Area of Expertise:Gig economy, workers and learners, young workers, future of work, domestic workers and employers, nail salon workers, LGBTQ+ workers, grocery/retail workers, fast food workers, cannabis workers, general service sector/low wage work, working conditions, community based research/participatory research
Saba Waheed is the Director of the UCLA Labor Center and former Research Director. She has nearly twenty years of research experience developing projects with strong community participation. With her team at the UCLA Labor Center, she coordinated the first-ever study of domestic work employers, launched a multi-year study of workers and learners, and conducted research on the impact of the pandemic on nail salon workers and owners. She has also conducted research related to gig workers, young workers, Black workers, LGBTQ+ grocery workers and retail workers. Saba teaches the Labor Summer Research Program, guiding students through an applied research project.
Previously she worked as the Research Director at DataCenter where she co-developed the framework of “research justice,” which aims to address the structural inequities in research. In addition to her research work, Saba is an award-winning radio producer and writer. She co-produces the podcast Re:Work, a storytelling show about work. She also co-wrote and co-produced the animated film, I am a #youngworker. Saba strongly believes that research and media are powerful tools for community storytelling. She received an MA in Anthropology from Columbia University and a BA in English and Religious Studies from UC Berkeley. Outside of work, Saba writes short stories and takes long walks with her dog, Cinna.