As of February 26, our current President Sanjay Kudrimoti has stepped down from his role. However, he does want to stay engaged and be on the Committee. So, per the ByLaws, he was unanimously appointed to continue as a Member-at-Large for the remainder of his term,” Ramesh Advani, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of IAFPE-MA, told INDIA New England News.
Lappin has agreed to serve out the balance of the President’s term till January 2018, at which time she will become the President for a new Committee of 2018-2020, Advani said.
“Per the ByLaws, the current office of the President-Elect will remain open and at the next General Body Meeting elections, we shall elect a new President-Elect,” Advani said. “I have also agreed to actively mentor this committee to take progressive visible action, like we have done over the past 25+ years in the Forum. The other Trustees will also help as needed.”
Members of the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees of the IAFPE met on Sunday, Feb. 26, and approved the changes.
“This was a meeting called at my request as the Chair of the Board of Trustees. I am delighted that despite the short notice from me, it was attended by all Trustees and all EC members. This re-affirmed my faith and commitment in the leadership of these 2 teams,” said Advani. “I called this meeting because I was concerned that even though the Committee had been in existence for an year, I had not seen any active, visible engagement or events from them and I wanted our Trustees to step up and see what help we could give them, since most of the EC were new to their Committee positions.”
Advani said that everyone affirmed and committed to continue to be on the Committee and complete their term. More importantly, they all agreed that they will become visible to the Indian American community, the broader Asian American community and the political establishment in the state, Advani said.
“We are the only Indian American organization with a mission to represent and educate our communities of an Asian Indian origin on their rights and privileges. We also should help drive our community’s needs and positions with those in authority,” Advani said. “Awareness and education are vital for a healthy engaged community and internal dialog among those with differing points of view is important to arrive at collaboration and consensus.”
“I look forward to continuing to work with our IAFPE Executive Committee and Board of Trustees teams. We have all been working hard to make sure that we finish out this year strong. We seek to continue to engage and benefit the Indian American community while building coalitions with other MA communities,” said Lappin. “After one of the most contentious presidential races in history, it is more important than ever that we ensure our community has a voice in the current political climate. For those who may have concerns post-election about their safety, rights, their families and friends, please know we are here to make sure to your voices are heard.”
Lappin is a political consultant working in and around Massachusetts state politics and a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she studied Comparative Political Science. Beginning her career as a Legislative Aide focusing on Health Care policy, Lappin continued on to work in every branch of State Government, including the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the former Patrick-Murray Administration.
After working as an Aide to Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick, Lappin served as the Director of Constituent Services and Communications for State Senator Barry Finegold. She continued her work in political communications as
Finegold’s campaign Press Secretary during his 2014 run for State Treasurer and then went on to work on the 2014 Martha Coakley Campaign for Governor helping organize Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. Lappin also ran a Boston City Councilor campaign and most recently worked on a small business initiative to help grow inner city businesses through access to capital and executive education.
Throughout her involvement in the forum, Lappin has worked to foster IAFPE’s flagship political fellowship program which expands opportunities for Indian American youth to get involved in the political process.
Lappin is also a trained classical Indian dancer and dance instructor who graduated from Triveni School of Dance and performs at cultural fairs and Indian American events across the state to help raise awareness and funds for a variety of charities and causes, including to support cancer research and prevention, women’s rights, entrepreneurship and the importance of advocacy within one’s professional and personal paths.