Meet Ashwin Ramaswami, 1st Gen Z Indian-American running for Georgia Senate seat - Hindustan Times

Who is Ashwin Ramaswami? First Gen Z Indian-American runs as Democrat for Georgia State Senate

ByShweta Kukreti
Feb 19, 2024 04:57 PM IST

With an aim to give back to the community, Indian-American Ashwin Ramaswami is running from the Democratic party for State Senate in Georgia's 48th district.

Ashwin Ramaswami, who has established a career in software engineering, election security and technology law, has become the first Indian-American from Gen Z to run for a state or federal legislature in the United States.

Born to parents who immigrated to the US from Tamil Nadu in 1990, Ashwin Ramaswami graduated from Stanford in 202(
Born to parents who immigrated to the US from Tamil Nadu in 1990, Ashwin Ramaswami graduated from Stanford in 202(

Also known as Zoomers, Generation Z includes people born between 1997 and 2012.

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With an aim to give back to the community, Ramaswami is running from the Democratic party for State Senate in Georgia's 48th district, which includes parts of Johns Creek, Suwanee, Alpharetta, Cumming, Sugar Hill, and Buford.

The position is presently held by Republican Shawn Still, who was indicted alongside former President Donald Trump on allegations of trying to overturn the 2020 election results.

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Ashwin Ramaswami with his family.(
Ashwin Ramaswami with his family.(

Ashwin Ramaswami: The child of immigrants

Born to parents who immigrated to the US from Tamil Nadu in 1990, Ramaswami graduated from Stanford in 2021, where he studied computer science.

“I’m the child of immigrants, but I was born and raised in Johns Creek. For a long time, I was interested in how I could give back to my community. I didn’t want to stay in the Bay. I wanted to come and give back,” said Ramaswami, 24, in an interview to The Stanford Daily.

“I have strong ties. I’d also break barriers in terms of being the first Indian American and Gen Z member of the Georgia State Senate. So I’d bring a new voice to politics,” he added.

Also Read: California murder-suicide: Former Indian American Meta engineer shoots wife, 4-yr-old twins before killing himself

Fond of epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata

Ramaswami, whose both parents are from the IT sector, has developed interest in Indian culture philosophy. While growing up, he enjoyed learning more about epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita.

“My parents both came to the US in the 1990s. They both came from Tamil Nadu. My mom is from Chennai, my dad is from Coimbatore. I've always grown up with Indian culture and also American culture growing up as well. I'm a Hindu. I've been very interested in Indian culture philosophy my whole life,” he told in another interview to PTI.

“When I was in college, I actually learned Sanskrit and ended up reading a lot of ancient texts and got very interested in reading Upanishads, ..and my whole life I've been very involved in yoga and meditation and now also teaching Baal Vihara to younger students," he said.

Ashwin Ramaswami(
Ashwin Ramaswami(

The challenges & decision behind running for the office

On being asked how his young age impacted the experience of running a campaign so far, he said: “It’s really about bridging that gap. So, of course, I’m talking to people my age who are excited there’s someone like them representing them, but then I’m talking a lot to people from other generations who have the resources that [Gen Z candidates] need to succeed but also understand we need new voices. The most important thing is your integrity and competence.”

Ramaswami further spoke about the issues he would be hoping to address if elected to the office. “Everyone should make sure they have access to a quality education. We want to make sure people have access to jobs and the economy, entrepreneurship and also access to healthcare, reproductive rights and all these issues that matter to us. That’s why I’ve been running."

“Public safety is [a top priority] as well. We have to make sure our communities are safe. We really want to prevent things like school shootings,” he added.

If elected, he would be Georgia's first Generation Z State Senator and the only state senator with degrees in both computer science and law. He would also make new ground as the first Indian American to serve in the Georgia State Legislature.

Ashwin Ramaswami's work experience

Ramaswami, a Georgia native, has collaborated with organizations, startups, and small enterprises to leverage technology to benefit the public and provide job opportunities. As a public servant, he worked for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on cybersecurity and election security, collaborating with state and municipal election offices to ensure the 2020 and 2022 elections. He also served as a legal fellow for the Georgia Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.

“I did my undergraduate at Stanford in computer science. I worked a lot on startups at work, but I soon realised that we need more tech people in the federal government, which is why I joined the federal government and started working on election security and cybersecurity starting in 2020,” he said.

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