30 Under 30: Brenda Baddam

Assistant Attorney General Brenda Baddam is the only Latina in the Northern District office in Albany, New York. Thus, the former prosecutor and public servant is a fierce advocate for diversity in the legal field. She knows first-hand what hardships many Hispanics must overcome on their way to success in this country. “The American Dream is absolutely possible, but can be taken away in a heartbeat,” she says.

Members of her family were oppressed by the Batista regime and came from Cuba with nothing. They began a food truck business and started a restaurant before her grandfather fell ill. Suddenly, the family went from financial security to homelessness. Today, Baddam is passionate about helping Latinx business owners and empowering minority leaders to advance in the legal field.

In June 2020, Baddam advocated for the drafting of an ordinance and resolution in the Albany City Council that mandated the Albany Police Department and neighboring departments provide translation services to those that are not proficient in the English language. The City of Albany passed an ordinance and resolution mandating that translation services be provided at every traffic stop and detainment. Since 2020, neighboring police stations have not only adopted the same policies but have become more inclusive in their hiring practices.

Baddam is a board member with the Capital Region Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Capital District Latinos. At work, she defends state actors and agencies in federal civil lawsuits.

“I believe that you do not have to be in the limelight to make an impact,” she says. “I pride myself on being a connector, always willing to share resources and connections to better our community.”

Connect with Brenda on LinkedIn