New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has appointed two Indian-Americans to the newly created NYC Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board. The Board consisting of 34 members, includes appointees from all five boroughs in various areas of expertise – academia, faith, media, business, technology, the non-profit sector and the judiciary. It is expected to help the Mayor’s cabinet leverage the expertise of non-government experts.
Former Google NY senior counsel Anjali Kumar, and the current executive director of South Asian Youth Action, Sonia Bhuta, are among the advisory board members announced last week by the Mayor.
Kumar, who dabbles in creative design and writing, is the General Counsel and Head of Social Innovation at Warby Parker, a prescription eyewear company. While at Google NY, she was a commercial and product attorney on areas ranging from Google X to advertising technology to YouTube.
Kumar also curated the @Google speaker series, bringing Googlers around the globe face-to-face with some prominent thinkers. Before joining Google, she was general counsel at Acumen Fund, an attorney at Shearman & Sterling and led strategic planning at Robin Hood Foundation.
According to her biography on the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, Kumar is currently working on a book called “From Google to God” and also a feature-length documentary based on the book. She is also the co-creator with Questlove of the forthcoming web series “Questlove Presents: Slightly Reserved with Anjali Kumar”, which will appear on the Fast Company website. She has also designed a handbag line featured in Vogue and on Sex and the City.
She has a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University, Rhode Island, and her JD from Boston University School of Law. She lives in New York City with her husband, Atul, and daughter, Zia.
Bhuta joined South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!) as Executive Director in August 2014. Prior to that, she worked for nearly 10 years at Educational Alliance, a non-profit that serves some 50,000 New Yorkers living in the Lower East Side and East Village, providing childhood and after-school programs, support programs for parents, and older adults, in various capacities. As Education Alliance’s first-ever Director of Education Program Development & Strategy, she led the design, implementation and evaluation efforts on college prep programming and oversaw the program’s growth and development over eight years, reaching over 200 middle, high school and college students annually. As executive director of SAYA!, Bhuta oversees projects that are meant to help South Asian youth realize their full potential and tackle poverty within the South Asian community. SAYA!’s recent report “South Asian Youth: urgent needs, critical mass” examines the state of South Asian youth in New York City, and concludes that 55% of South Asian youth live in families at or below 200% of the federal poverty level of about $47,000 for a family of four, versus 51% for all New York City youth.
Bhuta has a Master in Science in Social Work from Columbia University and a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.
The mandate of the Mayor’s NYC Children’s Cabinet is to identify and analyze individual and common areas of work to support children’s health and well-being across 24 City agencies, according to a release from the Mayor’s office. The Cabinet is chaired by Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery and Benita Miller is the Executive Director.
“I created the NYC Children’s Cabinet to enhance the ways in which City agencies promote and protect our children’s well-being. This was always an all-hands-on-deck approach and I commend our newest partners in this endeavor for accepting this most special charge,” Mayor de Blasio is quoted saying in a press release.