WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 7, 2011) — Last week President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate May Y. Chen, Tung Thanh Nguyen and Apolo Anton Ohno to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He also nominated Janet R. Kahn as a Member of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.
May Y. Chen is an adjunct professor at the City University of New York, where she has taught labor studies courses and coordinated labor exchanges with Asia for the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies since 2009.
Previously, Ms. Chen was the International Union Vice President for Workers United, Service Employees International Union in 2009. She served as the International Union Vice President of UNITE HERE from 1999 to 2009, and Local 23-25 Manager and New York Metropolitan Area Joint Board Secretary-Treasurer from 2004 to 2009.
In her time at UNITE HERE, Ms. Chen held a number of positions, including Assistant/Associate Manager from 1997 to 2004 and Assistant Director and Director of the Education Department from 1989 to 1997. From 1970 to 1979, she was an adjunct professor and teacher at several schools and universities in California, including the University of California at Los Angeles and California State University at Long Beach.
Ms. Chen is a Founding Member of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and continues to serve on its New York Chapter Board. She also serves as Board President of the New York State Immigrant Action Fund. She holds an A.B. in East Asian Studies from Harvard/Radcliffe College and an M.A. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Tung Thanh Nguyen is a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he provides medical care to a diverse patient population and teaches clinicians. He also serves as Director of the Vietnamese Community Health Promotion Project and Principal Investigator of the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training at UCSF, and in this role conducts research in health care prevention for Asian Americans.
Nguyen has worked on studies to increase breast, cervical cancer, and colorectal cancer screening among Asian Americans as well as on tobacco use among Asian Americans. He was the volunteer Chair of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Team of the American Cancer Society in California.
In 2002, Nguyen was awarded the American Cancer Society Control Career Development Award for his outstanding work in primary care and research. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Harvard University and an M.D. from the Stanford School of Medicine.
Apolo Anton Ohno is an American short-track speed skating competitor, an eight-time medalist in the Winter Olympics, a 12-time National Champion, and America’s most decorated winter Olympian. He was named the U.S. Speedskating’s Athlete of the Year for 2003 and was a 2002, 2003, and 2006 finalist for the Sullivan Award, which recognizes the best amateur athlete in the U.S.
In addition, Mr. Ohno has been very involved in philanthropic activities, including participating in the Global AIDS Program campaign to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, The Salvation Army, the Ronald McDonald House, and Nikkei Concerns, an organization that provides assistance to Japanese elders.
In 2002, Mr. Ohno helped Senator Ted Kennedy launch the “Math Moves U Hippest Homework Happening” program, which gave students the opportunity to do math homework online with celebrities and athletes. Mr. Ohno is also a global ambassador for the Special Olympics.
Dr. Janet R. Kahn is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine, a position she has held since 2002. Since 2000 she has been a Faculty Preceptor in the Fellowship Program in Complementary, Alternative, and General Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Kahn helped found the Integrated Health Policy Consortium in 2002, where she was on the Steering Committee until 2005, thereafter serving as Executive Director until 2011. In addition, Dr. Kahn was the Director of Integrated Health Care of the Community Health Center of Burlington from 2008 to 2010, the Director of Research of the Massage Therapy Research Consortium from 2003 to 2008, and a Senior Research Scientist at the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women from 1997 to 2000.
Kahn’s research focuses on equitable and affordable health care delivery models, the importance of massage therapy for the treatment of chronic pain, and supporting the well-being of veterans. She has served on a number of boards, including the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health since 2009.
Kahn holds a B.A. from Antioch College, an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University.