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Nisha Agarwal

Commissioner, New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs

Nisha Agarwal is an accomplished public interest lawyer and a leading voice in immigration reform at the local and national level. Her tenure as commissioner of the NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) is marked by her entrepreneurial drive and proven record of enacting pro-immigrant legislation. Under her leadership, MOIA led the development and implementation of IDNYC, the country's largest municipal identification program, ensuring that all New Yorkers can have the peace of mind and security that comes from recognized identification. In addition, during her time as commissioner, MOIA has spearheaded programs to expand access to justice for immigrant communities, from citizenship to deferred action; expanded and improved language-access programs citywide; developed new access to health care programs for the undocumented; and built a national coalition of cities to advance immigration reform. Prior to her MOIA appointment, she worked with Judge Robert A. Katzmann, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, to establish the Immigrant Justice Corps, a new nonprofit that will recruit recent law school graduates to partner with nonprofit legal services providers to offer legal representation to undocumented immigrants. She was previously deputy director of the Center for Popular Democracy, the groundbreaking nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to advancing pro-immigrant, pro-equality, and pro-justice policies at the grassroots and national levels, which she cofounded in 2012. Prior to that, Agarwal served as director of the Health Justice Program at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. Agarwal received her bachelor's summa cum laude from Harvard College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She currently lives in Brooklyn.