Ishvinder Kaur - Faith in Public Life

“I learned how to advocate for the Sikh community and bring it back to Minneapolis.”

Mehr Suri - National Institute of Civil Discourse

“This experience has given me a great opportunity to use my religious background as a means of ascertaining some sort of political engagement.”

Meet the Interns

Summer 2018

Meet the interns by clicking here

Summer 2017


Meet the interns by clicking here.

Summer 2016


Meet the 2016 SikhLEAD Interns by clicking here!

Summer 2015







Amreen Kaur Bhasin is interning in the office of Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). She is a rising senior at Vassar College, where is double-majoring in Chinese and Greek and Roman Studies, with a Concentration in Political Science. Amreen is the co-president of the Mock Trial team, chair of the College’s Judicial Board, and a member of both the Varsity Fencing and Field Hockey teams. As a member of the South Asian Student Association, Amreen works to promote issues facing the community on campus. An athlete herself, Amreen especially enjoys hockey, and is a big fan of the New Jersey Devils.

Avneet Kaur Soin Policy Intern with Association for Asian Pacific Health Community Organization, is a rising junior at Tufts University, studying Biopsychology. At school she is an intern with the Tufts Women’s Center, as well as a translator and clinical volunteer for Tufts Sharewood Clinic. Serving as the co-president of her campus’ Sikh Students Association and an experienced kirtan instructor; Avneet is passionate about expanding knowledge about Sikhism both inside and outside of the community. Avneet is a talented pianist who also enjoys reading and traveling.

Bani Kaur Randhawa is Research and Policy intern at SALDEF National Office, and the office of Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). She is a rising sophomore at Northwestern University, double-majoring in Political Science and Economics. Bani has competed in the Sikh Youth Alliance’s annual symposium for 13 years, and enjoys public speaking, as shown by her time as a varsity debater. A Pittsburgh native, Bani served as an Organizing Fellow with the 2012 Obama for America campaign. An avid runner, Bani also enjoys cooking, baking, and eating.

Harman Paul Singh Brar is interning in the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). He is a rising sophomore at the State University of New York at Buffalo, studying Political Science with a minor in Spanish. Harman is involved in his local Sikh community, serving as the Vice President of his campus’ Sikh Students Association, and the former President of the Sikh Youth Committee at the Sikh Cultural and Educational Society of Western New York. Harman’s appreciation for both music and languages is manifested by his participation on his school’s Bhangra team, where he is a co-captain. A sports enthusiast, Harman also enjoys playing soccer and basketball.

Jaspreet (Rosie) Kaur is a Research Intern with the United States Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC). She is a rising junior at the University of California-Berkeley, studying Business Administration and Political Science with a minor in Public Policy. As the external Vice President of Berkeley’s Kappa Alpha Pi pre-law fraternity, Rosie plans on attending law school following graduation. Rosie has extensive experience with creating initiatives on Sikh awareness, most notably an anti-bullying campaign she worked on in schools across the Bay Area. Rosie enjoys writing, public speaking, and attempting to cook.

Kiman Kaur is interning with President’s Office at the National Organization of Women. She is a rising sophomore at the University of Utah, majoring in Gender Studies and Environmental Science with future plans of attending law school. Kiman has a strong focus on women’s rights, as evidenced by her work to create a workshop proposal on feminism within Sikhism for the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions. Kiman is also the president of her school’s Students for Choice chapter, and is an intern with the Women’s Resource Center.  Kiman likes to both read and journal, and is a connoisseur of spicy food.

Nanki Kaur Bhullar is interning with Congressman Mike Honda’s (CA-17) office. She is a rising junior at Santa Clara University, where she is majoring in Women’s & Gender Studies as well as Philosophy, and minoring in Political Science. Nanki is active within her university’s Multicultural Center (MCC), where she will be serving as the co-president and co-founder of her campus’s new Sikh Student Association. Nanki serves as the event coordinator of her university’s new Feminists for Justice organization. Nanki enjoys writing, and works as a reporter for her school’s newspaper. On campus, Nanki is also active within the Model United Nations (MUN) and Labor Action Committee (LAC) organizations. Off campus, she volunteers at California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA). Nanki is an alumnus of SALDEF’s 4th LDP class. 

Naureen Kaur Singh is a SikhLEAD alum. She is interning with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.  She is a rising senior year at the University of Colorado-Boulder, majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology with plans of attending law school post-graduation. As the founder-president of her school’s Sikh Student Association, and a founder of the Colorado Sikh Camp, Naureen has worked extensively to engage her community in outreach efforts. In her free time, Naureen enjoys dancing, and enjoys combining her passions for civil rights and public speaking.

Shawn Singh Bhatia is interning with the SALDEF National Office and his home district’s representative U.S. Congressman Ted Poe’s (R-TX). He is a rising sophomore at the University of Houston, where he studies Business Finance.  Shawn has experience interning at a criminal law firm and is deeply involved with political organizations on his school’s campus.  Shawn uses his love of reading and skills in public speaking to learn about and advance the issues that affect his community.
Tejpaul Singh Bainiwal is interning with the Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights this summer, a coalition of over 200 organizations that works to promote common goals concerning human and civil rights. He is a rising senior at Humphreys College, where he studies Criminal Justice with future plans to attend law school. Tejpaul is a volunteer with the Organization for Minorities of India, as well as a Sikh Youth Advocate. As the secretary of his school’s American Criminal Justice Association, Tejpaul is deeply passionate about civil rights work, and hopes to practice civil or human rights law.  An active member of his city’s Sikh community, Tejpaul also enjoys Gatka, and is a member of the California Gatka Dal.

Summer 2014


  • Amrita Kaur Bamrah – University of Illinois – Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Amrita Kaur Jolly – California Western School of Law – The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
  • Anmol Kaur – Pennsylvania State University – Bedi & Martinez, Attorneys at Law
  • Gurchit Singh Chatha – University of California, Berkeley – Representative Mike Honda (CA)
  • Gurwinder Singh – Stony Brook University – SALDEF
  • Harleen Kaur – University of Michigan – Representative Joseph Crowley (NY)
  • Harmann Singh – Columbia University – The White House
  • Harnek Singh Neelam – University of Michigan – Representative John Conyers, Jr. (MI)
  • Jyot Singh – Tufts University – American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity
  • Naureen Singh – University of Colorado – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Ramandeep Kaur Sangha – University of California, Berkeley – Representative Ami Bera, M.D. (CA)
  • Rasna Kaur Neelam – University of Michigan – Smithsonian Institution
  • Ravneet Singh – California State University, Sacramento – Representative Judy Chu, Ph.D (CA)

Learn more about the Class of 2014 here.


Summer 2013

Henna TrewnHouse of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commercehennasikhleadpic-274x300

Henna is a rising senior at the University of California, Berkeley studying Political Economy with a focus on Energy and Resource Studies. She is interested in domestic resource issues as well as rural energy development, particularly in India. Over the past two years, she has managed an undergraduate-graduate mentorship program and student-run course on graduate school preparation. She has also interned with the local government in Berkeley, and participated in discussions on international affairs with her professional Foreign Service fraternity. Most recently, Henna interned at the California Energy Commission. She took what she learned at the Commission to her current internship with the Democratic Staff of the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce in Washington, D.C. Her passions outside of energy policy include creative writing, Joss Whedon (especially the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series), and Paper Mario video games.

Sumeet Kaur – Congressional Intern with Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)sumeetsikhleadpic-228x300

Sumeet is entering her senior year at the George Washington University as an International Relations major. Her academic and personal life has been heavily focused on human rights and development issues. As a member and current president of the GW Sikh Student Association, Sumeet strives to promote Sikhism in the GW community and in the DC area. She will be interning for Senator Chris Coons this summer, where she hopes to learn more about policymaking and African affairs through his experience as the Chairman of the African Affairs Subcommittee. Sumeet is originally from Centerville, MA. In her spare time, Sumeet enjoys writing poetry, cooking, and going on adventures.

Ravneet Kaur – Congressional Intern with Representative Ami Bera (D-CA)ravneetsikhleadpic-184x300

Ravneet is a rising junior at the University of California, Davis double majoring in Economics and International Relations. She is a member of the Dean’s Honor List and has previously interned for Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer. In addition to being a Liberal Arts and Business Peer Advisor, she is a Public Policy research intern for the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research. Ravneet values public service and as Vice President of Project Planning for Global Human Rights Brigade, last summer she participated in a week long brigade in rural Panama to help underserved communities. She also attends local Sikh camps and serves as a mentor for young Sikhs. This summer, Ravneet will be interning for Representative Ami Bera in Washington, DC. She hopes to pursue a career in international development after graduation.

Mandeep Singh – Congressional Intern with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)mandeepsikhleadpic-300x202

Mandeep is a rising junior at Columbia University. He is majoring in Urban Studies (with a specialization in Political Science) and Business Management. During this summer, he will be interning for the Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office. Mandeep is the president of Columbia University Sewa, an organization based on the universal values of community service, social justice and equality. Originally from New York, Mandeep is a community organizer with SEVA NY and a youth member of the Richmond Hill Democratic Club. In addition, he is a graduate of SALDEF’s Leadership Development Program and is an alumnus of the Young People For Fellowship. In his spare time, Mandeep enjoys singing, dancing whenever he is given the chance, and exploring various styles in fashion.

Guneet KaurEqual Employment Opportunity CommissionGuneetSikhlead

Guneet is a rising junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is majoring in Health Policy and Management. She has was born and raised in the Raleigh, North Carolina area and has been actively involved in the local Sikh community for many years. She has participated in various community outreach initiatives and has been involved in organizing an annual blood drive at the gurdwara for the past 4 years. At school, she is involved with volunteering at UNC Hospitals and at a student-run health clinic. This summer through her internship at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Guneet hopes to gain experience in examining ways to prevent workplace discrimination, an issue that not only affects the Sikh community, but many others as well. During her spare time, she enjoys reading, making greeting cards, taking walks, and practicing keertan.

Manjot SinghDepartment of Justice, Community Relations ServiceManjotSikhlead

Manjot is a rising junior at the University of California, Los Angeles and is majoring in Global Studies. Manjot is the External Affairs director of the Sikh Student Association at UCLA and is involved in a number of organizations around campus. He writes for the Daily Bruin and participates in a weekly spoken word event called “The Word on Wednesdays” as part of the Cultural Affairs Commission. He is in the process of starting his own magazine on campus. This summer, while interning with the Department of Justice, Community Relations Service, he hopes to garner a deeper and more realistic look of what it means to be a social activist in one’s own community and at large, and learn how to approach minority marginalization. From Valencia, California, Manjot Singh likes wearing highlighter colored turbans and kurtas around UCLA’s campus. He is a strong advocate for vegetarianism and enjoys collecting coffee beans from around the world.

Gagan SinghSALDEF, Communications and Media InternGaganSikhlead

Gagan is a rising senior at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County majoring in English Literature and minoring in Communications and Technology and Medieval and Early Modern Studies. She is the humanities editor of UMBC’s undergraduate research journal, The UMBC Review and is also a Humanities Scholar and part of the Honors College. She is actively involved with the Sikh community in Maryland through youth discussion classes, events at her gurdwara and helping organize a youth camp. This summer, Gagan is the Communications and Media intern for SALDEF. She is hoping to apply the skills she learned in SikhLEAD’s Leadership Development Program to advocate for the Sikh American community and provide social justice among all communities. She enjoys creative outlets such as painting, writing and cooking and is always ready for the next cup of coffee.

Nimita UberoiSmithsonian, Asian Pacific American Centernimitasikhleadpic-151x300

Nimita is a rising junior at Brown University concentrating in Environmental Studies and Political Science. Nimita is involved in various activities on campus, such as the Women’s Varsity Tennis team and co-anchor of “Bearly News” (Brown’s satirical news show). She is also president of the Sikh Students Association, Public Relations Officer for her Class Board, and Secretary of the South Asian Students Association. Nimita also volunteers at a local Hindi Sunday School in Providence. In her spare time Nimita enjoys watching the TV show “Bones,” part of her motivation to intern at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center this summer. Additionally, she enjoys making her own ice cream, attempting to cook, and travelling.

Harjit Singh – Congressional Intern with Representative Judy Chu (D-CA)harjitsikhleadpic-169x300

Harjit is a fourth year Astrophysics and Geophysics major at the University of California, Berkeley. This past year, he was the Executive Director of UC Berkeley’s Sikh Students Association and organized many Sikh related events on campus, such as Sikh Turban Day, Kaur Voices, and a youth mentorship program called Big Khalsa Little Khalsa. He grew up in Yuba City, CA where he has seen and experienced the struggles faced by Sikh Americans in this large Sikh community. Harjit will be interning for Congresswoman Judy Chu. He is hoping to integrate his passion for science education with his experience on Capitol Hill to become an advocate for science. In his spare time, Harjit enjoys hiking, running, and performing arts.

Summer 2012

Amrita Bamra – White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific IslandersamritaCROP

Amrita is entering her third year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign working towards a dual-degree in Economics and Global Studies. Her studies focus on governance and conflict resolution particularly in South Asia. Amrita’s interest in the region has led her to intern for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. As an aspiring lawyer, she serves on the board of the Pre-Law Honors Society on campus and is also a leader of the university’s Sikh Student Association. She attends various conferences and panels where she speaks about the many issues Sikhs in America face today, aiming to create and spread awareness about the faith. She also has a passion for art, spending her free time creating oil paintings and sketches.

Amrita Sehgal – Congressional Intern with Representative Wally Herger (R-CA)AmritaScrop

Amrita Sehgal is entering her fourth and final year at the University of California, Berkeley. She will graduate with a degree in Economics, and plans on working for a few years before attending medical school. In addition to practicing medicine, she would like to pursue a career researching health care policy. As a Congressional Intern, Amrita hopes to gain relevant experience researching and working under the Health Care Committee in the House of Representatives. At home, in Palo Alto, California, Amrita is involved in the Sikh community where she routinely gives speeches delving into the meaning of the Guru Granth Sahib at local kirtans.

Jaywin Singh Malhi – Congressional Intern with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX)JaywinHeadshot4

Jaywin Singh Malhi is a junior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and is double-majoring in Business Management and Political Science. Jaywin is a Senator in SMU’s Student Senate and involved in various committees across campus, from the Vice President’s Student Advisory Board to the Honor Council. After completing his undergraduate studies, Jaywin plans to attend law school and hopes to pursue a career in corporate law and later, public service. In his spare time, Jaywin enjoys playing the tabla, public-speaking, juggling, and people-watching.

Suneet Dhillon – SALDEF, Legal and Legislative InternSuneet-Headshot

Suneet is a recent graduate from the Ohio State University with a dual B.A. in International Studies and in English. As a civil rights advocate, she is drawn to working with communities that are negatively impacted racially and socio-economically. Currently, she is a corps member for Teach For America, where she works to close the achievement gap for students in Prince George’s County Public Schools. In 2010, Suneet was an intern on Capitol Hill with Congressman Zack Space (D-OH). SALDEF provides Suneet the opportunity to combine her civil rights interests with her strong desire to improve awareness about the Sikh community.

Maninder Saini – Congressional Intern with Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)Maninder-Headshot

Maninder is a junior at the University of California, Santa Cruz studying Economics and Mathematics. Through his work as a Resident Assistant, Maninder is involved in community building and development with an emphasis on social justice and environmental responsibility. Maninder’s work with social justice issues has led to his interests in civil rights and raising awareness of the challenges faced by minorities. This work has fostered Maninder’s interests in public finance and policy. Growing up in the heart of Silicon Valley, Maninder has an affinity for computers and technology and in his spare time enjoys playing basketball and watching ESPN.

Gurkaran Singh – Congressional Intern with Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) Gurkaran-Headshot

Gurkaran is a sophomore at New York University majoring in Global Liberal Studies with a concentration in East Asia, politics, rights and human development. He has lived in both Texas and New York. Having volunteered in a variety of Sikh organizations and Gurdwaras, Gurkaran has seen, interacted with, and understands many of the problems facing a diverse range of Sikhs from all over the country. Pursuing a degree in law or business, Gurkaran strives to provide for and consult fellow Sikhs with their legal and financial problems and hopes to aid and further empower the Sikh American community.

Manjot Singh – SALDEF, Development Intern

Manjot is a sophomore at the University of California, Los Angeles, ManjotSikhleadwhere he is pursuing a
degree in Philosophy. He has been involved in the Southern California Sikh community for many years and was recently appointed the Director of External Events of the Sikh Student Association at UCLA. He also writes for The Daily Bruin and is a part of the Cultural Affairs Commission, which promotes cultural, political and social empowerment on campus. He is excited to be in Washington, DC this summer, advocating for the rights of Sikhs and addressing the misrepresentation of Sikhs in the media.

Summer 2011

Harmeet Kaur – Congressional Intern with Representative Judy Chu (D-CA)

A recipient of the academic year and summer Foreign Language and Area Studies scholarships, Harmeet recently graduated from Columbia University with a Master of Arts in South Asian Studies. Her work focused on caste relations in Punjab, and her research took her to Queens, New York to work with the Ravidasi community and document their experiences of caste-based discrimination. Harmeet now wants to combine her academic experience with activism and comes to SALDEF with hopes of improving the representation of Sikhs in the U.S. Along with fighting for minority rights, Harmeet wants to bring attention to caste-based discrimination that occurs within the Sikh community.

Shabd Singh Khalsa – Congressional Intern with Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR)

Shabd Singh Khalsa is a senior at the University of Oregon working towards a B.S. in Planning, Public Policy, and Management. Shabd grew up in the DC area and attended Miri Piri Academy in Amritsar, India from 1999-2005. Shabd is involved in his local Eugene, Oregon community with various service projects. He has also served at Sikh Youth camps as a youth counselor. On campus, he is an active member of the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group and was recently confirmed as the Executive Appointee to the Athletic Contracts Finance Committee, which drafts a $4 million budget for the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, the largest student government in the country. In his free time, Shabd enjoys music and practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.