Raabia Qasim has a big job. She’s the assistant general counsel for a New York City government agency known as the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). She represents the agency and other city agencies as legal counsel in employment-related matters. She also partners with outside counsel on litigation and undertakes various special projects and high-level investigations.
While it would be easy for Qasim to point to her many successes since she joined the organization in 2019, she says her greatest career accomplishment is that she’s stayed true to her own values.
Assistant General Counsel
NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services
The native New Yorker is a Muslim Pakistani American woman who grew up in the city after the attacks of September 11, 2001. She remembers how her community faced a host of infringements on its civil liberties. “I realized early on I had to use my voice and whatever resources I had to speak up on issues of injustice and intolerance,” she says. “It also made me realize the importance of diversity in leadership roles.”
Qasim remains committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion today. She is a current fellow with the NYC chapter of New Leaders Council and serves on the NYC Bar Association’s Committee on Civil Rights to address civil rights and liberties issues locally and nationally.
She also works with nongovernmental organizations to help Afghani nationals relocate to the US and other countries after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
“I enjoy working with people and trying to make systemic and equitable changes to policies,” says Qasim, who hopes to stay a leader in the public or nonprofit sectors. “I believe clients and their needs should drive an organization’s strategies and vision.”