AAJA National Staff



Executive Director

Naomi Tacuyan Underwood has over a decade of experience in nonprofit management and community engagement where she has long focused on empowering Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Underwood has worked extensively in community outreach, including a stint as deputy director for APIAVote, a national nonpartisan organization that builds voter engagement capacity in local AAPI communities. She has also served as legislative staff for Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-Guam), focusing on territorial, environmental and AAPI issues, among other issues. Underwood, a Filipina immigrant, grew up in Guam and currently resides in the Washington, D.C. area. She graduated from New York University with degrees in journalism and Asian Pacific American studies, and received a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of California, Los Angeles.




Daniel-Garcia.jpgDANIEL GARCIA
Program Associate

Daniel recently returned from a tour as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Moldova, where he served in the education and community development sectors. He has a wealth of educational and customer service experience ranging from studying and teaching abroad in France to volunteering and working for the Orange County Registrar. Previously, Daniel worked in the public relations field, where he honed both his managerial and organizational skills. Daniel attended California State University, Long Beach where he received degrees in French and Francophone Studies and International Studies.








derrick-jones.jpgDERRICK JONES
National Convention Consultant

Derrick is a Washington, D.C.-based communications director, as well as an experienced graphic designer, event planner, social media and marketing consultant. He has dedicated his career to working with non-profit organizations in a variety of capacities, concentrating on marketing, membership development and public relations. In addition to his work with AAJA, he is a designer and event producer for the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA).










Accounting Consultant 

Glenn has been AAJA’s accountant for almost 25 years. He is responsible for all accounting functions of the organization and works with the treasurers from all 21 chapters. Glenn’s accounting background includes working with corporate firms as well as nonprofit organizations. Glenn received his B.S. in accounting from Loma Linda University. He is an owner and partner of several businesses.






aaja_bw_Karen_222_bio.jpgKAREN A. SUGIHARA 
Accounting Consultant 

Karen started at AAJA over 16 years ago to cover for Glenn while he was recuperating from surgery and she has been with AAJA ever since. Karen helps with online payment processing, payroll and accounting support. After working with CPA firms, Karen started her own firm to be able to spend time raising her three daughters. She has a B.S. in accounting from Loma Linda University. Glenn and Karen are proud grandparents to four grandchildren: two granddaughters and two grandsons.

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