Saru is the co-founder and Chair of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC), and director of the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley. After 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded ROC in New York, which has organized restaurant workers to win workplace justice campaigns, conduct research and policy work, partner with responsible restaurants, and launch cooperatively-owned restaurants. ROC now has 13,000 members in 32 cities nationwide.
Saru was named one of Crain's “40 Under 40” and 1010 WINS' “Newsmaker of the Year.” She was also one of New York Magazine's “Influentials,” and on CNN's list of “The CNN 10 Visionary Women” in 2014. She authored Behind the Kitchen Door, a national bestseller, and has appeared on Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien, Bill Moyers Journal, Melissa Harris-Perry, Up with Chris Hayes, Real Time with Bill Maher, and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Saru graduated from Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.