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Photo: Jaya Saxena

2017 Above & Beyond Award: Jaya Saxena

By Christina Jackson

Jaya Saxena joined our Board in 2014 and has been going gangbusters ever since. By day, she serves in dual capacities: Assistant Director of GW Law School’s Career Center and Director of the Dean’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. And as a member of our board, her ideas and energy have propelled us forward in several ways. So many ways, in fact, that we’re delighted to honor her with our 2017 Above & Beyond Award.

For one, Jaya co-chairs our Membership Committee, and continually looks for ways to improve our members’ experiences. Among other things, she coordinates our Dinner & Discussion series and our Happy Hours. She also contributes to our diversity efforts, which traverse all areas of our work. Oh, and just as Jaya was becoming a second-time mom, she took on another role as our Board Vice-President.

Beyond her ever-expanding day-to-day responsibilities, however, Jaya has volunteered for major, difficult projects. For instance, this summer we hosted Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at our annual Summer Forum; this honor brought logistical complexity as we sought to expand the event to allow more people than usual to attend. Jaya volunteered to do quite a bit of the extra work: helping us find a bigger venue, coordinating catering and security, and handling a slew of behind-the-scenes details that enabled the event to proceed without a hitch.

More informally, Jaya tweets avidly (at @thezenlegalmama), sharing her considerable wisdom about service and life in a way that helps newbies and veterans alike.

Jaya started her career at Maryland Legal Aid; working as a legal-services lawyer was the first step toward doing work that was both personally meaningful and helpful to people in need. Jaya has continue to invoke those dual goals throughout her career, including her work for Washington Council of Lawyers. And no matter what she’s doing, Jaya is uniquely enthusiastic and dedicated. If Jaya is on a project, it’s as good as done—and done well. She epitomizes what it means to go above and beyond.

Learn more about Jaya and the other award recipients at our 2017 Awards Ceremony.

Christina Jackson (@CJacksonWCL) is our Deputy Director.