Board of Directors

Officers

President-Elect

Punam P. Alam

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Vice President of Communications

Janice V. Arellano

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Vice President of Membership

Arupa Barua

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Directors

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Qing H. Guo, President

Qing H. Guo is an attorney at Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP (GRSM). She concentrates her practice in the areas of employment law, commercial and complex litigation, class action defense, and appeals before state and federal courts. Qing has extensive experience in representing clients in matters ranging from complex commercial litigation, employment discrimination claims (Title VII, NJLAD, CEPA), constitutional violation allegations, and contested probate litigation. Qing is well-versed in filing and defending orders to show cause, seeking temporary restraints and for summary actions in state court, having served as a law clerk to the Hon. Walter Koprowski, Jr., P.J.Ch., Superior Court of New Jersey, Essex Vicinage, Chancery Division, General Equity and Probate Parts. 

Qing obtained a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Drew University, where she holds a double major in Political Science and Chinese Studies. During law school, Qing interned with the Hon. David B. Katz, P.J.F.P. (Essex Vicinage), the Hon. Judith H. Wizmur, Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey (ret.), and the Hon. Susan D. Wigenton, District Judge for the District of New Jersey. She also participated in the Civil Litigation Clinic at Seton Hall Law Center for Social Justice (CSJ), a clinical program that provides pro bono legal services for economically disadvantaged Newark residents.

Qing speaks Mandarin and Fujianese.

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Punam P. Alam, President-Elect

Punam P. Alam is an Associate at Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, P.C. where she focuses her practice on management defense in employment law litigation. With experience in both the public and private sector, Punam formerly served as Deputy Attorney General in the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Division of Law. In that capacity, she handled a full caseload of complex employment litigation matters and defended numerous cases filed against state departments and agencies, including state colleges, correctional institutions, the department of Human Services and New Jersey Transit.

Punam’s skillset includes defending claims related to violations of NJLAD, FMLA and CEPA and she has experience, managing cases from inception to resolution in both trial and appellate proceedings.  Prior to joining NFC, Punam was as an Associate at Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP.

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Janice V. Arellano, Vice President of Communications

Janice is Counsel at Cleary Giacobbe Alfieri Jacobs, LLC, a law firm with offices in Matawan, Oakland, and Somerville, NJ. She represents public and private entities, as well as individuals, with a focus on local government law, school/education law, commercial litigation, and employment matters, She is also a court-appointed attorney for alleged incapacitated individuals in Somerset County, NJ with attention to the Spanish-speaking population.

Prior to law, she worked in education policy with the National Education Association in Washington, DC and was a teacher in Philadelphia for three years. Janice received her law degree from Temple University-James E. Beasley School of Law where she was a 2012 Marutani Fellow and Law & Public Policy Scholar. She earned her M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania and B.A., cum laude, from Mount Holyoke College.

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Arupa Barua, Vice President of Membership

Arupa Barua currently serves as a Regulatory Officer for the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). In this role, she administers NJDOT’s ethics compliance program and works on special assignments on behalf of the Inspector General. Prior to her current positon, Ms. Barua served as the Motor Vehicle Commission’s Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and Title VI Coordinator. In this capacity, she was responsible for ensuring compliance with all applicable State and Federal anti-discrimination laws, which include, but are not limited to, Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Ms. Barua also worked as a Deputy Attorney General (DAG) for the State of New Jersey’s Office of the Attorney General. As a DAG, she was assigned to the Employment Counseling and Labor section, where she worked to represent and advise State agencies on employment and labor matters, including employment discrimination claims filed by State employees with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights. Ms. Barua started her career as a law clerk to the Presiding Criminal Law Judge in Mercer County Superior Court.

Ms. Barua is admitted to practice law in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. She was born in Bangladesh and immigrated with her family to the United States when she was six years old. Ms. Barua was raised in Detroit, Michigan and is the first in her immediate family to pursue a postsecondary education. She received her B.A.  from Michigan State University’s James Madison College of Public Affairs, majoring in International Relations and with a minor in International Development, Muslim Studies, and Asian Studies. Ms. Barua received her Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers University School of Law in Camden.

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Irene Hsieh, Secretary

Irene Hsieh is an associate in the Litigation Department at Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP, where she is a member of the Employment Law and Higher Education Practice Groups.  Based in the firm’s Woodbridge office, Ms. Hsieh concentrates her practice in commercial litigation. She has growing experience in the areas of trusts and estates, employment, and construction litigation, including work on behalf of clients in the building industry and academic sector. Ms. Hsieh's experience also encompasses providing support in a lengthy arbitration involving a closely held business management dispute.

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Sudha V. Raja, Treasurer

Sudha V. Raja is an Assistant Section Chief in the Transportation, Construction & Condemnation Section within the Division of Law (DOL), Department of Law and Public Safety.  Sudha graduated from Temple School of Law in 2001.  Since then she has served in the DOL, focusing on litigation and agency advice.  Sudha is the 2016 recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for excellence in litigation.  She has served for four years as a member of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, District Ethics Committee, District VII.  For many years, Sudha has actively mentored new attorneys in the DOL.  Currently, she is Chair of the Asian Employee Resource Group within the Attorney General’s Office.  She has been an active member of APALA-NJ for several years, and in 2018, she helped to organize APALA-NJ's Law Day program at Rowan College and participated in NAPABA’s Lobby Day.

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Raymond Kim, Director

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Ayushi Rajpurohit, Director

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Ashwath Trasi, Director

Ashwath is currently a Legal Specialist employed by the State of New Jersey, Department of Children and Families (DCF). In this role Ashwath serves as in-house counsel to DCF in employment matters, presiding over Departmental Discipline and Grievance Hearings, responding to charges of discrimination filed in the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and New Jersey’s Division of Civil Rights (DCR), acting as a liaison to New Jersey’s Office of the Attorney General and other counsel representing DCF in employment litigation matters, and providing advice and counsel to DCF’s Offices of Human Resources, Employee Relations, and Equal Employment/Affirmative Action on legal and legislative matters.
Ashwath began his career in the public sector in 2013, when he began working for the Office of Attorney General’s Division of Law as a Deputy Attorney General (DAG) in the Employment Litigation section. During this time, Ashwath practiced in the District Court of New Jersey, the Superior Court of New Jersey, and New Jersey’s Appellate Division. Ashwath is committed to serving the State of New Jersey and its citizens.
Ashwath grew up in Metuchen, NJ graduating from Metuchen High School in 2001. He then went on to graduate from Haverford College with a B.A., majoring in History and minoring in Economics. He received his J.D. from the Pace University School of Law in 2009. After law school, Ashwath was a law clerk to the Honorable Nicholas J. Stroumstos, J.S.C. in the Middlesex County Vicinage. Thereafter he worked as an associate at the law firm of Hoagland, Longo, Moran Dunst & Doukas, focusing his practice on Environmental and Toxic Tort matters.
Ashwath has been an active member of the Asian Pacific American Lawyer’s Association of New Jersey (APALA-NJ) for the past year, attending numerous events and designing and distributing APALA-NJ’s weekly announcements Newsletter.
Ashwath currently lives in Mercer County, NJ. He enjoys going to concerns, movies, sporting events, hiking and relaxing at the beach.

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Richard Ramones, Director

As Deputy General Counsel for Conrail, Rich Ramones is a “jack of all trades.” He oversees complex litigation including labor and employment, commercial, environmental, occupational injury, and real-estate matters. He advises and supports multiple business units across the railroad including human resources and labor relations, real estate, design and construction, and engineering. Rich has also worked with both lawyers and non-lawyers to implement proactive risk reduction measures including the creation and management of compliance programs, workforce optimization, and business process improvement strategies.

He is the first attorney of color to hold the position of Deputy General Counsel since Conrail’s corporate restructuring in 1999.  In addition, Rich is undergoing training to serve as corporate secretary of a Conrail owned affiliate company.

Previously, Rich was a senior associate at a major Greater Philadelphia area law firm before he transitioned in-house and joined Conrail.  Rich also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Richard F. Wells, Superior Court of New Jersey, Civil Division. He also clerked for the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Philadelphia, and for the legal department of a national mutual fund company.

In 2017, Rich received the Rutgers Law Recent Graduate Award. He also served as co-chair of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Energy, Environment, and Sustainability Committee, a Member of the Board of Directors for the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the Board of Directors for the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey.

Rich is also a 2009 alumnus of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group’s Fellows Program.

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Gregory Yen, Director