WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 24, 2014) — President Barack Obama last week announced his intent to appoint new members to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).
The nominees include: N. Nina Ahmad, Michael Byun, Ravi Chaudhary, Lian Cheun, Billy Dec, Bill Imada, Kathy Ko Chin, Dee Jay Mailer, Diane Narasaki, Shekar Narasimhan, Mary Ann Young Okada, Maulik Pancholy, Linda X. Phan, and Lorna May Ho Randlett.
Dr. Tung Thanh Nguyen and Daphne Kwok will continue serving on the Commission from the previous term. In this new Commission, Dr. Nguyen will serve as Chair and Dr. Okada as Vice Chair.
The Commission is charged with working to improve the quality of life of AAPIs through increased participation in and access to federal programs. These members will advise the President on innovative ways to engage AAPIs across the country and to improve their health, education, environment, and well-being.
“The President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs serves as the eyes and ears of the community, relaying issues and recommendations to the Administration,” says Dr. Nguyen. “We’re excited to welcome a new group of Commissioners hailing from all over the nation who represent the diversity and expertise of the AAPI community.”
The Commissioners’ swearing-in ceremony will take place during the AAPI Heritage Month Opening Ceremony on May 6, 2014, at 9:00 am ET.
Dr. N. Nina Ahmad is co-owner and Executive Vice President of Government Affairs for JNA Capital, Inc., a real estate finance and development company based in Philadelphia that she helped to co-found in 1994.
Michael Byun is currently the Executive Director of Asian Services in Action, Inc., a position he has held since 2009. Previously, he held other roles at that organization after joining it in 2003.
Lt. Col. Ravi Chaudhary is an Air Force officer, currently serving as Executive Officer to the Commander, Air Force District of Washington, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Chaudhary has logged over 3,000 flight hours as a pilot and flight test engineer, including over 700 combat hours. Previously, Chaudhary served as Commander of the U.S. Air Force’s 317th Recruiting Squadron from 2011 to 2013. From 2009 to 2011, he served as Chief of Strategy Integration in the Air Force Strategic Plans and Programs division as well as speechwriter in the Secretary of the Air Force Executive Action Group at the Pentagon.
From 2001 to 2009, Chaudhary served a C-17 Pilot in a variety of operational, deployed, staff and leadership roles for Air Mobility Command, and from 1993 to 2000 he was an Aerospace / Flight Test Engineer for Air Force Materiel Command. Chaudhary’s awards include the NASA Stellar Award, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, and Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals. Chaudhary received a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy, an M.S. from Saint Mary’s University, and a Masters in Military Operational Art and Science from the Air Force’s Air University.
Lian Cheun is the Executive Director of Khmer Girls in Action. Before joining KGA, Ms. Cheun worked for a number of organizations, including Asian Immigrant Women Advocates and the Asian Migrant Center, which is based in Hong Kong.
Billy Dec is the CEO and Founder of Rockit Ranch Productions, a hospitality and entertainment development company in Chicago, a position he has held since 2002. Dec is a regular Entertainment Contributor to ABC TV’s Windy City Live, a television program in Chicago that started in 2009. He is involved in several philanthropic organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Lookingglass Theatre Company, and Maggie Daley’s After School Matters.
Bill Imada is the Chairman and Chief Collaboration Officer of IW Group (formerly known as Imada Wong Communications Group), an advertising and public relations agency that Mr. Imada co-founded in 1990.
Kathy Ko Chin currently serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, a position she has held since 2010. Previously, from 2002 to 2009, she was the Program Director for the Community Clinics Initiative, a joint project of Tides and The California Endowment.
Dee Jay Mailer is the former Chief Executive Officer of Kamehameha Schools, a position she held from 2004 to 2014. Prior to this position, Ms. Mailer served from 2002 to 2004 as the Chief Operating Officer of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a private foundation based in Geneva.
Diane Narasaki has served as the Executive Director of Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) since 1995. While at ACRS, Ms. Narasaki co-founded and currently chairs the King County Asian Pacific Islander Coalition, a network of community organizations serving AAPI immigrants and refugees in Washington State.
Shekar Narasimhan has been Managing Partner at Beekman Advisors since 2003 and Chairman of Papillon Capital since 2012. Previously, Mr. Narasimhan was the Managing Director at Prudential Mortgage Capital Company from 2000 to 2003 and the Chairman and CEO of The WMF Group, Ltd. from 1988 to 2000.
Dr. Mary Ann Young Okada is President and Chief Executive Officer of Guam Community College, a position she has held since 2007.
Maulik Pancholy is a film, television, and stage actor widely known for playing the role of Jonathan for six seasons on NBC’s award-winning series 30 Rock. He also appeared in six seasons of the Showtime series Weeds and played Neal on the first season of the NBC series Whitney. He is the voice of Sanjay, the title character in the Nickelodeon animated series Sanjay & Craig, as well as the voice of Baljeet in the Disney animated series Phineas and Ferb. Linda X. Phan has served as Executive Director of Asian Family Support Services of Austin, an anti-violence organization supporting immigrant families, since 2005. Previously, Ms. Phan was Communications Manager at the Texas Advocacy Project from 2004 to 2005 and Development Associate at the United Way Capital Area in 1999. Ms. Phan has served on the Texas Council on Family Violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and the Austin Commission on Immigrant Affairs. Lorna May Ho Randlett is a Communication Specialist and Reach and Relevance External Relations Manager at McKinsey & Company, a position she has held since 2006. She currently represents the Global Semiconductor Practice at McKinsey and worked in the U.S. State and Local and Infrastructure Americas Practices.
Dr. Tung Thanh Nguyen is 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.
Dr. Nguyen was the volunteer Chair of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Team of the American Cancer Society in California. In 2002, he was awarded the American Cancer Society Control Career Development Award for his outstanding work in primary care and research. Nguyen holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Harvard University and an M.D. from the Stanford School of Medicine. He was appointed to the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs in 2011.
Daphne Kwok is Vice President of Multicultural Markets & Engagement for the Asian American & Pacific Islander Audience at AARP. Ms. Kwok was previously Executive Director of Asians & Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California. She was also the Executive Director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. In DC, Kwok focused on increasing political participation of the AAPI community and working with AAPI elected officials as Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.