Saramani Wells is a second generation Cambodian-American. She is from the Midwest but currently resides in Washington D.C. Her mother named her after the novel Saramani: Danseuse Cambodgienne, published in 1919 by French author Roland Meyer. In the story, a talented classical dancer falls in love with an outsider, causing controversy.
Saramani became involved in the Cambodian community when she moved to Chicago in 2010 and volunteered at the Cambodian Association of Illinois (CAI). She brings experience as a mentor, tutor and team lead with organizations such as Planned Parenthood, World Relief, and Chicago Scholars.
She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry and Spanish from North Central College and a Master’s in Biotechnology with a specialization in Biodefense and Biosecurity from UMUC. Employed at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, she supports survivors following presidential disaster declarations including events such as Hurricane Sandy in New York, the 2015 wildfires in California, and Hurricanes Maria and Irma in the U.S. Virgin Islands.