Vice President for Resource and Business Development, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc.

Linda Akutagawa is the Vice President for Resource and Business Development at Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP). She is responsible for LEAP’s overall fundraising and business development. She also manages and maintains relationships with LEAP’s diverse constituents ranging from Board members, program alumni, community organizations, corporations, student organizations, universities and employee network groups. Previously, Ms. Akutagawa was the Director of External Relations developing and implementing LEAP’s marketing & sales strategy for it’s programs and services.

Envisioned as a vehicle to develop future leaders, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) is a national, nonprofit organization founded in 1982 to achieve full participation and equality for Asian Pacific Americans (APAs). Unmatched in vision and scope, LEAP offers leadership training, publishes original public policy research, and conducts community education to advance a comprehensive strategy of APA empowerment.

LEAP has grown steadily from its roots as a volunteer organization offering community training, into a national organization with a current clientele of nearly 500 nonprofit, community and student organizations; federal, state and local government agencies; colleges and universities; and Fortune 1000 companies.

For the past twenty years, LEAP has been intent on “growing leaders.” LEAP programs encourage individuals to assume leadership positions at work and in the community, to be informed and vocal about policy issues relevant to APAs, and ultimately, to become role models for future leaders.

Linda speaks and presents nationally on topics such as leadership, Asian Pacific American issues, employee network groups, diversity and networking and relationship building to a range of audiences such as corporations, student groups and community and professional organizations. Previous to joining LEAP, Linda was the Marketing Manager for Japan and Orient Tours, a tour operator specializing in Asia and the Pacific. In her 11th year at LEAP, Linda received her B.S. in International Business with a minor in Economics from California State University at Los Angeles.

Professor & Director, University of California Washington Center

Larry Berman is Director of the University of California Washington Center and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Davis.

Berman’s research and publications have focused on the presidency, foreign policy and Vietnam. He has written three books on the war, most recently No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger and Betrayal in Vietnam has been featured on C-Span’s Book TV, the History Channel’s Secrets of War, and reviewed prominently in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Sacramento Bee, and Washington Times. The Vietnamese language edition, Khong Hoa Binh, Chang Danh Du: Nixon, Kissinger, Va Su Phan Boi O Viet Nam, was published by Viet Tide of Westminster, California. Berman has appeared on a number of broadcasts, including Bill Moyers PBS series, “The Public Mind;” David McCullough’s American Experience series, “Vietnam: A Television History;” and C-SPAN’s Book TV.

Berman has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Science Foundation, and research grants from several presidential libraries. He is a co-recipient of the Richard E. Neustadt Award, given annually for the best book published during the year in the field of the American Presidency. He received the Bernath Lecture Prize, given annually by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations to a scholar whose work has most contributed to our understanding of foreign relations. Berman has been a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. and scholar in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Center in Bellagio, Italy.

Berman’s current project, A Decade of Reconciliation: Vietnam-U.S. Relations Today and Tomorrow addresses U.S.- Vietnam bilateral relations. He is addressing such issues as how will the relationship evolve, what factors will be most critical for cooperation, what issues are likely to present obstacles, what factors effect the relationship of globalization and interdependency. Berman hopes to identify the shared common interests of two countries in humanitarian, economic and political areas and then discuss how convergent interests can provide a solid foundation for bilateral cooperation. Berman has visited Vietnam several times in conjunction with this project and previous research.

Director of Communications & Outreach, Youth Service America

Robert L. Bisi is the Director of Communications and Outreach for Youth Service America (YSA). He is responsible for connecting the youth service, service-learning, and youth civic engagement field with tools, resources, and opportunities that increase their effectiveness, scale, and sustainability. He is also responsible for developing and directing YSA’s communications strategy. More specifically, he directs the Working Group on National & Community Service; edit’s YSA’s weekly National Service Briefing (35,000+ subscribers) and YSA Quaterly; directs YSA’s membership and partnership development; serves as YSA’s representative on the advisory boards of the Youth Vote Coalition (; Mobilizing America’s Youth (; and the Gloria Barron Prize (; and directs YSA’s Youth Voice Initiative.

Over the past several years, Robert created opportunities for young people to participate in the community, media, and government. For six years, Robert served as the Washington, DC Bureau Director of a national youth run news organization called Children’s Express (CE). As the director, he worked with 150 young reporters and editors (aged 8-18) to produce stories for print, radio, and online media outlets including among others: Reuters Syndicate, Newhouse Syndicate, and National Public Radio. He managed the DC Bureau’s coverage of national media events such as the 1996 and 2000 national political conventions, the 1996 and 2000 presidential inaugurations, and the 1997 Presidents’ Summit on Service and Volunteerism. In addition, he was responsible for the general operations, planning, and fundraising of the DC Bureau.

Before Children’s Express, Robert was a field representative for California Assemblywoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland). Among many duties, he was responsible for providing constituent services related to worker’s compensation, senior citizens, youth, and unemployment. In order to increase the civic engagement of citizens, he created and managed advisory councils that served as the eyes and ears for Assemblywomen Lee. He is most proud of the youth council, which was made up of young people between the ages of 13 and 18. They provided the member with perspective on pending legislation and issues within the Assembly District affecting youth.

In his spare time, Robert enjoys bike riding, traveling, reading, volunteering, and listening to live Reggae and Latin Jazz. On the volunteering front, he is a seasoned tutor at Community Club in downtown Washington, DC.

Robert has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science with a minor in Urban Studies from San Francisco State University.

Executive Director, Organization of Chinese Americans

Named as one of Newsweek’s “2001 Women of the New Century,” Christine Chen currently serves as the Executive Director for the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), a national Asian Pacific American civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C. representing over 80 chapters and affiliates. She coordinates programs and monitors issues pertaining to the Asian Pacific American community, such as hate crimes, racial profiling, election reform, immigration reform, and affirmative action. Ms. Chen currently sits on the executive board for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and for YouthVote, and the advisory boards for the Midwest Asian American Students Union (MAASU), and the East Coast Asian American Students Union (ECASU).

Previously, she served as Director of Programs for OCA for six years. She coordinated the first national Asian Pacific American voter registration and education campaign in 1996 and then served as the National Director for the APIAVote 2000 campaign. The campaign initially registered over 75,000 new voters in 1996 and translated and created voter registration posters in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. Ms. Chen also developed a leadership training program, “APIAU: Leadership 101″, which trains over 600 Asian Pacific American college students every year.

President, Vietnamese Professionals Society – DC Chapter

Dr. Chu is the President of the Vietnamese Professionals Society and an Executive Member of Vietcare. Vietcare was started in 1998 by a small group of Vietnamese Americans who were former refugees. When they were in the refugee camps, each one of them made individual promises to return and provide the same assistance that they had received as refugees. Vietcare began its mission at the last “home” for Vietnamese refugees (the Vietvillage in the Philippines) by taking care of the remaining Vietnamese and proceeded to aid the Filipinos who lived in the surrounding communities. Vietcare aims to help other Vietnamese to learn how to form other volunteer groups so that they too, as Vietnamese refugees, can give back, contribute and continue the spirits that got them to where they presently find themselves.

In 2003, Dr. Chu was nominated and accepted into the American College of Dentists. His induction will be in October 2003. The fellowship in the American College of Dentist is given to those who provide leadership in the field of dentistry and demonstrate commitment to community services. Additionally, he received a Gubernatorial Citation from Governor Parrish Glenndening of Maryland.

Director, National Initiatives, Freddie Mac

Christina Diaz-Malone is Freddie Mac’s Director of National Initiatives responsible for working with a diverse group of organizations that promote, encourage and support homeownership for immigrants, low-to moderate-income, minority and under-served communities throughout the United States.

Prior to her current position she was in Freddie Mac’s Community Development Lending area where she was responsible for developing public-private partnership with state and local governments, community-based organizations, philanthropic organizations, lending institutions and other entities to increase single family housing opportunities for under-served households and communities.

Ms. Diaz-Malone has more than 20 years of mortgage banking and community development experience. Before joining Freddie Mac she worked in Fannie Mae’s National Housing Impact Division following a career in sales with PMI Mortgage Insurance Company. She has been an active member of the Latino community beginning with her involvement in the formation of the first Latino nonprofit social services and employment organization in Atlanta, Georgia.

Throughout her career, Ms Diaz-Malone has served as member and volunteer of various nonprofit and professional organizations as the Atlanta Mortgage Bankers Association, Association of Mortgage Brokers, Association of Professional Mortgage Women, and Foreign Born Information and Referral Services.

Ms. Diaz Malone is a graduate of LadyCliff College, New York and a native of the Dominican Republic.

U.S. Air Force

Captain Thanh (“Tino”) Dinh is an active duty officer in the US Air Force. He was born in Boston, but grew up in Houston, Texas. Capt. Dinh received his bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies and a commission as a second lieutenant at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO in 1999. Following a year of ROTC scholarship recruiting, Capt. Dinh received specialized training. Subsequently, he was stationed in Uijeongbu, South Korea, Honolulu, HI, and currently Washington DC. He has traveled to numerous countries in Asia and Europe and mostly recently served a six month deployment in Baghdad, Iraq, training Iraqi military staff. He is married to the former Miss Ji Hyun (“Anna”) Choi of Seoul, South Korea.

Counsel, House Armed Services Committee

Uyen Dinh was born in Saigon, Vietnam and immigrated with her family to the United States in 1975. She graduated from James Madison University in 1993 and from the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law in 1996. Uyen is a member of the Virginia State Bar.

At JMU, Uyen was a founding sister of the Theta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi International Fraternity. In addition, she served as the Public Affairs Officer for the Asian American Association and the program director for the Asian-American Student Conference in 1993. At the Columbus School of Law, Uyen served as the External Affairs Officer for the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. She also participated in Moot Court and served as Moot Court Judge from 1993-1996.

Uyen is the founder and director of Empress Productions, a Vietnamese performing arts organization. Empress Productions comprises of young volunteers from the Northern Virginia area who perform traditional Vietnamese cultural dances and play traditional Vietnamese instruments. Empress Productions also produce Vietnamese cultural and fashion shows complete with historical narration and costumes. Empress Production’s goal is to share the Vietnamese culture and heritage with the general public. Since 1991, members of Empress Productions perform annually at the National Independence Day Parade, the Vietnamese American Youth Leadership Conference, Fairfax Fair, and other heritage and culture events in the Washington, DC area.

In addition, Uyen served as executive producer and host of Our Generasian, a local cable talk show focusing on Asian-American issues in the mid 1990′s. The weekly show hosted local community and business leaders, scholars, and students as guests to discuss diverse subject matters affecting the Asian-American community. Uyen also served as the executive director and guest speaker for the Vietnamese American Youth Leadership Conference in 2001 and 2003.

From 1997-2001, Uyen served as Legislative Counsel for Congressman Tom Davis (R-VA), specializing in national security and defense, international affairs, trade, education, telecommunications, banking and financial services, labor, immigration, civil rights, and First Amendment rights issues. And from 2001-2003, she served as Counsel for House Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy. Her portfolio focused on information technology (IT), national security and homeland defense, including nuclear, chemical, biological, radiological (NBCR) terrorism.

Presently, Uyen is Counsel for the House Armed Services Committee and is responsible for the Department of Defense’s $30 billion IT programs and policies. Her portfolio includes both business and national security systems, such as command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) programs, as well as network centric warfare, information assurance, and enterprise architecture issues. Uyen also drafts legislation, prepares hearings, devise budget allocations, write speeches, and handle all Member IT requests and issues for the annual National Defense Authorization process.

Technical Director, AnviCom, Inc.

Mr. Duong graduated from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada with honors, in 1992. He has been leading technology development projects and teams since joining AnviCom in 1995. His fifteen years of work experience have been in support of a broad spectrum of business sectors: banking/finance, telecommunications, the U.S. Federal Government, and the Department of Defense. As Technical Director at AnviCom, Inc., an Asian-owned firm specializing in Internet services and network convergence, he is currently the Chief Engineer supporting a major U.S. Army system handling ocean cargo worldwide. As a member of the company’s technology Advisory Group, Mr. Duong is frequently called upon to help develop technical solutions for a wide range of customer business requirements.

Executive Director, APIAVote

Janelle Hu is the National Director of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote Campaign, a coalition of national and grassroots non-partisan nonprofit organizations that encourages civic participation and promotes a better understanding of public policy and the electoral process among the Asian and Pacific Islander American community that has registered 110,000 new APIA voters and made over 5 million voter contacts by mail, phone, and precinct walking since 1996. A native Californian, Janelle moved to Washington, DC for graduate school, where she became involved in Asian Pacific American community activism. She serves as a board member for the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that aims to draw more Asian Pacific Americans into public service and elected office. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UCLA and graduated from Georgetown University’s accelerated joint-degree program in law and public policy.

As an Asian American, Janelle feels a great duty to charge forward with other, like-minded individuals who desire to empower the APIA community. By dispelling the myths and rumors surrounding the political process and subsequently increasing voter participation, she hopes to assist APIAs in the pursuit of bolstering support for more APIA public servants, our communities, and ultimately, our families.

Chief Counsel, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL); Staff Director, Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Mark L. Keam is Chief Counsel to the Assistant Senate Democratic Leader (Whip) Richard J. Durbin and is also the Democratic Staff Director of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Corrections and Rehabilitation, which has jurisdiction over the government’s prisons, parole, probation and other detention-related policies.

In these roles, Mr. Keam serves as the top legal advisor to the senior Senator of Illinois on various legislative, policy, and political matters that come before the high profile Senate panel. He also supervises a team of attorneys and professionals who work on committee hearings and legislation that address a wide variety of issues, including amendments to the Constitution, civil liberties and civil rights, criminal justice, federal courts, homeland security, immigration, privacy, and terrorism. Mr. Keam and his staff also advise Senator Durbin in the confirmation process for the President’s nominees to various Department of Justice and other executive branch positions, and to serve lifetime judicial appointments on the federal bench.

Mr. Keam’s areas of expertise include First Amendment constitutional matters as well as business issues, such as antitrust, bankruptcy, civil justice reform, corporate and securities fraud, intellectual property, Internet, technology, and telecommunications. He also works with Senator Durbin, Senator Obama, House Speaker Hastert, and the White House in a bipartisan process they have established to select nominees for federal judicial vacancies in the state of Illinois.

Before coming to Capitol Hill in 2001, Mr. Keam served in the Clinton Administration as Assistant Chief Counsel in the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), where he worked to protect the regulatory interests of small, minority-owned, and woman-owned businesses. Prior to that appointment, Mr. Keam was an enforcement attorney with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), where he worked on implementing the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996. Before that, Mr. Keam held a number of positions in private, public, and political organizations.

Mr. Keam studied political science at the University of California at Irvine. While in college, he interned in Washington, DC, at the Democratic National Committee, and was a staff of the Democratic National Convention. Mr. Keam received his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, in San Francisco, where he was elected a first year section representative to student government. He served as a senior editor of the Hastings Law Journal, was on moot court, and clerked at the U.S. Attorney’s and City Attorneys’ offices.

Executive Director, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies

In April 2001, Daphne Kwok became the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies. Ms. Kwok brings exceptional leadership and organizational skills, political and community contacts, and knowledge of front-burner issues to APAICS.

For 11 years, she was the Executive Director of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), a non-profit, civil rights organization with more than 10,000 members. She coordinated programs and services for 45 chapters and 37 college affiliates and monitored issues pertaining to the Asian American community, such as hate crimes, campaign finance reform, immigration reform, Census 2000, English-only, and affirmative action.

During the Wen Ho Lee investigation, Ms. Kwok testified before the Congressional Asian Pacific Caucus on the impact of federal counter-intelligence and security investigations on Asian Pacific Americans at the Department of Energy. She was subsequently appointed to the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Council.

Empowerment of all APAs has long been one of Ms. Kwok’s core values.

From November 1997 until April 2001, Ms. Kwok was the first elected Chair of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, a network of national APA organizations.

She coordinated a national voter registration campaign involving 19 Asian Pacific American organizations in 1996. This unprecedented campaign registered more than 70,000 voters.

A 1984 graduate of Wesleyan University, Ms. Kwok became the first Asian American member of its Board of Trustees. She has a B.A. in East Asian Studies and Music. She received a Masters in Public Administration from New York’s Baruch City College.

Ms. Kwok currently serves on the board of a wide range of APA groups including the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development, and the Asian Pacific American Caucus of the American Political Science Association. She is a Founding Board Member of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. Her views have been featured on national radio and TV programs as well as in major newspapers and magazines.

Honors include The Women at the Top of the Game Award in 2001, being named one of A Magazine’s One Hundred Most Influential Asian Americans of the Past Decade, World Journal’s Top 100 North American Chinese, a member of the 1999 American Swiss Foundation’s Young Leaders Conference in Vevey, Switzerland, one of 10 delegates selected for the 1997 National Women’s Leadership Group to travel to Israel hosted by the American Jewish Committee, and the Presidential Classroom’s 25th Anniversary Outstanding Alumni Award.

Author, Vietnam, Now: A Reporter Returns

David Lamb’s travels as a foreign correspondent for The Los Angeles Times have taken him to more than 120 countries and to all seven continents. He has covered the Vietnam War, the Iranian revolution, the overthrow of Idi Amin in Uganda, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the African famine and the Rwanda massacres, the Persian Gulf War, the popular uprising in Indonesia in 1998, the anarchy in East Timor in 1999, the war on terror in Afghanistan and many of the other major stories of the past two decades. His reporting has been nominated eight times for a Pulitzer Prize.

A native of Boston and a 1962 graduate of the University of Maine, Mr. Lamb began his career with The Okinawa Morning Star, then moved on to newspapers in Las Vegas, Oakland (California) and to United Press International in San Francisco, Denver and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), before joining The Times in 1970. With The Times he has been based in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Sydney (Australia), Nairobi (Kenya), Cairo and Hanoi.

He returned to the United States in 1985 after nearly eight years in Africa–the last three and a half of which were spent in Egypt covering North Africa and the Middle East. Before his Egypt assignment, Mr. Lamb covered sub-Sahara Africa from a base in Nairobi, Kenya. His reporting and research for three books has taken him to 50 of Africa’s 51 countries, to all 21 Arab countries and to the 10 countries of Southeast Asia. From August, 1997, to May , 2001, Mr. Lamb was The Times’ Southeast Asia bureau chief, based in Hanoi.

Mr. Lamb is the author of The Africans, The Arabs: Journeys Beyond the Mirage, Stolen Season, A Sense of Place: Listening to Americans, Over The Hills: A Midlife Escape Across America By Bicycle, and Vietnam, Now: A Reporter Returns, published in May, 2002 by Public Affairs. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including National Geographic, Readers Digest, and Sports Illustrated. Mr. Lamb has been a Nieman Fellow and an Alicia Patterson Fellow, a writer-in-residence at the University of Southern California’s School of Journalism and a Pew Fellow.

Senior Program Officer, Chicago Community Trust

Ngoan Le is presently the Senior Program Officer for Basic Human Needs at the Chicago Community Trust. Prior to this position, Ngoan served as the Special Assistant to Mayor Daley on Homelessness. In this position she coordinated the City Inter-Agency Task Force on Homelessness and co-chaired the Chicago Continuum of Care, a consortium of over 200 public and private homeless stakeholders.

Ngoan has spent many years working in the field of human services. She was the Managing Deputy Commissioner/Chief Program Officer of the Chicago Department of Human Services. Prior to the reorganization in 2003, the Chicago Department of Human Services provided the social service safety net for Chicago residents through Children Services, Youth Development Program, Homeless and Domestic Violence Services, Crisis Intervention and Economic Development.

Before coming to city government, Ngoan spent over ten years working for the State of Illinois. She served as the Assistant to the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Deputy Administrator for the Division of Planning and Community Services of the Illinois Department of Public Aid and Special Assistant to the Governor for Asian American Affairs.

A refugee from Vietnam who came to the U.S. in 1975, Ngoan served as the executive director of the Vietnamese Association of Illinois, a refugee community based organization, for nine years. She built this all volunteer organization into a nationally-known community based comprehensive social service agency providing assistance to newly arrived refugees from Southeast Asia.

Ngoan has served on the Board of Directors of numerous local and national organizations seeking to improve the quality of life for immigrants and low income individuals. Ngoan was appointed by President Clinton in May of 2000 as one of the fifteen community leaders to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She was the only Vietnamese included in President Clinton’s official delegation to visit Vietnam in November 2000.

Ngoan Le received many recognition and awards for her work including the “1991 Recognition for Outstanding Contributions to the U.S.” given by the U.S. Ambassador for Refugee Affairs Jewel Lafontant-Mankarious and the “1989 – Crain’s Chicago Business, 40 Under 40 most dynamic civic and business leaders in Chicago”.

Reporter, The Washington Post

Phuong Ly got her start in journalism as editor of her high school newspaper in North Carolina. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with degrees in journalism and American history. She worked for two years at the Charlotte Observer before joining the Washington Post in July 1999. Currently, she reports for the paper’s Maryland desk, covering criminal justice and immigration issues. She also sits on the national board of the Asian American Journalists Association, a 1,700-member group that works to ensure fair and accurate news coverage of Asian Americans and increase the number of Asians in the media business.

Reporter, WTTG/FOX 5 News

Sherri Ly joined WTTG/FOX 5 as a reporter in September 2002. You will see her reporting on Channel 5 at 10pm weeknights. Since coming to Washington she has covered a wide range of stories, most notably the sniper shootings in October. She is one of a number of reporters who contributed to the station’s sniper coverage, earning Channel 5 a National Edward R. Murrow Award for its reporting.

Prior to coming to Washington, DC, Sherri worked as a reporter and anchor in the Los Angeles area and San Francisco. She traveled across the state, reporting from wildfires in the Sequoia National Forest to snowstorms in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. When not on the road, she also spent much of her time covering political issues. Her five part investigation into California’s mandatory drug treatment law brought attention to substance abuse and sparked debate about the legal system. In Orange County, CA Sherri also covered demonstrations in Little Saigon, when thousands protested the communist Vietnam flag and a picture of Ho Chi Minh at a video store.

Sherri’s mother is Vietnamese. She was born in Okinawa, Japan and grew up in Florida. In her spare time she enjoys sports, traveling and spending time with her husband and family.

Agent, State Farm Insurance

Carlton Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam. He and his family immigrated to the U.S. in 1981. After several moves, they settled in Memphis, Tennessee. Carlton grew up in Memphis and earned his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Memphis.

While in college, Carlton interned at Merrill Lynch, NBC Bank, and The Southwestern company-selling books door-to-door. During this period, he attended over 200 hours of motivational seminars listening to speakers from Bob Richards to Rudy.

Carlton began his career with the State Farm office in Nashville, Tennessee immediately after college with the goal of becoming an agent. While in Tennessee, he volunteered with the Junior Achievement and PERT (Partners Encouraging Reading and Tutoring). He also served as Sergeant-At-Arms for Toastmasters International and was a member of the Emerging Markets Council for State Farm in Tennessee and Kentucky. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus.

In 2001, Carlton was offered the opportunity to manage his own agency in Falls Church, Virginia. As a business owner, he runs an insurance and financial services agency. His agency offers auto, life, health, fire, and commercial insurance. Accomplishments with State Farm include: Top 46 Trainee Agent in the nation, Ambassadors for Life, VA Vice-President of Agency Club, and member of National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Carlton loves his job and enjoys meeting new clients everyday.

Dean and Professor, School of Engineering, Catholic University of America

Dr. Charles Cuong Nguyen is a researcher, educator, administrator and presidential appointee. He is currently Dean of School of Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Catholic University of America (CUA). Elected Dean in 2001, he has been the first Vietnamese American Dean of a college at a major university in the U.S. He has also been the first Asian American dean at Catholic University. He was Chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at CUA from September 1997-June 2001. He earned the Diplom Ingenieur in Electrical Engineering at Konstanz University, West Germany where he was also named “Best Graduate of the Class of 1978,” in 1978. Later he received his Master of Science in 1980 and Doctor of Science in 1982 both with honor at the George Washington University. Professor Nguyen has published over 100 technical and scientific papers in the area of control and robotics, co-edited three books and guest-edited 10 special issues in major journals. He also presented numerous research papers, organized and chaired numerous technical sessions at many international conferences. He was the chairman of the Robotics Committee of the Fifth International Symposium on Robotics and Manufacturing (ISRAM’94) and was the program vice-chair of the IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation, 1997 (ICRA’97). Dr. Nguyen is a member of ISMM, Sigma Xi, and a member and Chief Faculty Advisor of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE, a senior member of Society of Manufacturing Engineering (SME), and a senior member of Robotics International of SME. He is a member of the advisory board of Vietnamese Association for Computing, Engineering Technologies and Science (VACETS) since 2001. He is a member of the Board of Directors, Asian Division of the U.S. Library of Congress and member of the Board of Directors, Library and Education Assistance for Vietnam (LEAF-VN). He is a member of the Virginia Republican Fife and Drum Club.

He was the recipient of the “Research Initiation Award” from Engineering Foundation in 1986 and was awarded NASA/ASEE Fellowship Awards in 1985 and 1986. He was the recipient of the “Academic Vice President Research Excellence Award,” in February 1989 from the Catholic University of America. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award from the George Washington University in 2002. He was awarded a Senior Research Associateship from the National Research Council/National Academy of Science to conduct robotic research at the Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA) during his sabbatical leave of the academic year 1990-1991. Among many other awards, recently he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from World Automation Congress (WAC) for contribution to robotics and intelligent automation in June 2004 and the Community Service Award from Asia Entertainment for Achievements in Education in August 2004. In May 2004 he was appointed by President Bush to serve on the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Education Foundation and went to Vietnam to represent the United States in working with high-ranking Vietnamese officials in the area of educational exchange.

His life and achievements are listed in 40 biographical registers and Who’s Who such as Men of Achievements, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in Engineering, Who’s Who among Asian Americans, etc.

He is the Founder and founding Editor of International Journal of Intelligent Automation and Soft Computing (AutoSoft). He currently serves as the chair of the Editorial Advisory Board of AutoSoft. He is an Associate Editor of International Journal of Computers and Electrical Engineering and served on the Editorial Board of Journal of Intelligent and Fuzzy Systems. He also served on the Editorial Board of Journal of Engineering Design and Automation and was Guest Editor of Journal of Robotic Systems, International Journal of Computers and Electrical Engineering and International Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems.

His research interests lie in the areas of time-varying control systems, control of large space structures, decentralized control, control of robot manipulators, closed-kinematic chain manipulators, robot vision, intelligent control and neural networks. His research has been continuously funded by government agencies such as NASA, US Air Forces, JPL, and Engineering Foundation. He has been the principal investigator of 15 research projects.

President, National Congress of Vietnamese Americans

Hung Nguyen is a community organizer and activist. He holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts and working on his M.A. thesis “Jungian Psychology and the Masculine Spirituality.” He is the President of the National Congress of Vietnamese Americans, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes culture, education and civic involvement. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) as the Chair of the Washington Leadership Program, the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia, the Executive Committee of the NAACP – San José Chapter and the Advisory Committee of the Vietnamese American Professionals Alliance (VAPA). Previously, Hung Nguyen served as Director of Public Relations for the Vietnamese Nationalist Community of Austin, recipient of the National Society of Fund Raiser Executives’ 1999 Philanthropic Organization of the Year Award and the Executive Committee of the California State Conference of the NAACP.

Hung Nguyen has worked on issues affecting the community, including capacity building, economic self-sufficiency, redistricting, human rights, and voter education and empowerment. In addition to being quoted in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San José Mercury News, Associated Press, Fairfax Times and many other community newspapers, he has appeared on television and radio programs to inform and educate the public on hot issues affecting the communities of interest. He is focused in educating the public and working on projects in which the community can increase its effectiveness, capacity/infrastructure and empowerment capabilities. Hung Nguyen currently lives and works in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

AAPI/NAAN Program Manager, Federal Aviation Administration

Mai Nguyen is currently working as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) program manager for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Native American/Alaska Native, and People with Disabilities. She joined the FAA in 1991 after spending six years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Peace Corps.

Mrs. Nguyen returned to the Federal Service after spending a decade in the private sector working as management consultant for Space America, DC Associates, Academy of Educational Development, and other International Corporations. She was also a director of personnel for Marriott, Ramada, and the Holiday Crowne Plaza in the Washington Metropolitan.

Mrs. Nguyen received a BA in political science and languages from Wayne State College and did her graduate studies at Ohio University.

Director of Government Affairs, Republican National Committee (RNC)

Mina T. Nguyen recently joined the Republican National Committee as Director of Government Affairs where she is responsible for coordinating efforts with the U.S. Congress and managing activities with business and trade organizations. She previously served as the National Business Coalition Director and the Northeast Regional Coalitions Director for the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign. In this role, she was responsible for developing and executing the campaign’s winning business coalition strategy which included building grassroots support among business leaders and communicating the President’s economic policies to small businesses.

From 2001-2003, Nguyen served as Director of Public Liaison and Special Assistant to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Labor. Serving in the Senior Executive Service of the Bush Administration, Nguyen was responsible for advancing the Department’s 21st Century Workforce agenda by working with federal agencies, business organizations, and community groups. From 1998-2001, she was a Management Consultant in Accenture’s Strategy practice, working with Fortune 100 companies in the hi-tech and communication industries.

Nguyen received her B.S. in Business Administration from U.C. Berkeley, Walter A. Haas School of Business.

Director of Youth Activism Program, American Legacy Foundation

Shari Sitron has managed the Youth Activism Program at the American Legacy Foundation in Washington, D.C. since January 2002. Prior to joining Legacy, Shari was a Program Associate for Maternal and Child Health and Primary Care for the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), also in D.C and a health care evaluator for the U.S. General Accounting Office. She is originally from Detroit and received her B.A. and Master of Public Health Degrees from the University of Michigan.

Outreach Liaison, Representative Jim Moran (D-VA)

Originally from Falls Church, Virginia Bryan works to build and maintain community relationships throughout the 8th Congressional District for Congressman Moran.

Before working for the Congressman, Bryan was a political consultant at Field Works where he organized a successful statewide campaign for Virginia tax fairness, lobbied to extend metro rail in Northern Virginia and worked on other campaigns locally and nationally.

Bryan is currently the City / County Caucus Chair for the Virginia Young Democrats. It is his responsibility to give the tools necessary to build organizations throughout the state that can effectively lobby, campaign and build leadership skills.

When he is not working for the Congressman or the Democratic Party, Bryan is a High School track coach and volunteer ESL teacher.

Deputy Director, Southeast Asian Resource Action Center

Doua is Hmong American. She and her family immigrated from Laos to Detroit, Michigan in 1979. They were apart of hundreds of thousands of Hmong families who were refugees after supporting and fighting on the side of the United States in the Secret Wars of Laos. She holds a graduate degree from the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work with a concentration on Social Policy and Evaluation. While in graduate school, Doua worked with the Youth Initiatives Project, a program led by young people working on antiviolence and antigun campaigns. In April of 2002 Doua was awarded the New Voices Fellowship and is now working with Hmong National Development (HND) as the Policy Advocate. HND is the only national Hmong organization based in Washington, DC whose missions is to develop the capacity to ensure the full participation of the Hmong in this country.

In the past Doua has been involved with the local Detroit community. She served as a board member for Hmong Women United of Michigan, the only Hmong women’s organization in Michigan. She was also one of the co-founders of Hmong of Tomorrow-a youth group in the Detroit Metropolitan area. She graduated with her undergraduate degree from Wayne State University while working with an organization called Neighborhood Service Organization, where she served as a bridge between the Hmong community and many social service institutions in the Detroit area.

Currently she serves as a board member for the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and was the first graduate scholar of the Council on Asian Pacific American Leadership. Overall, Doua is dedicated and committed to the community. She plans to utilize her social work degree to advocate and work towards social justice at the same time increasing awareness about the Southeast Asian community in America.

Field Programs Manager, Rural Coalition

Bouapha Toommaly was born in Laos, her family came to the US in 1979 as political refugees. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, she developed a passion and commitment for social change work. At the age of 19, she began her career as an organizer with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, working on environmental justice issues in Richmond, CA. She helped to develop the program and foundation for the Laotian Organizing Project. Recognizing the Environmental Justice movement needed to be rejuvenated with a new direction and a new vision, she took on the position as the youth coordinator for the Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. There she was able to work with young EJ organizers from all over the country to develop a national youth strategy for the movement.

With a deeper understanding of the issues and struggles and the framework of environmental justice, Bouapha came to the Rural Coalition in Washington, DC to work on issues of economic justice, land struggle, agriculture and free trade. At the Rural Coalition she worked with farm workers to establish safer working condition and small and limited resourced farmers for protection and equity. In 2004 she took a leave of absence from the Rural Coalition to work with National Voice as the Asian Pacific Islander American Organizing Director. She worked to mobilize the APIA community to participate in this nations democratic process with the vision to build a permanent infrastructure for longer-term civic engagement with in the APIA community. In October of 2004 she was asked to come to the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign as the Minnesota State APIA State Field Director. Her short experience with electoral politics re-affirmed her vision of building community based power as a strategy to building resilient communities.