Swapna Reddy

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Swapna Reddy

2017 Global Fellow
Founder of Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project

Swapna Reddy 2017 Global Fellow

Bold Idea 

Eliminate the wrongful deportation of refugees from the United States by bringing rapid, remote legal aid to individuals who cannot be served by traditional means.


ASAP employs a unique model for lawyering in a crisis, mobilizing short-term volunteers to provide rapid response legal services to refugees who cannot be served by traditional means. ASAP reimagines legal aid integrating technology, crowdsourcing volunteers, and partnering with community organizations to respond to moments of emergency, including mass deportations, detention, and raids. Through these efforts, ASAP aims to end the wrongful removal of refugees from the United States.


Swapna Reddy is co-director of the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP), a nonprofit that brings rapid, remote legal aid to refugee families in moments of crisis, including mass detention and raids. Swapna co-founded ASAP after traveling to a detention center near the Mexico-U.S. border and meeting a client who urged her to find a way to bring legal aid services to detained refugee families after she left. She believes that no refugee should be wrongfully deported from the United States, and that legal aid providers must constantly adapt to meet the needs of the communities they serve. ASAP's clients and staff have been featured in the New York Times, TIME Magazine, Feministing.com, and other sources. Swapna has a BA in Computer Science and Mathematics from Harvard University and a JD from Yale Law School, and has received numerous awards for her commitment to public interest work. Prior to law school, she provided civil rights and immigration legal services and conducted technical and empirical research.

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