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 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. Asato 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 10/2017) Find out more about Llyod and APCA.
Marina Bhargava is the President and CEO of the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce (GAACC). She oversees the overall management of the Chamber with specific responsibilities over the Chamber’s grants, program and partnership development, events and execution of the Chamber’s goals and objectives. Prior to joining the Chamber, she was the language access and outreach coordinator for Asian Family Support Services of Austin, a domestic violence agency where she organized trainings and built relationships with the various Asian communities in Austin, and recruited and managed 20 contract interpreter advocates. Marina currently serves on the board of Community Advancement Network as well as the Economic Prosperity Commission for the City of Austin, E3 Alliance’s Student Success Strike Force committee, and Austin Community College's Equity Leadership Advisory Team. She is a member of the Austin Area Research Organization’s McBee Fellows Class of 2015, and served on the Mayor's Task Force for Institutional Racism in 2017. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in economics from Northwestern University. Find out more about Marina and GAACC.
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 of 33 members serving half a million patients each year. Caballero also participates on national committees addressing issues affecting Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, such as tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diabetes and cancer. Currently, he is serving as founding co-chair of Hep B United and as chair of the American Diabetes Association’s Legislative & Regulatory Sub-Committee. Caballero received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry/Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego, and his Master's in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Jeff and AAPCHO.
Marianne Chung is Senior Director of Network Innovations at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), a national health justice organization that aims to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Marianne has more than 12 years of experience working with community-based organizations and multicultural coalitions. She received a Master's in Public Health from Emory University and a B.A. in Sociology from Emory University. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Marianne and APIAHF.
Chic Dabby-Chinoy is Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, a national resource center engaged in 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; sex trafficking; child custody; elder abuse; and sexual violence in conflict and disaster zones. 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. (As of 11/2017) Find out more about Chic and Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence.
Sharjeel Hanif serves as a volunteer for the Houston Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim American civil liberties organization in the nation. CAIR serves to be an advocate for the community when under the threat of discrimination, whether in the workplace, classroom, or at the local, state, and federal levels. Sharjeel has a particular interest in the diversity of the American Muslim community and its intersections with race, sexuality and spirituality as well as the political and social trends within the American Muslim community and their movements as a voting bloc. Recently, he has served as co-director for the Houston Asian American Pacific Islander Film Festival (HAAPIFEST), a program of OCA Greater Houston, focusing his efforts on telling the stories of marginalized groups in the AAPI community and increasing the profiles of Asian American artists. Sharjeel holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Houston and is pursuing his M.S. in Computer Science at Georgia Tech. He hopes to combine his passions for technology and advocacy.
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) Find out more about Mary and the China Millenium Council.
Hong Chhuor serves as communications manager for Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) in Seattle where he develops and leads communications and media relations for the agency. Hong holds degrees in history and business economics from Seattle University, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in International Business from St. Mary’s College in the United Kingdom. He has volunteered with various community organizations and is a member of the Seattle chapter of AAJA. Prior to his work in the nonprofit sector, Hong worked in financial services in Seattle and London, and conducted research about corporate social responsibility in Bangkok, Thailand as a Fulbright grantee. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Hong and ACRS.
Edward Huang is the Chef and Founder of Zai Lai: Homestyle Taiwanese 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. Edward managed the startup of Jehangir Mehta's Mehtaphor Restaurant in Tribeca. He has staged at James Kitchen in Taipei and at Fung Tu in the LES and last worked at Mission Chinese Food before opening Zai Lai. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Edward and Zai Lai Chinese Grille.
As President & CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), Kathy Ko Chin leads the oldest and largest national health policy organization addressing the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Kathy is also a renowned voice for AA NHPI communities and served on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs. Kathy is a frequent contributor on AA NHPI perspectives and health issues, including in Huffington Post, mainstream publications, peer-reviewed public health journals, and ethnic media. For her community service, Kathy was inducted into the Stanford Alumni Multi-Cultural Hall of Fame and has chaired many AAPI community organization boards, including Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Kathy and APIAHF.
Nick Kuwada joined Asian Law Alliance (ALA) in 2009. His goal is to preserve easy access to the polls and encourage minority community members to get involved with local politics. His work is made possible through the efforts of Santa Clara County community organizations who help recruit volunteers, organize events and translate materials into over seven different languages. Through ALA’s network, they monitor poll sites on Election Day, educate minority communities on their voting rights, and work with local government to bring culturally-competent translation to new citizens. (As of 11/2017) Find out more about Nicholas and the Asian Law Alliance.
Greg Lam co-founded Kneon in 2010, which was one of the original content-to-commerce companies in the digital publishing space. In early 2015, Kneon pivoted and launched the first mobile discovery platform for creative talent. Currently, Greg works as a consultant to help brands create advertising and social media content, develop and launch products, strengthen brand identity, establish strategic partnerships, and increase sales. Greg has developed a deep network throughout his career and has partnered with big names, like Equinox Fitness, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, and Hearst Magazines. Greg has also served as a speaker and moderator at the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce’s CelebrAsian Procurement Opportunity Conference. He holds a B.A. in visual arts from UC San Diego. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Greg and Kneon.
Tram Le is the Associate Director of Viet Stories: Vietnamese American Oral History Project at UC Irvine. Previously, she served as the Interim Director of the Center for Asian Pacific American Students at Pitzer College and worked as the Community Bridges program manager for the Ford Theatres/Ford Theatre Foundation. She received her B.S. from California State University, Northridge and holds an M.A. from the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She co-founded Club O’ Noodles, a pioneering Vietnamese American theatre troupe, and as a Board Member of the Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA), has curated multi-art exhibitions. In 2003, she was the founding Co-Director of the biennial Vietnamese International Film Festival. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Tram and VAOHP.
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. Prior to joining AAPCHO, she served at Asian Health Services for 14 years, providing oversight of the health center’s prevention education programs including HIV/AIDS, school-based health services, 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 Master's 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. Find out more about Jen and AAPCHO.
Candice Mack is the Manager of Systemwide Teen Services and Collections at the Los Angeles Public Library and past President (2015-2016) of the Young Adult Library Services Association. She has taught UCLA's graduate course in Young Adult Library Services since 2014 and will serve as a juror for the 2017 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature and We Need Diverse Books' 2018 Walter Dean Myers Award. Candice received her Bachelor's in Psychology/Youth Development from the University of California, Riverside and her Master's degree in Library and Information Science from UCLA. She has spoken extensively on graphic novels, banned books/censorship, diversity, young adult literature and libraries at various conferences and outlets including the American Library Association, San Diego Comic Con, New York Comic Con and National Public Radio, among others. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Candice and Young Adult Library Services Association.
Dawn Mahi is a Program Officer at the Consuelo Foundation’s Honolulu office. The Foundation works to prevent child abuse and neglect in Hawai‘i and the Philippines through the use of innovative best practices, including culturally-centered approaches. She previously worked as a Program Coordinator at Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, a community health organization in Honolulu. Dawn grew up on O‘ahu and moved to Washington State with her family as a teenager. After many years there and a year in Nicaragua, she finally returned home to Hawai‘i. Her background and interests are in community development, advocacy, talk story and public health. (As of 11/2017) Find out more about Dawn and Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services.
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) Find out more about Mee and AAJC.
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 10/2017) Find out more about Cyndi and VIET.
Minh Nguyen is the Founder and Executive Director of VAYLA New Orleans. Minh also sits on the Board of Directors at Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadian, Urban League of Greater New Orleans and the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum. VAYLA utilizes a transformative organizing framework to equip young people with the skills and capacity to affect change at an institutional level, while simultaneously encouraging a critical consciousness of the way those institutions affect their lives. Minh has dedicated his life to building a more equitable home for New Orleanians, where youth and families have the power to determine their own future. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Minh and VAYLA New Orleans.
Van Nguyen joined Beaumont Health Foundation as Director of Trustee Development in 2017. Prior to joining Beaumont, Van was the executive director of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC) where she launched economic advancement programs in the minority business community. She holds more than 12 years of experience in the digital marketing industry and serves on the advisory board for Madonna University School of Business, is a member of Wayne State University's President's Council Advisory Group and is a board member and secretary at Gleaners Community Food Bank. She was listed as part of Crain's 40 Under 40 Class of 2015 and holds a Women's Leadership in Action Award. Van received her Master's in humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas. (As of 11/2017) Find out more about Van and APACC.
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) Find out more about Priscilla and JACL.
Chris Pan is the founder of MyIntent Project, a project with the mission of being a catalyst for meaningful conversations and positive energy, asking the world, “What’s Your WORD?” MyIntent then hand-stamps each person’s WORD into a wearable bracelet or necklace as a daily reminder and conversation starter. Previously, Chris worked at Facebook driving user growth, mobile, and ad products, was a Marketing Director at PepsiCo and a senior consultant at McKinsey. He holds an MBA from Harvard. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Chris and MyIntent Project.
Jennifer Sanderson is a Gold Addy Award-winning Los Angeles-based writer and producer. Recently, she was a finalist in the American Film Institute Directing Workshop for Women and the Sundance Institute Writers Intensive. She previously served as the Executive Director of the longest-running Asian American & Pacific Islander entertainment non-profit Coalition for Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE). Jenifer has worked with actor Randall Park of ABC's Fresh off the Boat, produced the #IAm Role Model Campaign which hit 60M+ views on YouTube, and produced relief PSAs for Japan and the Philippines. She was appointed to the Los Angeles County Arts Commission grants committee, as a delegate to the GCS International Korea Visitation Program, and as a fellow in the USC Network of Korean American Leaders. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Jennifer.
Vivienne Schiffer is a native of Rohwer, Arkansas. Previously a Senior Corporate Partner with an international law firm in Houston, Texas, Vivienne is now a documentary filmmaker and author. Her novel about the World War II Japanese American incarceration camp at Rohwer, “Camp Nine,” was published to critical acclaim. Her film, “Relocation, Arkansas – Aftermath of Incarceration” screened at film festivals around the country and aired on PBS in 2017. It continues to be invited to university, museum and community screenings. Vivienne graduated from Tulane Law School, and is a frequent speaker on the Japanese American experience in the Deep South. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Vivienne.
Grace Shim is the former Executive Director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action, a community-based organization in Flushing, Queens, New York. She is currently an attorney at the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the civil rights agency combating discrimination, trafficking, and hate crimes. Grace was born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. After litigating child abuse and neglect cases in the Bronx Family Court, Grace was a Staff Attorney at the MinKwon Center for a few years, managing its labor law and housing law dockets. Grace has a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a B.A. with Honors from U.C. Berkeley. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Grace and the MinKwon Center for Community Action.
Jasjit Singh is a community leader and former Executive Director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF). He is also a former Obama Administration official in the Department of Justice where was a Senior Policy Advisor at the Community Relations Service. Singh is a regular commentator on a variety of topics including racial profiling, employment discrimination, hate crimes and school bullying. He has been a featured commentator on BBC, CNN and The Washington Post, among others. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Jasjit and SALDEF.
Linda Toyota is the Associate Vice Chancellor Communications and Marketing for Houston Community College. She 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 Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau and Plaza Specialty Hospital, serves on the governance committee of HoustonFirst. (As of 11/2017) Find out more about Linda and the Asian Chamber of Commerce in Houston, Texas.
Theresa Tran Kouo is the Assistant Director for Civic Engagement Education at the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement at Washington University in St. Louis. In her role, she serves as the Institute’s lead educator and trainer on topics of civic mindedness, engagement and leadership offered through courses, signature programs and workshops. Previously, Theresa served as the Executive Director of APIAVote-Michigan and as a youth organizer in Detroit managing multiracial social justice programs at the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion. Theresa holds a B.A. in psychology with a minor in Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies and a Master’s in social work from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Theresa and APIAVote-Michigan.
Elaine Tso has been a board member of Asian Services in Action (ASIA, Inc.) since 2008. The mission of Asian Services in Action is to empower and advocate for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and to provide AAPIs and other communities access to quality, culturally, and linguistically appropriate information, health care, and social services. Since joining ASIA, Inc., Elaine has assisted the vulnerable, low-income and immigrant communities of Northeast Ohio. As an attorney, Elaine has provided educational content and hosted seminars on issues such as landlord-tenant law, employment discrimination, and borrower's rights which impact AAPIs and others. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Elaine and ASIA, Inc.
Jacqueline Wu is an administrative analyst in the City Manager’s office with the City of Palos Verdes Estates where she administers the City’s website, communications and intergovernmental relations. Prior to her current role, Jacqueline served as a policy manager for the Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA). She managed a voter engagement campaign where volunteers made over 12,000 calls in eight different languages to encourage low-income and minority populations to vote in the November 2014 election. In addition to public service, Jacqueline has worked with major corporations such as State Farm Insurance Co. and Toyota for public affairs and organizational change management. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Jacqueline and OCAPICA.
Audrey Yamamoto is the President & Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Fund where she provides strategic oversight for the fundraising, grantmaking and programmatic efforts of the Fund. Prior to joining the Asian Pacific Fund, she served as the Executive Director of the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco. She was also previously the Chief Operating Officer at Plugged In, an organization that 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. (As of 10/2017) Find out more about Audrey and Asian Pacific Fund.
Milton Young is President of the Asian Chamber of Commerce (ACC) in Houston, Texas. The Chamber works to increase civic engagement in the Asian American community and create opportunities for Asian American entrepreneurs and businesses through its programs and events. Milton has served on the Greater Houston/Harris County Civic Engagement Planning Committee and was a guest commissioner for the National Commission for Voter Justice (NCVJ) Texas-Oklahoma Regional Hearing. Milton is a member of the Houston chapter of Asian Americans in Energy, Environment and Commerce (AE2C), serves on the advisory board of the Swalm School of Engineering at Mississippi State University, is a founding board member of Arizona State University’s Network for Value Chain Excellence, and is Vice President for Industry Relations for the Yale Science and Engineering Association (YSEA). At YSEA he co-founded Yale’s annual STEM Career Fair and Dallas WEST, an event to introduce middle school and high school girls from underprivileged communities to STEAM education and careers. Milton previously worked in global operations, supply chain, product development and finance in the automotive, home appliances and oil and gas sectors. He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Mississippi State University, an M.S. in chemical engineering from Yale University and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.
Li Xu is the President and Founder of International Mergers & Acquisitions and International CFO. In 2015, she started International M&A and International CFO, companies devoted to helping growth-minded businesses expand and succeed. Li is a seasoned finance and accounting professional, is one of a limited number of experts in the U.S. in derivative accounting and is a well-known turnaround expert and change agent in the Greater Houston area. Her firm, International CFO On Demand, works as a strategic consultant with CEOs, COOs, VPs of Finance, and management teams to use finance as a strategic tool, solve financial problems, and build strong, effective financial foundations on which companies can grow and thrive. Li holds a Master's in accounting from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor's in finance from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. She is CPA licensed in the states of Texas and Iowa and is a member of the Greater Houston Partnership, Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce, German Chamber of Commerce, and various foreign chambers of commerce. Find out more about Li and International Mergers & Acquisitions and International CFO.