Welcoming our new Interim Executive Director

Dear Kundiman Community,

On behalf of Kundiman's Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce that Rita Banerjee will serve as Kundiman's new interim Executive Director. We are fortunate to benefit from Rita's expertise, good will, and longtime commitment to Asian American writers and literature.

Rita Banerjee, Ph.D., received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Washington in 2006 and a doctorate in Comparative Literature from Harvard University in May 2013. She is the Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop and a Lecturer in Indology and Tibetology at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany. Rita will be on sabbatical leave for the 2016–2017 academic year, during which she will serve as Kundiman's interim Executive Director.

She possesses language fluency in Bengali and is an expert in Non-Western and Asian American literatures, and the international scope of modern South Asian literatures in particular. She has extensive training in program development and fundraising as Executive Creative Director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, publishing and participating in American and international creative writing communities, and developing program curricula and creative writing retreat models.

Rita also has extensive experience teaching at a university level and developing course curricula for creative writing workshops. She has taught literature and creative writing courses at Harvard University, the University of California, Berkeley, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, and at the University of Washington. She is committed to helping raise funds for the organization, overseeing programs and events, and promoting literature from Asian and Asian American writers who have not been widely read, translated, or studied. For more on her work, visit her website.

A sincere thank you to Sarah Gambito and to Governance Committee members Leslie Chang, Chia-Chee Chiu, and Rashmi Dalai for their work on this search. Appreciations are also in order to Joseph Legaspi, Cathy Linh Che, Oliver de la Paz, and Timothy Yu for their invaluable feedback in this process.

The Board would like to take this moment to acknowledge the extraordinary service and leadership of Cathy Linh Che, who has accepted a position as Distinguished Visiting Professor / Writer in Residence at Sierra Nevada College. We are grateful for Cathy's longtime commitment to the organization.

Rita Banerjee will officially step into this role in September 2016. Please join me in welcoming Rita to the Kundiman community.


Sarah Gambito, Search Committee Chair
Ricco Villanueva Siasoco, President, Board of Trustees