Honorable Dr. Suely Saro | Chair
Councilmember | City of Long Beach
Dr. Suely Saro is the first Cambodian American to serve as a Councilmember in the City of Long Beach. She understands the immigrant experience first-hand and this drives her commitment to fight for equity. She was born in a refugee camp to parents who survived the Cambodian Genocide. Focused on a future of organizing, civic engagement, and advocacy, Suely pushed against the odds to earn three degrees: a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a Master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach and a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) and Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne.
Dr. Saro began her career as a labor organizer, working alongside janitors and healthcare workers in their fight for fair wages and better working conditions. Then, she went on to become the first Cambodian American Executive Director of Khmer Girls in Action, developing the leadership of Southeast Asian youth to improve their community and schools. Dr. Saro then joined the Health Access Project at Asians Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles to provide education, build coalitions, and conduct advocacy on the Affordable Care Act. She later worked in the California State Senate and previously served as an adjunct faculty member at California State University, Los Angeles. She currently works as a Conservancy Project Development Specialist to the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy (RMC), meanwhile serving on the Long Beach City Council.