Mayor Bill de Blasio has hired Udai Tambar, the executive director of South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!) to be his new Director of Children and Youth Services, an announcement from Mr. Tambar’s organization announced today.
According to the press release, Mr. Tambar “will report to Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, and will work to help accomplish the Mayor’s agenda to address inequality. “
“We are very happy for Udai as he takes the next step in his professional career,” Usha Saxena, Board Chair of SAYA!, said in a statement. “His contribution to SAYA! and our community cannot be measured. Having a person like Udai, whose background is steeped in strengthening youth, families and communities, is a boon for all New Yorkers.”
Mr. Tambar, like several other hires to Mr. de Blasio’s slowly-growing team, was a member of the mayor’s 60-person transition committee.
Other de Blasio appointees hailing from his transition team include Carl Weisbrod, the transition co-chair, who now chairs the the City Planning Commission, and Mindy Tarlow, Mr. de Blasio’s new director of the Office of Operations.
Mr. de Blasio’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the hire.
View the full SAYA! announcement below:
(Queens, NY) South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!) is very proud to announce that its current Executive Director Udai Tambar has been appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to join the administration as the Director of Children and Youth Services. Tambar will report to Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, and will work to help accomplish the Mayor’s agenda to address inequality. Tambar joins the Mayor’s administration on March 3, 2014. Tambar has served as SAYA!’s Executive Director during a period of exceptional growth for the organization over the past four years. Under his leadership, SAYA! has doubled its budget to nearly $2.5 million, grown to 75 staff and almost tripled the number of its program sites to 14.
“We are very happy for Udai as he takes the next step in his professional career, “ says Usha Saxena, Board Chair of SAYA! “His contribution to SAYA! and our community cannot be measured. Having a person like Udai, whose background is steeped in strengthening youth, families and communities, is a boon for all New Yorkers.”
SAYA! is a non-profit organization based in New York City that strives to create opportunities to enable low-income South Asian youth to reach their full potential. SAYA!’s recent report “South Asian Youth: urgent needs, critical mass” provides a quantitative analysis of the plight of South Asian youth in New York City, noting 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. This means that over half of our South Asian youth in the city lack the opportunities to thrive. During Tambar’s tenure as Executive Director, SAYA! has dramatically expanded its services and achievements as the only secular, pan-South Asian organization dedicated to serving low-income youth in the nation. Today SAYA! serves 1,800 youth annually across multiple boroughs. In the past academic year, it has secured over $600,000 of financial aid for high school seniors, many of them the first in their families to attend college. Ninety-eight percent of the SAYA! youth graduated from high school and were accepted into college, notably higher than the New York City average 4-year high school graduation rate of 60%.
SAYA! is also delighted to announce that Susan Maher Singh, a current SAYA! board member, will resign from the board and serve as the Interim Executive Director beginning on March 3, 2014 until a full time replacement can be found. Singh has worked for over two decades in children, family and youth services. She was most recently the Director of Public Policy for Good Shepherd Services. Singh also served at New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services as the Chief of Staff for the Division of Quality Assurance and the Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Fordham School of Social Services and a law degree from Rutgers University School of Law.
“After serving on the board for nearly two years, I am excited to help the organization further its mission in this new capacity,” says Singh. “I look forward to working closely with the staff and board to ensure the continued success of the youth we serve.”
SAYA! will begin identifying and interviewing candidates, with the assistance of a highly-reputable executive search firm, for the position of Executive Director.
SAYA! wishes Udai the very best in his new position and looks forward to the continued success for both the organization and Udai going forward.
South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!) provides comprehensive youth development programs for low-income South Asian youth in New York City. Through academic support, leadership development, and enrichment programs, SAYA! presents youth with the possibility to expand their horizons and realize their dreams. In our 18 year history, SAYA! has opened the door to over 9,500 youth who are often the first in their families to pursue college in the U.S.