Associate Director, Democracy Program
Since joining AALDEF, Susana has been actively litigating several voting rights cases on behalf of Asian American voters across the country under Sections 2, 203, and 208 of the Voting Rights Act. Prior to AALDEF Susana worked for 30 years at the U.S. Department of Justice, primarily in the Civil Rights Division, including the Voting Section as an Acting Deputy Chief and Special Litigation Counsel. She began her career as a Pro Se Law Clerk at the USDC, SDNY doing backdoor advocacy on prisoner civil rights cases and habeas corpus petitions. Susana has also enforced the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) through her work in the Civil Rights Division’s Disabilities Rights Section, including obtaining recognition of Hepatitis B as a disability under the ADA, a disability that disproportionately affects Asian Americans. She co-founded and chaired the Department of Justice’s Asian Employees Association, and was the co-chair of the Civil Rights Division’s Indian Working Group to advance the Civil Rights Division’s enforcement of civil rights for Native Americans. She was a member of the independent HIV/HPV task force to protect servicemembers who were discriminated against due to their HIV or Hepatitis B status. Susana has also worked with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) to support democratic processes and institutions in West Africa and Eastern Europe.