As CEO of Philanthropy Northwest, Kiran Ahuja brings more than two decades of public service and nonprofit sector leadership experience, including senior positions in the Obama administration, to a six-state network of foundations and corporate giving programs in the Northwest. She is now leading one of the oldest regional associations of philanthropists in the country, joining Philanthropy Northwest at a critical time for the sector and our communities.
Kiran has made it her life’s work to serve diverse communities, including African American, Asian American and Native Hawaiian. She began her career as a civil rights lawyer at the U.S. Department of Justice, litigating long-standing desegregation cases, and filing the department’s first student racial harassment case.
She spent six years as executive director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, leading efforts to increase access to federal services, resources and programs for underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).
She went on to serve as chief of staff at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, where she played a key role in building the dynamic senior leadership team at a critical juncture for the agency, managing a $2 billion budget and 6,000 employees, and broadly supporting more than two million employees across the federal government.
Kiran is an avid yoga practitioner with a teacher certification, and is working toward building a stronger meditation practice; however, as in all efforts in life, it is a continuous journey to find balance.