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Meet CPEHN's Incoming Executive Director


Kiran Savage-Sangwan to Become CPEHN's Next Executive Director

On behalf of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network Board of Directors, I am proud to announce that Kiran Savage-Sangwan, current Deputy Director, will become the organization’s next Executive Director on July 22, 2019 succeeding Sarah de Guia.
 
As you may know, Sarah, our intrepid leader for nearly five years and a loyal staff member for eight, will be moving on to our partner organization, ChangeLab Solutions as the Chief Executive Officer in September. Under Sarah’s leadership, CPEHN has passed dozens of important legislative bills and has helped implement an equal number of important administrative policies in healthcare, oral health and mental health. We are grateful to Sarah for leaving us in such great hands and in an enviable position.
 
We’re proud that Kiran, like Sarah five years ago, emerged from within our own talent pool. In Kiran, we have found an Executive Directo r who is deeply committed to our organization’s mission, vision and values. As Deputy Director, she has been the chief architect of many of our recent bills and reports. She has also been instrumental in positioning CPEHN as a leader in health equity. Among her many accomplishments, Kiran ushered through a groundbreaking bill on patient dumping, organized our 2018 California Reducing Disparities Conference, and published two important research reports—one on equity in immigrant mental health and the other on mental health and substance use policy.
 
“I am honored to lead this amazing organization. I plan to lead by actively listening, deeply engaging our diverse communities, and giving my all in service of our mission: to fearlessly advocate on behalf of communities of color and to champion health equity through policy and advocacy, research, and network building,” said Kiran, who came to CPEHN in 2016. She quickly demonstrated her extraordinary strategic thinking skills, strong leadership philosophy, policy expertise and commitment to community engagement and was promoted to Deputy Director in 2018.

“Our staff is thrilled that Kiran will be the new Executive Director. Over the last three  years, Kiran has demonstrated her passion, drive, and expertise. I know that with the support of our incredible staff and Board Kiran will continue growing CPEHN’s impact, and advancing health for and with communities of color in California,” said Sarah de Guia, outgoing Executive Director.
 
Immediately prior to joining CPEHN, Kiran was Director of Legislation and Advocacy for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) California. There, Kiran led policy initiatives to improve access to behavioral health care and to reduce the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. Prior to NAMI, Kiran served as organizer at the ACLU of Northern California and at the New York Civil Liberties Union, primarily focused on immigrants’ rights. Read Kiran's full bio here!
 
Please join CPEHN’s Board of Directors and staff members in thanking Sarah for her leadership and welcoming Kiran as CPEHN’s incoming Executive Director. This is an exciting time for us and we are grateful for your support and encouragement during this time. If you have any questions about the transition, please send us a note at info@cpehn.org.
 
Onward!
 
Nayamin Martinez
Chair, CPEHN Board of Directors


Meet Kiran

Kiran Savage-Sangwan will be the Executive Director of CPEHN starting July 22, 2019. For the last three years, she has served CPEHN as Health Integration Policy Director and, most recently, as Deputy Director. In that role, she was the chief architect of many recent CPEHN bills, in particular the groundbreaking bill on patient dumping that became California law in 2018. California hospitals can no longer callously dump poor and homeless people onto city streets after treatment. Hospitals now must verify that shelters have beds for homeless patients before sending them to the facilities and they must offer homeless patients a meal, appropriate clothing, medications and transportation upon discharge.

As Deputy Director, Kiran has been instrumental in positioning CPEHN as a leader in the health equity field. She’s helped ensure that CPEHN is synonymous with language access, health care expansion and public health issues in our state.

Among her many accomplishments, Kiran published two important research reports— one on equity in immigrant mental health and the other on behavioral health policy. She also organized CPEHN’s 2018 mental health conference, which brought together community members, advocates and policymakers to strategize about how to mobilize and coordinate diverse networks to fight for health equity.

In addition to being a strategic thinker and implementer, Kiran is an accomplished movement builder. Her background is in immigrant and mental health organizing and advocacy, which she expertly leverages in her work with Sacramento policymakers and CPEHN’s grassroots allies, partners and coalition members across the state.

Immediately prior to joining CPEHN, Kiran worked as the Director of Legislation and Advocacy for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) California. There, she led policy initiatives to improve access to behavioral health care and to reduce the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. Before NAMI California, Kiran worked at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California as an Organizer, primarily focused on immigrants’ rights.

Kiran graduated from New York University with a B.A. and a Master of Public Administration. She currently serves as the Chair of the Sacramento Community Police Review Commission. She’s been published numerous times, including in the California Health Report.