Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Reshma Saujani ’02JD

Standing on a bench in a Manhattan coffee shop Sunday, Reshma Saujani ’02JD declared: “This is a new decade and we need a new direction.” Unsurprising rhetoric from a 34-year-old political novice launching a primary campaign against a veteran New York congresswoman. What is startling is the “new direction” that Saujani touts for the ailing economy in her heavily Democratic district. “I’m running on my Wall Street record, not from it,” the former hedge-fund lawyer told the New York Times. “In Michigan, you’ll never hear a Congressional member speak poorly of the auto industry. This is our bread and butter.”

The daughter of immigrants who fled Idi Amin’s Uganda for suburban Chicago, Saujani says she is the first Indian-American woman to run for Congress. She moved to the 14th District—which covers Manhattan’s East Side and part of Queens and is represented by Democrat Carolyn Maloney—just last summer. A research scholar at Yale Law School who raised $1 million from South Asians for John Kerry ’66 in 2004, Saujani has attracted some big-money supporters, including a financier who told the Times he wants a “policy lion” to represent “the most educated district in America.” But she has also antagonized the feminist establishment that backs Maloney. The morning after Saujani’s coffee-shop kickoff, Gloria Steinem and other notables turned out for a Maloney fundraiser that brought in about $100,000—at the Yale Club.

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