Saira Sameera Rao: An Impactful Role in Inclusive Media

Saira Sameera Rao: From Wall Street to Activism

In the vast landscape of American activism, few stories shine as brightly as that of Saira Sameera Rao. Born on June 12, 1974, Saira Sameera Rao’s journey from a Wall Street lawyer to a prominent political figure is nothing short of remarkable.

Early Life and Career of Saira Sameera Rao

A second-generation Indian-American, Saira Sameera Rao was raised in Richmond, Virginia, by her physician parents, Dr. Sybil Philomena “Greenie” Rao and Dr. Jaikar Rao.

Her academic journey led her to a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Virginia in 1996. She then embarked on a career in journalism and television production, contributing to CBS affiliate WUSA in Washington DC and Fox News affiliate WSVN in Miami.

Her legal prowess came to the forefront when she earned a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2002. Subsequently, Rao served as a clerk under Third Circuit court judge Dolores Sloviter, showcasing her dedication to justice and the legal system.

Despite her early success, Rao faced controversy with her first novel, “Chambermaid,” which delved into the intricacies of the legal world.


Published in 2007, “Chambermaid” stirred the waters with its unfiltered portrayal of the legal profession. Rao’s courage to challenge the status quo and break the code of silence within the legal community demonstrated her commitment to authenticity.

Despite mixed reviews, her work left a lasting impression on those willing to confront the uncomfortable truths of the legal world.

In This Together

In 2013, Saira Sameera Rao co-founded In This Together Media, a publishing company aimed at diversifying children’s literature. Collaborating with friend Carey Albertine, Rao sought to amplify the voices of young girls from various backgrounds. Their success was evident in projects like “Nevertheless, We Persisted,” a collection of empowering essays.

Run for Congress

Saira Sameera Rao’s foray into politics reached its peak in 2018 when she ran for Congress in Colorado’s 1st congressional district. Despite facing defeat in the Democratic primary, Rao’s campaign focused on promoting equity across racial, social, and economic spectrums. Her progressive views and endorsements from notable figures like Andrew Yang demonstrated her commitment to change.


Saira Sameera Rao’s political evolution mirrors the shifting landscape of American politics. Her disillusionment with the Democratic Party establishment led to a reevaluation of her political stance. Rao’s outspoken critique, especially regarding issues of racism and the complicity of white women, sets her apart in the realm of political discourse.

Race2Dinner and Haven

Post-congressional run, Saira Sameera Rao co-founded “Race2Dinner” with Regina Jackson, engaging in uncomfortable conversations about racism with white women. Their bold approach, documented in the book “White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better,” sparked dialogue and reflection.

In 2020, Saira Sameera Rao initiated “Haven” with Candice Fortin and Tamara L. Lee, fostering a collective of individuals committed to abolition, liberation, and healing through art and storytelling.

Personal Life

Beyond her professional pursuits, Rao’s personal life reflects her commitment to family. Married to businessman Shiv Govindan, she is the proud mother of two children, Lila and Dar Govindan. Residing in Country Club, Denver, Colorado, Rao balances the complexities of her public and private life with grace.

Also Read: Sunil Kumar: The Vision for a Transformed Tufts University

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