Boona Cheema is executive director of Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency, or BOSS, an Alameda County nonprofit organization serving poor people with disabilities and special needs since 1971. BOSS seeks to help homeless, poor and disabled people achieve health and self-sufficiency, and fight against the root causes of poverty and homelessness. As executive director, Cheema has forged partnerships with faith groups, schools, business leaders and service providers, and has worked with equal commitment alongside policy makers and poor and disabled community members. Cheema was born and raised in India in a Sikh family. After working with wounded children in Vietnam during the war, she immigrated to the United States in 1971. A trained Unitarian Universalist Minister, she holds a B.S. in economics and master's in journalism and divinity. She was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanitarian letters for her work as an urban minister. She has an extensive portfolio of political, social, and economic justice work.