Meet our experts on local and national Asian Pacific American issues. They can be your resource for a wide spectrum of stories, from the growing influence of Asian American consumers to getting to know the Sikh American community. Want to reach out to Asian American artists and filmmakers? Discuss the latest immigration reforms? Find local voices for a story? We’ve got you covered.
Lloyd Y. Asato
Lloyd Y. Asato is the Executive Director for Asian Pacific Community in Action (APCA), a community health organization serving Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and emerging communities in Arizona. Lloyd previously served as the Deputy Director for the National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians and as senior policy analyst for the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. He began his career in public health as Director of the Hawaii State Office of Rural Health. (as of 1/1/2015)
Viengkeo Kay Bounkeua
Kay Bounkeua is the Interim Director of Programs for the New Mexico Asian Family Center. She has field experience working with marginalized communities in New Mexico, Mississippi and Michigan. She has received the Irving Zeitz award for her work in social justice. Her parents are refugees from Laos and she has strong ties to the Asian community in New Mexico. She received her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan. (as of 1/1/2015)
Jeffrey B. Caballero, MPH, executive director of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and has been with AAPCHO since 1993. AAPCHO is a national membership association with 35 community health organizations serving half a million patients each year. Mr. Caballero advocates for programs and policies that increase access to high-quality, comprehensive health care services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate. Mr. Caballero also participates on national committees addressing disparity issues affecting Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, such as tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diabetes, and cancer. Currently, Mr. Caballero is serving as founding co-Chair of Hep B United, and Vice-Chair of the American Diabetes Association’s Legislative & Regulatory Sub-Committee. Mr. Caballero received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry/Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego, and his Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Marianne Chung is Director of Community Initiatives at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), a national health justice organization based in San Francisco that aims to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Marianne has more than 10 years of experience working with community-based organizations and multicultural coalitions. She received a Masters in Public Health from Emory University and a B.A. in Sociology from Emory University. (as of 1/1/2015)
Chic Dabby-Chinoy is Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (formerly, API Institute on Domestic Violence), a national resource center engaged in advocacy, research, policy, training, technical assistance provision, and analyzing critical issues on violence against Asian and Pacific Islander women. Before that, she was Narika’s Executive Director and at the Psychological Services Center for 17 years. Ms. Dabby has been in the field of gender-based violence for over thirty years acquiring expertise on domestic violence against Asian immigrant and refugee women; violence over the lifecourse and its effects on health, mental health, economic security, and help-seeking; international and domestic sex trafficking; intimate homicide; child custody; strategies for advocacy, community engagement, systems change, and movement building; program design implementation; forced marriage; trauma-informed care; elder abuse; battered mothers in the child welfare system; and sexual violence, particularly in conflict and disaster zones. She writes, trains, and presents extensively about these and many other issues. Ms. Dabby speaks Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and French with varying degrees of fluency. Between Bombay and Berkeley, she has lived in London, Cambridge, Paris and Kathmandu.
Mary Ho is Founder and President of the China Millennium Council, a social enterprise dedicated to developing and fostering educational, business and cultural partnerships. Based in Rochester, New York, she has more than 15 years of international leadership experience, and has developed cross-cultural business communication and global competency programs for executives at Fortune 500 companies. Mary holds degrees from Cornell University and the University of Rochester. (as of 1/1/2015)
Hong Chhuor serves as communications manager for Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) in Seattle, WA. He develops and leads a wide variety of multi-channel marketing, media relations and public relations activities for the agency. ACRS promotes social justice and the well-being and empowerment of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities – including immigrants, refugees and those who are native born – by developing, providing and advocating for innovative community-based multilingual and multicultural services. Prior to joining ACRS, Chhuor was responsible for coordinating external communications, social media and marketing activities for environmental nonprofit Seattle Tilth. Chhuor holds degrees in history and business economics from Seattle University and has volunteered with outreach and communications for nonprofit and community organizations. He has worked in financial services in Seattle and investment banking in London, United Kingdom, and conducted research about corporate social responsibility in Bangkok, Thailand as a Fulbright grantee.
Edward Huang is the Chef and Founder of Zai Lai Chinese Grille in New York. Edward has cooked with Hank Tomashevski, Anna Wintour’s private chef, and for high-profile events such as Prince Harry’s tour through the United States. Celebrity Chef Jehangir also asked Edward to manage both the startup of Mehtaphor Restaurant in Tribeca and the accounts for Graffiti Restaurant in the East Village. His cooking is influenced by his upbringing in Southern California, as well as a two-year stint in Taiwan. (as of 1/1/2015)
Peter Kim is the Executive Director of the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD), where he is leading a team to create the world’s first large-scale food museum with exhibits you can eat. Previously, Peter was an attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton, as well as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon. He holds a B.A. from Brown University, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Master’s degrees from both Sciences Po and the Sorbonne in Paris. (as of 1/1/2015)
Kathy Ko Chin
As President & CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), Kathy Ko Chin spearheads efforts to influence policy, mobilize communities and strengthen organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans (AAs), Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPIs). With strong values from her immigrant Chinese parents, Kathy’s has built community institutions that contribute to a just and multiracial society. For over 35 years, Kathy has worked to improve health, especially for the poor and underserved. An authority on national health policy, Kathy is also a renowned voice for AA NHPI communities and serves on the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs. Kathy is a frequent contributor on AA NHPI perspectives and health issues, including in Huffington Post, mainstream publications and ethnic media. Kathy has served on many nonprofit Boards. For her community service, Kathy has received prestigious accolades, including induction into the Stanford Alumni Multi-Cultural Hall of Fame.
Nick Kuwada joined Asian Law Alliance in 2009 and has since worked as an immigration staff attorney focusing on naturalization, family reunification, and refugee adjustment. He also specializes in voting rights. Specifically, he is involved in the implementation of various poll monitoring and voter education outreach projects concerning Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act.
Greg Lam is Co-Founder of Kneon, a digital media startup. Prior to Kneon, Greg managed SPIN Media’s advertising and marketing campaigns for the West Coast. He had an integral role in strengthening SPIN Media’s use of social networking, online video and other digital marketing tools. Greg has also served as a speaker and moderator at the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce’s CelebrAsian Procurement Opportunity Conference. Greg holds a B.A. in Visual Arts from UC San Diego. (as of 1/1/2015)
Tram Le is the Associate Director of the Vietnamese American Oral History Project (VAOHP) at UC Irvine. In 2003, she was the founding Co-Director of the biennial Vietnamese International Film Festival (ViFF), now the annual Viet Film Fest, which has been hosted at UC Irvine and UCLA and showcases films from around the world. She received a B.A. in Business Administration-Marketing from California State University, Northridge and an M.A. in Asian American Studies from UCLA. (as of 1/1/2015)
Jen has worked in health education and prevention for over 17 years and is AAPCHO’s Director of Community Services and Partnerships. In this capacity, she optimizes membership activities including but not limited to leading AAPCHO’s efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act and develop new community health centers. She also oversees AAPCHO’s activities with Action for Health Justice, a coalition of more than 70 Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander national and local community-based organizations and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) dedicated to educating, empowering and enrolling this community in health coverage. Jen’s work has focused on a range of public health areas including: HIV/AIDS prevention and care services, outreach work in rural communities, family planning and reproductive health education, clinical access and eligibility, health care workforce development, and policy advocacy. Prior to joining AAPCHO, she served at Asian Health Services, a FQHC in Oakland, CA, for 14 years providing oversight of the health center’s prevention education programs including HIV/AIDS, school-based health services, community outreach, translation and medical interpreter certification, and advocacy initiatives including the health center’s Patient Leadership Council program. Jen received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Anthropology from Georgia State University, and her Masters in Public Health from San Francisco State University, and completed the Blue Shield of California and UCSF Center for the Health Professions Clinic Leadership Institute program in 2009.
May Leong is the Executive Director of Donaldina Cameron House, which serves San Francisco’s Chinatown community. A passionate community builder, she has directed fundraising at non-profits for the past 14 years, with a focus on education, housing and social services. May has also worked at Xerox, The FDIC, Montgomery Securities, B. Altman’s and The Body Shop. She earned her B.A. from Syracuse University and M.A. in English from San Francisco State University. (as of 1/1/2015)
Betty Lo is Vice President of Community Alliances & Consumer Engagement for Nielsen. Betty is a thought leader for Nielsen on the Asian American consumer and is a sought-after industry and community speaker on Asian American consumers’ shopping behaviors, attitudes and media consumption habits. Betty earned her bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan College and graduated from the Executive MBA program at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. (as of 1/1/2015)
Candice Mack is the President-Elect of the Young Adult Library Services Association, a national association of librarians, library workers and teen advocates whose mission is to help libraries engage and empower teens. She is also a Senior Librarian/Systemwide Coordinator at the Los Angeles Public Library and a reviewer of teen literature and graphic novels for the American Library Association’s (ALA) Booklist. In 2014, she taught a graduate course on Young Adult Information Services at UCLA. (as of 1/1/2015)
Dawn Mahi is the Program Coordinator at Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, a community health organization in Honolulu, Hawaii. Dawn grew up on Oahu before her family moved to Washington State. After many years there and a year in Nicaragua, she finally returned home to Hawaii. Her background and interests are in community development, advocacy, talk story and public health. (as of 1/1/2015)
Mee Moua is the President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), a national civil rights advocacy organization. Previously, Mee was a three-term Minnesota State Senator, where she chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee. Born in Laos, Moua immigrated to the United States in 1978. She attended Brown University as an undergraduate, and earned a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Texas-Austin and a law degree from the University of Minnesota. (as of 1/1/2015)
Ryan Natividad is the Health Policy Coordinator at the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF). He oversees the APA HEALIN’ (Asian Pacific American Healthy Eating and Active Living In our Neighborhoods) network, a collaboration of Asian Pacific American organizations promoting healthy living. Ryan has a B.A. in Anthropology from Columbia University and is an alumnus of the Immigrant Civic Leadership Program of Coro New York Leadership Center. (as of 1/1/2015)
Cyndi Nguyen is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Vietnamese Initiative in Economic Training (VIET). Created in 2001, VIET develops educational and economic training programs and acts as a resource center for minority residents in Louisiana. Cyndi also serves as a board member for the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, Boys Scout of America and the East New Orleans District Development, and as the Chairperson for the Asian Chamber of Commerce. (as of 1/1/2015)
Minh Nguyen is the Founder and Executive Director of VAYLA New Orleans, Board Member of Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadian, Second Vice Chair of the Asian Pacific American Society of New Orleans, and 2013 Inaugural Fellow of the Norman C. Francis Leadership Institute. Since 2006, Minh has dedicated his life to building a new kind of home for New Orleanians, one that honors that right and power of local residents, young and old, to determine the future of their own neighborhoods. As the Executive Director of VAYLA, Minh has dedicated his work to creating space and leveraging resources to build the capacity of youth, their families, and supporting community members to lead and influence policies, practices and procedures within the public education and health sectors. Through his leadership, Minh has successfully brought together African-American, Vietnamese, Latino and Caucasian community members to take collective action and determine and the future outcomes of their community. His long-term advocacy and organizing efforts have invigorated political energy of New Orleanians through uniting residents under the common goals of taking local control over their schools and city governance structures. Minh graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with a double major in management and marketing. His leadership as a student includes his services as the External Vice President of the Union of North American Vietnamese Student Association (UNAVSA) and the Executive Director of the UNAVSA Fourth Annual North American Vietnamese Student Conference.
Thoai Nguyen is the CEO of SEAMAAC Inc., a non-profit that has supported and advocated for refugees and immigrants in the greater Philadelphia area for more than 30 years. A Vietnamese refugee who came to the United States in 1975, Nguyen has led community development projects and economic and social justice campaigns across the globe. He serves on the Board of Philadelphia Community Legal Services, the Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs and the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council. (as of 1/1/2015)
Van Nguyen is the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC), a non-profit in Troy, Mich. that facilitates business relationships between Asian and U.S. companies and promotes the economic advancement of Asian Pacific Americans. Van is also an advisory board member for Madonna University School of Business, Shakespeare in Detroit and Corp! Magazine. Van received a B.A. in Sociology from Baylor University in 2005 and an M.A. in Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2007. (as of 1/1/2015)
Priscilla Ouchida is the Executive Director for the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). Appointed in 2012, she is the first woman to serve in the position. Prior to joining JACL, Ouchida was Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for the California State Legislature. One of her major accomplishments was the passage of the first measure in the nation that provided monetary redress to Japanese Americans who were fired from their jobs with the State of California after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. (as of 1/1/2015)
Chris is founder of MyIntent Project which is asking the world “What’s Your WORD?” with the mission of being a catalyst for meaningful conversations and positive energy? Your WORD is something you want to have more of in your life or a challenge you want to overcome. MyIntent then hand-stamps each person’s WORD into a wearable bracelet or necklace as a daily reminder and conversation starter. MyIntent.org or @MyIntent on Instagram Previously, Chris worked at Facebook driving user growth, mobile, and ad products, was a Marketing Director at PepsiCo and a senior consultant at McKinsey. Chris holds a MBA from Harvard.
Jennifer Sanderson is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker. Previously, she was the founding executive director of the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, a non-profit that promotes diversity in the film, entertainment and media industry. Among her achievements, she co-established CAPE’s New Writers Fellowship to nurture emerging television and screenwriters. A graduate of the University of Oregon, she also received two Master’s degrees in media arts and film from the University of Montana. (as of 1/1/2015)
Vivienne Schiffer is a native of Rohwer, Arkansas. Previously a Senior Corporate Partner with Thompson & Knight LLP in Houston, Texas, Vivienne is now a documentary filmmaker, author and entrepreneur. She is in post-production on her first film, “Relocation, Arkansas.” Her novel about the Japanese internment camp in Rohwer, “Camp Nine,” was published to critical acclaim. Vivienne is also the co-founder of Leprechaun Cider Company, Texas’ first and largest hard cider company. Vivienne graduated from the University of Central Arkansas and Tulane Law School. (as of 1/1/2015)
Grace Shim is the Executive Director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action, a community-based organization in Flushing, Queens, New York. Grace was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a bilingual 1.5 generation Korean-American,Grace first worked at the MinKwon Center in 2005 as a law school intern and then joined MinKwon as a Staff Attorney in 2009 after having litigated child abuse and neglect cases in the Bronx Family Court. Grace has a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a B.A. with Honors from U.C. Berkeley.
Jasjit Singh is the Executive Director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), where he has been building relationships on behalf of the Sikh American community since 2009. A former consultant and auditor for Fortune 500 companies, Singh has provided presentations on racial profiling, employment discrimination and community challenges to a wide variety of audiences, and has been a featured commentator on BBC, CNN and The Washington Post, among others. He currently serves on the Department of Homeland Security’s Faith-Based Initiative. (as of 1/1/2015)
Linda Toyota is President of the Asian Chamber of Commerce in Houston, Texas.
Linda was the first Asian woman to chair Leadership Houston and the Mayor’s International Trade and Development Council (Asia/Australia). In 2012, she was recognized as one of the Top 50 Influential Women by Houston Woman Magazine. She currently serves on the boards of the Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas, Plaza Specialty Hospital and Small Business Today Magazine. (as of 1/1/2015)
Theresa Q. Tran serves as the Executive Director of APIAVote-Michigan, a nonpartisan organization that focuses on grassroots mobilization, civic participation, leadership development and coalition building. Previously, Theresa worked as a youth organizer in Detroit, managing multiracial social justice programs at the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion. Theresa earned her B.A. in psychology with a minor in Asian American Studies, as well as a Master’s in social work, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. (as of 1/1/2015)
Elaine Tso is the current Board President of Asian Services in Action (ASIA, Inc.). The mission of Asian Services in Action is to empower and advocate for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). Since joining ASIA, Inc. in 2008, Elaine has supported the work of the organization and promoted the importance of a culturally diverse community. As an attorney, Elaine has provided educational content and hosted seminars on issues impacting AAPIs and others.
Jacqueline Wu is the Policy Manager for the Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA), a nonprofit that serves more than 33,000 clients. She oversees the policy department, which includes nonpartisan voter outreach and education, capacity building and leadership development for OCAPICA’s staff and clients. Prior to joining OCAPICA, Jacqueline worked as a District Representative for California state Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge). Jacqueline graduated from UC Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. (as of 1/1/2015)
Audrey Yamamoto is the President & Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Fund where she provides vision, leadership, and strategic oversight for the fundraising, grantmaking and programmatic efforts of the Fund. Audrey has been committed to the non-profit sector since early in her career. Prior to joining the Asian Pacific Fund, she served as the Executive Director of the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco, where she led the organization through a strategic rebranding initiative that yielded unprecedented growth. Previously, she was the Chief Operating Officer at Plugged In, which brings technology access to East Palo Alto youth and families. Audrey holds a B.A. in economics from the University of California, San Diego and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA with an emphasis in non-profit management and entrepreneurship.