Director of Census and Voting Programs, Asian American Justice Center (AAJC)

A national expert on decennial census and census policy matters, Ms. Ao co-chairs the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights’ Census Task Force with the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials (NALEO) and sits on the U.S Department of Commerce’s 2010 Census Advisory Committee as a permanent substitute advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Ms. Ao has been consulted on matters pertaining to the privacy and confidentiality of census data, planning for the 2010 census and the American Community Survey, and other important issues.

Ms. Ao has appeared before the national, ethnic, local and regional media on her program areas. She has also been a featured speaker at many different events. Ms. Ao has also provided staff briefings on Capitol Hill on issues of importance to the community.

Ms. Ao holds a juris doctorate, cum laude, from American University Washington College of Law and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago. She is admitted to practice in Maryland.

[source - http://www.advancingequality.org/ao/]

Founder, Vietnamese-American Voters Association

Ms. Wright started her career as a teacher of history and French in Vietnam. Later, in the U.S., she provided social services and founded the Indochinese Refugees Social Services in 1979. Her organization resettled about 1,000 Vietnamese boat people, Cambodian, Laotian and Afghan refugees in the late 1970s and 80s. The U.S.-Asia Institute awarded her as one of ten outstanding Asian-Americans in the U.S. in 1981 for her refugee work.

The Vietnamese-American Voters’ Association, of which Jackie Bong-Wright is the President & CEO, has been organizing an annual Candidates Forum. Seven times she has partnered with other ethnic groups, the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, and the Coalition of APA in Virginia (CAPAVA) to bring candidates from different parties to discuss their platforms so constituents could better decide whom to vote for. Ms. Wright herself focused on empowering Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) by registering thousands of citizens to cast their ballots since 2000. For her effort in getting APAs to vote, she received commendation from the Virginia House and Senate in 2005.

Ms Wright’s main interest is to raise public awareness of the need to fight human trafficking and to abolish this modern-day slavery. She has teamed up with NGOs (non-government organizations), the media, and the federal and local officials to organize anti-trafficking conferences. She is partnering with the Committee to Protect Vietnamese Workers (CPVW) to help exploited laborers in Asia.

Jackie Bong-Wright holds a BA from the University of Bordeaux, France, and the University of Saigon (Vietnam) and an MS in International Relations from Georgetown University. She is the recipient of many awards for her social service work: Key to the City of Kingston, Jamaica, in 1995, for helping children to go to school in a depressed area, and Washingtonian of the Year 2003. She was crowned Ms. Virginia Senior America in 2004 and was the subject of a documentary, “The Queen from Virginia,” which won the “best documentary” award at the APA Film Festival in Los Angeles in 2006.

Board Member, Organization of Chinese Americans of Northern Virginia (OCA-NOVA)

Christine Chen serves as President of Strategic Alliances USA, a consulting firm specializing in coalition building, institutional development, and partnerships among the corporate sector, government agencies, and the nonprofit and public sector. Previously, Chen served as one of the founders and as executive director of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that encourages and promotes civic participation of Asian Pacific Islander Americans in the electoral and public policy processes at the national, state and local levels.

Profiled by Newsweek in 2001 as one of 15 women who will shape America’s new century, served from 2001 to 2005 as national executive director of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), one of the leading APIA civil rights organizations in the country. Leading an organization with more than 80 chapters and affiliates across the nation, she worked with OCA’s national board, executive council, chapter representatives, members and funders, while managing a staff of 13.

Chen also was a member of the executive committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. She also served on numerous boards such as the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL), Youth Vote, Gates Millennium Scholarship Advisory Council, and Board of Advisors for the Midwest Asian American Students Union, East Coast Asian American Students Union, and the Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association. In 2003, she was a founding member of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund.

[source - http://caamedia.org/about-caam/caam-fam/, http://www.aeispeakers.com/speakerbio.php?SpeakerID=1550]

NAPABA Law Foundation Partners and In-House Counsel Community Law Fellow, Asian American Justice Center

Prior to joining AAJC, Ms. Chia was a law clerk at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. Previously she clerked at and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles. Ms. Chia also served as an extern to federal magistrate judge Edward M. Chen, who President Obama has nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Before attending law school, she spent a year working on immigration-related cases for the San Francisco-based law firm Berry Appleman & Leiden. She also worked as a legal intern for the Justice Department and the California Attorney General’s Office.

Ms. Chia holds a juris doctorate from the University of California-Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree, with honors, from the University of California-Davis.

[source - http://www.advancingequality.org/Jessica_Chia/]

Reproductive Justice Fellow, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Jasmine Amina Farhadi, JD, is a reproductive justice fellow at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), a national health justice organization which influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

Amina is based in the Washington D.C. policy office where she focuses on health care reform implementation, intersectional analysis between HIV and domestic violence, and other policy issues.

Prior to APIAHF, Amina served as co-coordinator of the University of North Carolina School of Law chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice and president of the UNC Domestic Violence Action Project. Amina also completed pro bono projects with AEquitas: The Prosecutor’s Resource on Violence Against Women, the American Civil Liberties Union Capital Punishment Project and the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Amina gained litigation experience in the UNC Civil Legal Clinic working on various family law matters and served as an appointed member of the Orange County Commission for Women.

Amina received a law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law. She received a B.S. in Biology / B.A. in Chemistry from East Carolina University.

[source - http://www.apiahf.org/policy-and-advocacy/staff/jasmine-amina-farhadi]

President & CEO, Allegra Print & Imaging of Fairfax

Oanh Henry was born and raised in Saigon, South Vietnam. In 1975, Oanh and her family migrated to the United States and settled in Annandale, Virginia. Oanh finished her high school years at Annandale High School and earned her Bachelor’s degree majoring in Computer Science and minor in Business from George Mason University.

Oanh now is the proud owner of a franchise printing company called Allegra Print and Imaging of Fairfax. She is overseeing her operation at the center as the President and CEO. With this position, Oanh gains more opportunities to meet and interact with many different levels of people. She enjoys her position and is building up her network with different business owners and entrepreneurs to share and learn ways to improve each other’s businesses.

35th District, Virginia House of Delegates

Mark Keam is a Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates, respresenting the 35th District since 2009. His district is entirely within Fairfax County and includes over 80,000 residents living in parts of Oakton, Vienna (including the Town of Vienna), Dunn Loring and Tysons Corner.

In his first campaign for public office in June 2009, Mark won a competitive four-way primary election for the Democratic Party’s nomination. He went on to win the general election in November of that year and became the first Korean American and the first Asian-born immigrant to serve in the Virginia General Assembly.

As a freshman Delegate, Mark serves on the House Finance and on the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committees. Additionally, he was appointed by Speaker of the House Bill Howell to serve as a member of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, which the General Assembly created to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

He was born in Seoul, South Korea and has lived in Vietnam, Australia and California at different times of his life. He received a political science degree from the University of California at Irvine and a law degree from Hastings College of the Law. He lives in Vienna, Va. with his wife and two children.

Executive Director, Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC)

Ms. Lai comes to APALRC with two decades of legal services experience. As Managing Attorney at the Greater Boston Legal Services, she directed the Asian Outreach Unit, which provides linguistically and culturally appropriate legal services to low-income, limited-English proficient Asian Americans, and developed a national model for connecting student resources to maximize legal assistance available to immigrant communities, who face linguistic and cultural barriers in accessing mainstream legal services. Ms. Lai also worked with regional and national funders to advocate for resources to support community-legal services collaboration, and to advance social change through the practice of community lawyering.

In addition, Ms. Lai served as Executive Director at the Asian Law Caucus, a civil rights legal organization that provides civil rights advocacy and civil legal services to the Bay Area Asian American community, and built coalition with community-based organizations and other advocacy groups to maximize resource-sharing and strategy coordination on key issues impacting Asian Americans, including redistricting, hate violence, racial profiling, immigrant rights, and workers’ rights.

Ms. Lai served as the President of the Board of the Harry H. Dow Memorial Legal Assistance Fund, and supported innovative efforts and projects that provided much needed legal assistance to emerging needs of the growing Asian immigrant communities. She was honored as “Community’s Unsung Heroine of 2007” by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, recognized as one of the “Best Lawyers Under 40” by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and awarded “Community Service Award” by the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts. She holds a J.D. from University of Minnesota Law School and a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.

[source - http://www.apalrc.org/dp/sites/default/files/Press%20Release-%20APALRC%20New%20ED-%20FINAL.pdf]

Owner, Galerie Brigitte

Founder and Owner of the artistic and cultural Galerie Brigitte in Reston, Virginia, Brigitte Le is also a member of the Vietnamese American National Chamber of Commerce. A Vietnamese refugee of the 1.5 generation, Brigitte graduated from University of Maryland (College Park Campus) with a double major in Chemical Engineering and Fine Arts. A successful American business woman, Brigitte served IBM for 15 years in sales. Brigitte currently works with artists in Vietnam to introduce to the world a different view on Vietnam – an exotic and mysterious place where arts and myths portray an Asian culture that has its own identity. Galerie Brigitte presents an exclusive collection of museum quality artifacts, antique reproductions, and works by the artists and artisans of Vietnam.

Web Content Specialist, National Council of La Raza

Keith is a resident of the Washington, DC area, having grown up in Falls Church, Virginia. Born in Saigon, he was adopted and raised in the states since the age of 2. Having attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where he studied mass communications and Columbia College Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA for film. His previous positions include Manager of Technology and E-Activism at the Marine Fish Conservation Network and Director of Technology for the Organization of Chinese Americans. He brings with him more than 10 years of professional experience in website administration, new and social media. In addition to his strong technology background, Keith has been involved with environmental nonprofits, ECAASU, ACAASU, Vietnamese American Network (VAN) and the Asian Pacific American civil rights community.

President, StrategiConneX International, LLC

James Mitchell is a communications professional with experience in large organization challenges, encompassing public and congressional affairs and crisis response. When summoned to military service in 1969, he was the primary news anchor for an NBC-TV affiliate in Lansing, Michigan. He previously was a radio news director, program director and disk jockey in the Lansing market.

During his almost 29-year Navy career he achieved the rank of captain and served ultimately as Navy’s Deputy Chief of Information, a key advisor to the senior civilian and military leadership. He served more than three years as Chief of Information and Spokesman for NATO operations involving Bosnia, which received extensive international media and public attention. Upon Retirement, he joined an organization engaged in oceanographic research and education. He later operated an independent communications practice, before joining Booz-Allen & Hamilton. Later, while senior manager for communications at a Washington, DC law firm, he accepted an appointment as director of public affairs for an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), where he also served temporarily as the first public affairs officer for the Transportation Security Administration. He later assumed an agency chief of staff position.

In April 2007, he was appointed Director of Communications for the U.S. Special Counsel, an independent Executive Branch investigative and prosecutorial agency with jurisdiction over the Hatch Act, whistleblower laws, prohibited personnel practices, and the law that protects jobs for military reservists and members of the National Guard while they are serving on active duty. In July 2008, he was assigned additional duties as chief of staff. He left the Office of Special Counsel in August 2008.

[source - http://www.strategiconnex.com/Jim_Mitchell_bio.html]

Member-at-Large, Fairfax County School Board

Ilryong Moon is a member-at-large of the school board for Fairfax County Public Schools. He was vice chairman of the board in 2005 and served as chairman in 2006.

In addition to ten years of involvement with the school board, Mr. Moon has been a member of the Governor’s Urban Policy Task Force, the Fairfax County Planning Commission, and the United States Commission on Civil Rights. In 2009, Mr. Moon ran for Braddock District Supervisor to replace Sharon Bulova, after her election to Chairman of the Board of Supervisors but was defeated by John Cook.

A Virginia resident of over thirty years, Mr. Moon lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and two sons. He is fluent in Korean and English.

Staff Writer, Washington Post

Ylan is a financial reporter at The Washington Post covering consumers and the economy. She has interviewed CEOs at the nation’s largest companies, leading politicians and senior government officials as well as unemployed workers, distraught fishermen and disaster victims. She frequently appears on MSNBC, CNBC and National Public Radio and has filed stories from Vietnam, Brazil, Las Vegas and the Gulf Coast.

Ylan is a graduate of the Asian American Journalists Association’s Executive Leadership Program and former vice president of the AAJA’s Washington D.C. chapter. She was also an adjunct journalism professor at the University of Maryland and taught SAT prep courses to promising Vietnamese students. Ylan graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans with a major in communications and a double minor in biology and philosophy.

Agent, State Farm Insurance

Running one of the most successful new State Farm agencies in the Mid-Atlantic Region, Anh Nguyen owns and operates her office in the heart of Old Town Alexandria. She opened her own location in August of 2009 after working with the company for a little over two years.

Aside from her business, she is involved in the community through philanthropy and volunteerism. She enjoys leveraging her own business as well as her business connections to help give back to the community as much as she can. She was recently elected as the External Vice President for the Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations (uNAVSA), a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that focuses on leadership development and connecting Vietnamese Student organizations from several different universities across the continent.

President and Founding Chair, Voice of Vietnamese Americans (VVA)

Genie Nguyen is the President and Founding Chair of Voice of Vietnamese Americans (VVA), a 501 c3 non-profit organization which promotes civic engagement of the Vietnamese Americans nationwide. In Virginia, Voice of Vietnamese Americans affiliates with the VA Civic Engagement Table and States Voices, and is part of the VA APA table and Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia (CAPAVA). Genie served as Vice Chair of the Vietnamese Community of Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia in 2009-2010. Genie was appointed by Governor Kaine to be in the Virginia State Complete Count Committee for Census 2010.

Nationally, Genie serves on the Board of the Asian Division Friends Society, the Library of Congress, and is a member of the Asian American Government Executives Networks. Genie also serves on the Board of the Asian Real Estate Association of America, DC Chapter, and has served two terms as Co-chair of the Vietnamese Realtor Forum of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.

Genie is a Registered Nurse, specialized in Intensive Care Nursing, and later has served as an Advice Nurse for Kaiser Permanente. She received her education from NVCC, George Mason University, and George Washington University. She has worked at the George Washington University Hospital, Fairfax INOVA, Alexandria, and Kaiser Permanente.

President, Asian American Success

Ms. Khanh-Mi Nguyen has been a student member of Asian American Success for three years and is now the President of the organization. In 2010 she graduated from McLean High School and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, and a Bachelor of Art in English at George Mason University. Her responsibilities include a variety of tasks that range from overseeing programs to seeking sponsorship. By working full-time with AAS students and mentors, Ms. Nguyen strives to create a sustainable future for AASuccess. She also serves as the program coordinator for the Arc360 program where she oversees the creative process of each Arc360 product. Aside from work and school, Ms. Nguyen has an interest in fashion, playing video games, and art.

Executive President, National Congress of Vietnamese Americans

Nguyen Ngoc Bic is a former Director of the Vietnamese Service at Radio Free Asia (RFA). Born in Hanoi, Vietnam, and educated in Saigon, the United States, Japan and Europe, Mr. Bich is fluent in seven languages. He came to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship as an undergraduate student and received his B.A. from Princeton University (Political Science, 1958). He did graduate work in Asian studies at Columbia University (1959-65), Japanese literature at Kyoto University (1962-63), and bilingual education and theoretical linguistics at Georgetown University (1980-85).

As an educator, Nguyen Ngoc Bich has taught at university level both in Vietnam (Mekong University) and in the United States (Trinity College, George Mason University and Georgetown University). From 1991 to 1993 he was Deputy, then Acting Director, of the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs (OBEMLA), at the U.S. Department of Education, under Secretary Lamar Alexander.

Mr. Bich is the author of numerous publications on Vietnam, including An Annotated Atlas of the Republic of Vietnam (1972), The Poetry of Vietnam (Asia Society of New York, 1969), and A Thousand Years of Vietnamese Poetry (Knopf, 1975). He also edited War and Exile: A Vietnamese Anthology (Vietnamese PEN, 1989), translated Truong Anh Thuy’s Truong Ca Loi Me Ru / A Mother’s Lullaby (1989) and published two collections of poetry translations of Nguyen Chi Thien, Hoa Dia Nguc / The Flowers of Hell and Hat Mau Tho / Blood Seeds Become Poetry (both published in 1996).

He is at the present time Executive President of NCVA (National Congress of Vietnamese Americans).

Broker/Owner, Westgate Realty Group

Vinh Nguyen left Vietnam in 1975 at the end of the war as a refugee and settled in the metro Washington, DC area. Mr. Nguyen has a Masters degree in Economics from Catholic University of America. He also holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration and Economics from Virginia Commonwealth University. Mr. Nguyen entered the real estate industry as a full time agent in 1987. He formed Westgate Realty Group, Inc. during the summer of 1997 and became its Principal Broker.

Mr. Nguyen is the Immediate-Past Chairman of the Board of Directors at Northern Virginia Association of Realtors. He served on the 2008 Strategic Planning Work Group, Vice-Chairman for Information Management Committee and was a member of the 2008 Leadership Academy at Virginia Association of Realtors. At the national level, he is a member of the Board of Directors at National Association of Realtors. He also serves on its Risk Management Committee and is a Vice-Chair for the Mega-Board Sub-Forum.

Mr. Nguyen was the Founder President of the DC Metro Chapter of Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) and previously a member of the national AREAA Board of Directors. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. (MRIS), the nation’s largest real estate multiple listing services. Mr. Vinh Nguyen championed the initiative of forming the Vietnamese American National Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves as the Vice-Chairman of VietAmCham.

Global Brand Innovation Manager, Nike

Victor Nguyen-Long is a Global Brand Innovation Manager at Nike. What that title really means, he’s still trying to figure out himself, but swears it’s a real job title. Before moving up to Portland, Oregon where it’s 53 and rainy all the time, he lived in LA where he worked at acclaimed creative agency, 72andSunny, as a Strategist on brands such as PacSun, K-Swiss, BlackBerry, and Pirelli. Prior to that, the bulk of his career was spent at Red Bull helping college kids pull all-nighters, cram for finals, and party their faces off. Originally from Arlington, VA, he studied Electrical Engineering at Georgia Tech, but ironically found his way into marketing. Ever since he has made it a personal mission to prove that as long as you do what you love, you’ll be successful and that not all Asians have to be doctors and lawyers.

Director, Foundation Center-Washington Office

Patricia Pasqual was appointed director of the Foundation Center’s regional office in Washington, DC in April 2008. This is a return engagement for Pasqual, who served as the DC director from 1994 to 1999 and led the Center’s Cleveland office for the nine years prior to that. She also has experience as public library administrator both in Cleveland and with the District of Columbia Public Library, where she managed special system-wide initiatives and outreach services. As director, she oversees the office’s information services, training programs, special events and plans outreach to local, national, and international nonprofit organizations and to grantmakers, as well as to Congress and the Center’s Cooperating Collections in the mid-Atlantic region. She has a master’s degree in library science from the University of Michigan and a graduate certificate in public administration from George Washington University. She has been active in numerous philanthropic and community based organizations and has reviewed grants for National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and other grantmaking institutions.

General Counsel, Richmond City Sheriff’s Office

In 1975, Tony H. Pham and his family immigrated to the United States after the fall of Saigon. His family relocated to the Richmond, Virginia where he currently practices law. Tony graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1995 and from the University Of Richmond School Of Law in 1999. His initial job was as a judicial clerk in the Circuit Court of Henrico before becoming a prosecutor in the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. While there, Tony progressed to prosecuting complex homicide cases and narcotics and firearm cases. In 2006, he was asked to create and train the City’s first ever gang unit. In 2008, after 8 successful years as a prosecutor, Tony transitioned his litigation skills to the Richmond City Attorneys Office where he handled all civil rights litigation on behalf of the City and police officers.

In 2009, Tony was recognized as one of Richmond’s “Top 40 Under 40” individuals who are up and coming leaders in the area. Thereafter, in 2010, he was selected as one of Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly’s “Leaders in the Law” for his leadership in criminal law and the Asian American community. Following this award, Tony was selected by the Virginia Supreme Court to serve on the distinguished faculty of the Justice Carrico Professionalism Course teaching new attorneys professionalism in the Virginia State Bar. Tony was again recognized for his leadership in the Asian American community when Governor Kaine appointed him to serve on the Virginia Asian Advisory Board. Tony is happily married and a proud father of 2 wonderful children. He currently serves as the General Counsel for the Richmond City Sheriff’s Office; being the only one of his kind serving in this capacity.

Membership Manager, US-ASEAN Business Council

Mads Stockwell joined the US-ASEAN Business Council in 2011 coming from the US-Asia Institute where he focused on promoting dialogue between the U.S. government and the governments of East Asia through the development of its programs in D.C. and Asia. Prior to that role, he was heavily involved in the coordination and development of AIESEC, a world-wide leadership development program. During his time with the organization, he facilitated a collaborative relationship between university students in China, Hong Kong, Pakistan, the United States and the United Kingdom; including the facilitation of leadership development conferences and cross-country exchanges to foster the relationships of future world leaders.

Mr. Stockwell holds a Master of Arts from the University of Edinburgh in International Business, having also spent time studying at Hong Kong University. Born in Denmark and raised in both Denmark and the U.S., he is fluent in Danish and learning Mandarin.