Kao Ly Ilean Her, executive director of the State Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans since 1997.
ST. PAUL (Oct. 25, 2012) — Kao Ly Ilean Her, the current executive director of the State Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans, will be leaving the organization at the end of this month after more than a decade of service. Ms. Her cited a new career path and changes in family matters as reasons for her departure.
CAPM is a state agency created by the legislature to advise the legislature and the governor on issues of importance to Asian Pacific Minnesotans; advocate on behalf of those issues, and serve as bridge for and between Asian Pacific Minnesotans and non-Asian Pacific Minnesotans.
CAPM is governed by a board of directors that is appointed by the governor and effectuates its work through an executive director. The Board plans an extensive, broad, and open recruitment search to select a successor.
“I want to recognize all the great things that Ms. Her has done for the community. She’s been a great leader and role model,” stated CAPM Chair Mukhtar Thakur.
The Board accepted the resignation of Her at its Sept. 15 meeting, and appointed a Selection Committee to conduct the search for a successor. It voted to approve a selection process.
“The board has full faith in the staff’s capacity and ability to carry-on the work load of CAPM, thus the board is not going to appoint an interim executive director,” Thakur added. “Our full attention will be given to the search process.”
At the meeting, Her said she was honored to see the agency and community grow in the public policy and civic engagement arenas. She said the board has offered mentorship, friendship and support over the years.
Her was hired as executive director in September 1997, to replace the outgoing director Lee Pao Xiong, who went on to work for Concordia University. For the past 15 years Her has continued CAPM’s role in preparing reports on the state’s Asian Pacific Islander communities pertaining to economic, employment and social status, education, immigration and English language learners issues, civic participation, veterans recognition and ensuring contributions were not missing in history.
“I’ve had one of the best jobs in the world,” Her said in a press release. “I am proud of the work CAPM has done and accomplished on behalf of and for the people of Minnesota.”
Her thanked the CAPM staff that has grown, shrank and grown again with funding, and for their work in “building, implementing and forwarding dreams, plans, and visions.” Her thanked the community for sharing their time and talents to testify before the legislature in support or against various bills.
“My heart is full of gratitude and joy at knowing you all,” Her said. “I have no doubt that CAPM will continue to grow and provide great service. Our best days are still to come.”
Former CAPM Chair Adeel Lari said Her has done a marvelous job that sometimes came at a personal cost. “She put the Council before all of us,” Lari said. “She’s managed the budget very carefully, she has pushed many issues and held her ground.”
“I’ve worked with Ilean on many occasions and she has a lot of credibility, and her work has enhanced the name of CAPM,” said CAPM board member Mr. Tran Nhon. “We hope to continue her legacy as she leaves.”