Dr Sarabajaya Kumar is an Associate Professor (Teaching) in Voluntary & Non-Profit Sector Policy and Leadership at University College London (UCL).
Sarabajaya joined UCL’s Department of Political Science in January 2010 from the University of Oxford, having previously held a number of Fellowship and Faculty roles at the London School of Economics and Political Science and The Open University.
Her research interests are in Accountability, Governance, Ethical Leadership, Intersectionality, and Equality. She is currently co-principal investigator for two research projects. Her research on ‘The everyday lived experiences of disabled university students in London and Osaka during the Covid-19 pandemic’ is a collaborative project with Professor Yamamoto at Osaka University and Associate Professor Rode at UCL’s Institute of Education. This work is funded by UCL’s Global Engagement Office. Her research on ‘Ableism and the labour market’, funded by the Association of Disabled Professionals, is being conducted with Associate Professor Provost from the School of Public Policy. She is also a co-lead for the Patient Advisory Group and public and patient involvement in CICADA-ME, a study on Coronavirus intersectionalities of disabled and minoritised groups, led by Professor Rivas.
Sarabajaya is the PI for the Third Sector Innovation Network at UCL, working with James Jennings and Dr Olivia Stevenson, and Third Sector partners drawn from a range of voluntary and community organisations across mainland Britain. Together with Professor Sasha Roseneil and Associate Professor Michael Collins she is also co-leading the 100 in 10 Project, a new initiative to recruit 100 professors with heritage from the Global Majority over the next ten years, who are underrepresented in the Academy.
Sarabajaya leads her own research and advice consultancy, is an Equalities Adviser to the Bar Standards Board, and Director of Impatience, an organisation set up to support and host innovative public benefit projects.
She is active in civil society and has founded and cofounded a number of non-profit organisations. Currently, she is also a member of the Women’s Budget Group’s Policy Advisory Committee, a Senior Independent Trustee of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), a steering committee member of the Centenary Action Group, and a steering group member of the Women’s Equality Party.
Sarabajaya contested the 2021 GLA election as a list candidate for the Women’s Equality Party. She was one of 11 women selected nationally, and the only disabled candidate, to be supported in her candidacy by the Activate Collective.