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Councilwoman Dr. Suely Saro
Dr. Suely Saro has been the City Councilwoman for Long Beach's Sixth District since December 2020. She understands the immigrant experience first-hand and this drives her dedication to fighting 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, helping develop leadership skills in youth to improve their schools and community. 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 went on to work for the California State Legislature and was an Adjunct Professor at Cal State LA. She currently serves as a Conservancy Project Development Specialist with the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy RMC).
Meanwhile, she is dedicated to alleviating poverty and empowering women with disabilities in Cambodia where she co-founded and is the board Chair of Women for Women Foundation (WfWF) based in Cambodia. Since 2005, WfWF has helped over 700 women with disabilities and their families increase their economic security by working in a social enterprise program. WfWF is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) allowing its fashionable accessories and products to be sold throughout the world. Dr. Saro also proudly serves as the Board Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) Professional Network based in Long Beach.
Dr. Saro and her husband proudly raising their two young children in Central Long Beach.