Madeleine Z. Bordallo
Mike Honda (Pres.)
Daniel K. Inouye
APA Caucus and AAA-Fund Honorary Board President
Mike Honda, the President of the AAA-Fund Honorary Board of Directors, was elected to represent California’s 15th Congressional District in 2000. He also serves as Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and House Democratic Senior Whip. He serves on the Appropriations Committee, with postings on that body’s Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, Commerce, Justice, and Science, and Legislative Branch Subcommittees.
Mike was born in California, but spent his early childhood with his family in an internment camp in Colorado during World War II. His family returned to California in 1953, becoming strawberry sharecroppers in San Jose. In 1965, Mike interrupted his college studies to answer President John F. Kennedy’s call for volunteer service. He served in the Peace Corps for two years in El Salvador, returning with a passion for teaching and fluent in Spanish.
Mike earned Bachelor’s degrees in Biological Sciences and Spanish, and a Master’s degree in Education from San Jose State University. He has worked as a science teacher, principal at two public schools, education researcher at Stanford University, and member of the California State Assembly (1996 to 2000).
Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, United States Senator, Hawai’i
A Democrat of Native Hawai’ian and Chinese ancestry, Senator Akaka has served in the United States Senate since 1990. Appointed to the Senate in April 1990 and sworn into office on May 16, 1990, Senator Akaka handily won a spirited special election in November 1990 to complete the unexpired four-year term of the late Senator Spark M. Matsunaga.
He was re-elected in both 1994 and 2000 by wide margins. In the Senate, he serves on the Armed Services, Energy and Natural Resources, Governmental Affairs (GAC), Veterans’ Affairs, and Indian Affairs committees. He is a leader in renewable energy research and development; park and wildlife issues; tropical agriculture and coral reef conservation; ocean sciences and technology; aquaculture research; and marine protection and environmental preservation.
As Chair of the GAC International Security, Proliferation, and Federal Services Subcommittee, he has taken a leading role in a number of critical national security areas and is a champion for the interests of Federal employees and retirees. In the Pacific region, he has closely monitored the safety and security of shipments of radioactive mixed plutonium-uranium, oxide (MOX) fuel from Europe to Japan for nuclear power purposes. He is also known as an advocate for veterans, working to improve services and increase employment and housing opportunities for the men and women who have served in our nation’s Armed Services, and as a champion of the rights of indigenous peoples.
Majority Leader Kumar Barve, Maryland House of Delegates
First elected in 1990, and re-elected for the fourth time in 2006, Delegate Kumar P. Barve is the Majority Leader in Maryland’s state legislature and is the longest-serving elected official of Indian origin. He represents a district with a population of 110,000 in Montgomery County, and is known for his sharp wit, self-effacing sense of humor, and deep commitment to his community.
Aside from serving as Majority Leader of the Maryland House, Delegate Barve chairs the Science and Technology Sub-Committee of the House Committee on Economic Matters. Among his legislative accomplishments are introduction of the Patient Access Act (the first bill in the nation to regulate HMOs) and sponsorship of the Maryland law that banned insurance companies from using pre-existing conditions to deny coverage.
Del. Barve’s grandfather, Shankar L. Gokhale, immigrated to the United States from India in 1911. Barve’s mother, Neera, was born in Schenectady, New York. His father, Prabhakar Barve, came to the U.S. in 1957 after studying architecture in England.
Rep. Xavier Becerra, Member of Congress, CA District 31
First elected to the House of Representatives in 1992, Representative Xavier Becerra is Assistant to the Speaker of the House and is the only member from Southern California currently serving on the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means. The first Latino to serve on the Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Becerra has used his position to increase opportunities for working families, to improve the Social Security program for women and minorities, to combat poverty among the working poor, and to strengthen Medicare and ensure its long-term viability. Rep. Becerra currently serves on the Health, Oversight, and Social Security subcommittees. He is also a member of the House Committee on Budget, which oversees the federal budget process.
Rep. Becerra is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) where he served as Chair during the 105th Congress (1997-98). The Congressman is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. At the international level, he serves as Vice Chair of the U.S.-Korea Interparliamentary Exchange, and is Co-Chair of the Congressional Friends of Spain Caucus.
Rep. Becerra is the son of working-class immigrants and was the first in his family to graduate from college. In 1980, Rep. Becerra earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Stanford University. He was awarded his Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School in 1984.
Rep. Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Member of Congress, Guam
A lifetime public servant, in 2003 Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo became the first woman to represent Guam in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ms. Bordallo brings to Congress over forty years of public service experience in the executive and legislative branches of the Government of Guam and numerous non-governmental organizations. The 110th Congress is Ms. Bordallo’s third term.
Congresswoman Bordallo is a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, and serves as the Chairwoman of Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans. She also has a seat on the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, which has jurisdiction over issues affecting the insular areas. Congresswoman Bordallo is a member of the House Committee on Armed Services, and is a member of the Subcommittee on Readiness and the Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces. In addition to her committee responsibilities, Congresswoman Bordallo serves as Secretary of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), and also serves as the Chair of the Healthcare Task Force for CAPAC.
Madeleine Bordallo, who is a resident of Tamuning, Guam, was born in Minnesota. She graduated from George Washington High School in Mangilao, Guam, in 1951, and attended St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana, and St. Catherine’s College in St. Paul, Minnesota, graduating in 1953 with a degree in music.
Controller John Chiang, California State Controller
John Chiang, the highest ranking Asian Pacific American in California state government, serves as State Controller. Prior to that he served from 1997 to 2007 as a member of the California State Board of Equalization, where he represented the 4th Equalization District, which is comprised of 8.5 million residents in Los Angeles County. As Chairman of the State Board of Equalization and a member of the Franchise Tax Board, he already was the highest-ranking Asian Pacific American elected state official in California.
With a degree in Finance from the University of South Florida and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, John arrived in Los Angeles in 1987 and began work as a tax law specialist for the IRS. He also has served as an attorney and staff member to many high-ranking California officials, including Senator Barbara Boxer.
Among the current and former non-profit groups he has served are the Children’s Law Center, the Ethnic Coalition (an organization dedicated to building harmonious race relations), Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, and the Organization of Chinese Americans.
Rep. Judy Chu, Member of Congress, CA District 32
Dr. Judy Chu was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2009. She served on the House Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittees on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education and Healthy Families and Communities, and currently serves on the House Judiciary Committee’s Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security and the Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet subcommittees; and the House Small Business Committee’s Contracting and Workforce Subcommittee and Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access and Agriculture, Energy and Trade Subcommittees. In 2011, she was elected as the Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC).
As a member of the Board of Equalization since January 2007, and then its Chair, Dr. Chu served as one of the top 12 constitutional offices of the State of California. She represented the 8.5 million people of District 4, which encompasses most of Los Angeles County. Prior to this, Dr. Chu was an Assembly Member of the 49th Assembly District in the west San Gabriel Valley from 2001 to 2006. She chaired the State Assembly Appropriations Committee, which oversees all legislation that had a fiscal impact on the state. She served as a member of Speaker Nunez’ executive leadership team.
Prior to the State Assembly, Dr. Chu served on the Monterey Park City Council for thirteen years from 1988 to 2001, and served as Mayor three times. Dr. Chu has been dedicated to education for decades, and was a community college professor in psychology for 20 years. She started in public service as a board member of the Garvey School District from 1985 to 1988. She has a Ph.D. in psychology and a B.A. in math.
Rep. Hansen Clarke, Member of Congress, MI District 13
Hansen Clarke was elected to represent Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, including parts of Detroit, in November 2010. Congressman Clarke serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and as the Vice-President of the Democratic Freshman Class. He also is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Prior to his election to Congress, Rep. Clarke was elected three times to the Michigan House of Representatives and twice to the Michigan Senate.
Born and raised in the 13th CD, Clarke spent most of his life on the lower eastside of Detroit. As the son of an African-American mother and Indian father, he was exposed to diverse experiences and ways of thinking. His mother, Thelma Clarke, was a school crossing guard, and his father, Mozaffar Ali Hashim, was an UAW member who worked in the Ford foundry. Hansen’s mother raised him as a single parent after his father died when Hansen was only eight years old.
Recognizing that her son had a gift for the arts, Thelma Clarke secured private lessons for him at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Based on his artistic talent, Mr. Clarke received a scholarship from Cornell University, where he graduated with a degree in fine arts. He later earned his law degree from Georgetown Law School. After passing the Michigan Bar, Mr. Clarke returned to Detroit and dedicated his career to public service. He has worked on the staff of Wayne County Executive Edward H. McNamara and U.S. Representative John Conyers.
Senator Swati Dandekar, Iowa Senate District 18
Swati Dandekar was elected to the Iowa Senate in 2008, after serving in the Iowa House of Representatives since 2002. She serves the people of Senate District 18, which includes Marion, a small portion of Cedar Rapids and much of northern and western Linn County. She is the chair of the Commerce Committee and vice-chair of the Economic Development Budget Subcommittee. She also serves on the Economic Growth, Transportation, Ways & Means, and International committees.
In 2002, Sen. Dandekar made history when she became the first Asian American to be elected to a state position in Iowa. A dedicated public servant, Swati has always looked out for the residents of her district. She has served on the Appropriations, Economic Growth, and International Relations committees, and convinced her peers to create Iowa’s first Asian American commission, funded through an unique public-private partnership.
Swati has been an active member of her community for over thirty years. She has served on the board of the Greater Cedar Rapids Foundation and the Junior League of Cedar Rapids, as well as the local and state boards of education. She has won many awards for her work, including the local Linn-Mar Foundation Wall of Fame, Asian Alliance of Iowa “Person of the Year,” and India Abroad “Person of the Year” Award.
Assemblymember Mike Eng, California State Assembly District 49
Assemblymember Mike Eng represents the 49th Assembly District, which is located within eastern Los Angeles County and includes the cities of Alhambra, El Monte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, and South El Monte. He chairs the Assembly Committee on Banking & Finance, which oversees California’s financial institutions, real property finance, and corporate securities law. He also has a wide range of other important assignments, including membership on the Assembly Committees on Business and Professions, Education, Health, and Transportation.
Prior to serving in the State Assembly, Assemblymember Eng was appointed to the California Department of Consumer Affairs Acupuncture Board for two terms where he served as Board Vice Chair and Chair of the Enforcement Committee. He also served as Mayor and City Councilmember of Monterey Park, where he helped start the region’s first city Environmental Commission to deal with quality of life issues, initiated a summer science program for low-income students, enhanced after school programs, organized the city’s Clean Up the City Day, facilitated the city’s first workshop for home care workers and founded numerous scholarship opportunities for high school students. He earned his law degree from the University of California Los Angeles after completing Bachelors and Masters degrees at the University of Hawaii.
Rep. Eni Faleomavaega, Member of Congress, American Samoa
Rep. Faleomavaega has been representing the territory of American Samoa in the United States Congress since 1989. Re-elected in November, 2010 to a twelfth term by the people of American Samoa, Faleomavaega is the longest serving and only Samoan in the U.S. Congress. He is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on Natural Resources. He is the first Asian Pacific American ever to Chair the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and now serves as Ranking Member.
Born in Vailoatai Village, American Samoa, Rep. Faleomavaega received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University, his law degree from the University of Houston Law School, and his Master of Law degree from the University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. He served in the United States Army in Vietnam, earning the rank of Captain, and went on to work on Capitol Hill and then as Deputy Attorney General and Lt. Governor of American Samoa.
Faleomavaega is a member of the Congressional Asia Pacific American Caucus. He is Vice Chair of the Army Reserve Component of the National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus. He is a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, the Congressional Oceans Caucus, and the Congressional Native American Caucus.
Assemblymember Warren Furutani, California State Assembly District 55
Warren T. Furutani represents the 55th Assembly district of California. He is a Democrat and a fourth-generation Japanese American. Furutani was elected in a special election in 2008. He replaced Laura Richardson who won a special election to replace Juanita Millender-McDonald as the member of the US House of Representatives from California’s 37th district.
Prior to being elected to the Assembly, he served on the Los Angeles Unified School District and then the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees. In 1987, he became the first Asian Pacific American ever elected to the LAUSD and was the Board’s President in 1991. He graduated from Gardena High School in 1965. He attended several community colleges, and earned a B.A. degree from Antioch University.
Aside from his many charitable and public service activities on the local level, Mr. Furutani is a respected leader on the state level as well. He worked as a senior consultant to the Speaker of the California Assembly, the Honorable Fabian Nuñez, and served in that capacity for the last three Speakers as well.
Rep. Jay Goyal, Ohio House of Representatives District 73
Jay Goyal, first elected in November 2006, proudly serves his hometown of Mansfield and other areas of Richland County in the Ohio House of Representatives. In his third term, Rep. Goyal has been appointed as the ranking member of the Financial Institutions, Housing and Urban Development Committee and as a member of the Finance and Appropriations and Economic Development Committees, and the Health and Human Services subcommittee of Finance and Appropriations. He is also a member of the Legislative Service Commission and the Power Siting Board and served as the Majority Whip in the 128th General Assembly. He co-chairs the College Early Access Caucus and was one of three members of the Ohio House of Representatives to serve on the 2009 Joint House-Senate Budget Conference Committee.
TIME Magazine has named Rep. Goyal as one of the “Top 40 Under 40 Rising Stars of American Politics” and the New Leadership Council has named Rep. Goyal as one of the “Top 40 Under 40 Community Leaders in the United States.”
Prior to his election in 2006, he served as Vice President of Goyal Industries, a manufacturing firm that specializes in products for the mass transit and passenger rail car industry nationwide. Goyal sits on the Board of Directors for the Rehabilitation Center of North Central Ohio, Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio, and the University and College Access Network. He serves on the United Way’s Allocations and Community Relations Committees, the Richland County Citizens’ Vision Board, and Progress Industries Business Advisory Board. He is also active with the Mansfield Indian Association, the Ohio Marwari Association and the Mansfield-Richland Chamber of Commerce.
Rep. Al Green, Member of Congress, Texas District 9
Rep. Al Green was first elected in 2004 to serve the people of Texas’ 9th Congressional District. As a veteran civil rights advocate, he has dedicated his life to fighting for those in society whose voices, too often, are not heard. His chief legislative priority for the 110th Congress is creating a Federal Living Wage. As the Democratic Whip for Region 6 and one of the newest members of the Committee on Homeland Security, Green is dedicated to increasing U.S. port and border security.
Born in New Orleans, Rep. Green went on to attend Tuskegee Institute of Technology. In 1974, he earned his law degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, where he later served as an instructor. After graduating from law school, Green opened his own law practice and also served as a Justice of the Peace for 26 years.
For nearly ten years, Green served as president of the Houston Branch of the NAACP. Under his leadership, the organization grew to unprecedented heights, increasing membership from 500 to 3,500 and the staff from one to twenty.
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Member of Congress, Hawai’i District 1
Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa proudly represents Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District. She brings to Washington a passionate, hardworking and fearless approach to advocacy, honed by more than three decades spent fighting for the rights of her clients in the halls of justice and her constituents on the floor of the Hawaii State Legislature. Congresswoman Hanabusa, a yonsei, fourth generation American of Japanese ancestry, whose grandparents were interned during World War II, has dedicated her life to service and is committed to providing for the people of Hawaii while preserving the unique values and traditions that define the Aloha spirit.
In November 1998, Congresswoman Hanabusa was elected to serve the people of the Twenty-First District as their State Senator. She was victorious in her first ever run for public office and immediately people recognized her talents and desire to improve the lives of Hawaii’s working families. By November 2006, she had beens elected President of the Senate, the first woman to lead either house in the Hawai’i legislature.
Rep. Hanabusa has earned undergraduate, masters, and law degrees from the University of Hawai’i. Along with her legislative work, Congresswoman Hanabusa is also an attorney with more than three decades of experience. She has championed the causes of labor, preserving and protecting the environment and stood up for communities she saw being bullied by private interests.
Rep. Mazie Hirono, Member of Congress, Hawai’i District 2
Prior to her election to Congress from Hawaii in 2006, Mazie Keiko Hirono served two 4-years terms as Hawaii’s Lt. Governor, becoming America’s first immigrant woman of Asian ancestry elected to statewide office. In Congress, she serves on the Committee on Education and Labor and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Educated in public schools in Hawaii, she graduated with honors from Kaimuki High School and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.
She served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Antitrust Division and later practiced law in the private sector with the firm of Shim, Tam, Kirimitsu, Kitamura and Chang. Prior to her election as Lt. Governor, Hirono served for 14 years in the Hawaii State Legislature and earned a reputation as a dedicated consumer advocate and outspoken member and a founder of the House Women’s Caucus. Over 120 of her bills became law, making her one of the most effective members of the Legislature during her 7 terms.
Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate and Senator from Hawai’i
The President pro tempore (most senior member) of the U.S. Senate, Senator Daniel K. Inouye is known for his distinguished record as a legislative leader, and as a World War II combat veteran with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, who earned the nation’s highest award for military valor, the Medal of Honor. Although he was thrust into the limelight in the 1970’s as a member of the Watergate Committee and in 1987 as Chairman of the Iran-Contra Committee, he also has made his mark as a respected legislator able to work in a bipartisan fashion to enact meaningful legislation.
As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Inouye has been able to focus on defense matters that strengthen national security, and enhance the quality of life for military personnel and their families. This reflects his hope for a more secure world, and his desire to provide the best possible assistance to the men and women who put their lives at risk to protect the U.S. Senator Inouye got his start in politics in 1954 when he was elected to the Territorial House of Representatives; soon after his election, his Democratic colleagues, well aware of Inouye’s leadership abilities, selected him as their Majority Leader. In 1958, he was elected to the Territorial Senate. When Hawaii became a state in 1959, he was elected the first Congressman from the new state, and was re-elected to a full term in 1960. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962 and is now serving his ninth consecutive term.
Delegate Susan Lee, Maryland House of Delegates District 16
Maryland State Delegate Susan Lee, who had been appointed to fill a vacancy, was elected to a full term representing District 16 on November 5, 2002 and re-elected in 2006 and 2010. Del. Lee, a longtime community activist, civil rights attorney, and product of the Montgomery County public schools, serves as Deputy Majority Whip, Member of the Judiciary Committee, Chair of the Juvenile Law subcommittee, and House Chair of the Identity Theft Task Force. She is Vice-Chair of the Montgomery County Delegation and is a member of the Maryland Green Caucus, Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Caucus, Women Legislators of Maryland, and National Conference of State Legislatures (communications, technology & interstate commerce committee). She is the first Asian American woman to serve in the Maryland General Assembly.
Prior to her service in the Assembly, Del. Lee served as a Member of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee, as well as founder and Chair of the Coalition of Asian Pacific American Democrats of Maryland, the state’s first and largest Asian Pacific American Democratic organization.
She has received awards from MADD and Progressive Maryland. Endorsers during her campaigns have included the Washington Post, Maryland State Teachers Association, Montgomery County Education Association, Harriet’s List, Maryland NARAL, Sierra Club, Action Committee on Transit, and Metropolitan Washington Council
Sen. Ted Lieu, California State Senate District 28
State Senator Ted Lieu has represented the 28th Senate District since February 18, 2011, after being elected to fill the seat of deceased Senator Jenny Oropeza. Lieu is also a former California State Assemblyman, who represented the 53rd Assembly District from September 2005 to November 2010 after being elected to fill the seat of deceased Assemblyman Mike Gordon.
Prior his election to the State Assembly, Lieu served on the Torrance City Council, as well as the City’s Environmental Quality & Energy Conservation Commission. As both councilmember and commissioner, he worked tirelessly on issues that he continues as an Assemblymember — education, public safety, the environment and transportation.
Dedicated to his country, Lieu currently holds the rank of Major in the United States Air Force Reserves. He served on active duty for four years as a member of the JAG Corps. He graduated from Stanford University in 1991 with a B.S. in computer science and a B.A. in political science. In 1994, he graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.
Ambassador Gary Locke, Ambassador to China
In August 2011, Gary Locke became the first Asian Pacific American selected as United States Ambassador to Chine. Before that, he served as President Obama’s Secretary of Commerce.
In 1982, he was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives. He was elected chief executive of King County in 1993 and took on all of the challenges facing Washington’s most complex urban area. In 1996, Locke was elected Washington’s 21st governor, making him the first Chinese-American governor in U.S. history. As governor from 1997 to 2005, he worked to make Washington public schools the best in the nation, promote jobs and economic development in rural and urban areas, and fight juvenile crime.
Born into an immigrant family on Jan. 21, 1950, Gary spent his first six years in Seattle’s Yesler Terrace, a public housing project for families of World War II veterans. Gary worked in his father’s grocery store, became an Eagle Scout, and graduated with honors from Seattle’s Franklin High School in 1968. Then, through a combination of part-time jobs, financial aid and scholarships, Gary attended Yale University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1972. After earning a law degree from Boston University in 1975, he worked for several years as a deputy prosecutor in King County.
Rep. Doris Matsui, Member of Congress, CA District 5
Congresswoman Matsui was elected to represent Sacramento, California in a special election held on March 8, 2005, in which she won over 68% of the vote. She currently serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and its subcommittees on Communications & Technology and Environment & the Economy.
Prior to her election to Congress, Rep. Matsui served on President Bill Clinton’s 1992 transition team and as Deputy Assistant to the President in the White House Office of Public Liaison. As an accomplished civic leader, she was appointed by the Speaker to serve on the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents. Prior to her service as a Mewmber of Congress, she served as President and Board Chair of KVIE, Sacramento’s public television station, and participated in numerous civic and philanthropic organizations, including the Crocker Art Museum, the Sacramento Children’s Home and the Junior League of Sacramento.
Congresswoman Matsui grew up in Dinuba, in California’s Central Valley. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where she met her husband, the late Congressman Bob Matsui. The two were married 38 years prior to his death on January 1st, 2005.
Fmr. Sec. of Transportation Norman Mineta
Norman Yoshio Mineta was born in San Jose, California on November 12, 1931. He attended public schools in San Jose, Heart Mountain, Wyoming (at an internment camp for Japanese Americans), and Evanston, Illinois. He graduated from San Jose High School, earned a B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley, worked in the family insurance business, and served in the United States Army.
He was appointed to a position on the San Jose Human Relations Commission, and went on to serve as city councilman, vice mayor, and then mayor of San Jose. He was elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-fourth Congress and to the ten succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1975-October 10, 1995). When he resigned on October 10, 1995, he was chairman of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation. He went on to serve as Secretary of Commerce in the Cabinet of President Bill Clinton (2000-2001) and then Secretary of Transportation in the Cabinet of President George W. Bush (2001-2006).
Norm has been one of the strongest supporters of Asian Pacific American community empowerment over the many decades. He co-sponsored the bill that established Asian Pacific American Heritage Week, helped to found many key community organizations, was a prime backer of Japanese American redress legislation, and has served as a board member or key supporter of many community organizations (including the AAA-Fund). He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the international public relations firm Hill & Knowlton.
Fmr. MN State Sen. Mee Moua
Mee Moua is vice president for strategic impact initiatives for 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. Prior to joining APIAHF, Mee served three terms in the Minnesota Senate, where she chaired the powerful Judiciary Committee, and was a member of the Tax, Transportation and Public Safety Budget Committees.
Born in war-torn Laos in 1969, she escaped to Thailand with her family at the age of five and lived in a refugee camp before resettling in Rhode Island. She attended Brown University, the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs and the University of Minnesota Law school, receiving MPA and law degrees. She settled in St. Paul with her family in 1988.
In addition to her successful record as a lawmaker, Mee is a highly respected strategic thinker, negotiator and deal closer. Her reputation has enabled her to build consensus and resolve complex problems in multiple areas beyond the lawmaking arena. She has leveraged human and financial resources from the private sector, Minnesota’s major research institutions, non-profits, and local, regional and national foundations to re-orient state actions on critical issues.
Rep. Bobby Scott, Member of Congress, VA District 3
Robert Cortez “Bobby” Scott is a Virginia Democrat currently representing the state’s 3rd Congressional district. The district takes in most of Richmond, along with parts of Norfolk, Hampton and Scott’s home in Newport News. He currently serves on the House Budget Committee, the Committee on Education and Labor, as well as the House Committee on the Judiciary, where he chairs the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
Rep. Scott was born in Washington, D.C., and graduated from Harvard University and Boston College Law School. He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1977 and the Virginia Senate in 1982. In 1992, he was elected to the Congress in Virginia’s 3rd District, which was created after the Department of Justice directed the Virginia legislature to draw a black-majority district after the 1990 census. He is the first African American Representative from Virginia since Reconstruction, and has been reelected five times with no substantive opposition. Also, having a maternal grandfather of Filipino ancestry gives Rep. Scott the distinction of being the first American with Filipino heritage to serve in the United States Congress.
Fmr. Rep. Robert Underwood, Fmr. Member of Congress, Guam
Robert Underwood currently serves as President of the University of Guam, after serving five terms in the House of Representatives. Serving as Guam’s all purpose representative in Washington, D.C., Robert Underwood not only worked on legislative matters for Guam, he utilized his considerable skills to tell the Guam story to the nation’s capital.
Acknowledged as Guam’s third most powerful and influential person by Latte magazine in February 2000, the Congressman was characterized as “an intelligent man with a gift for public speaking” who is a “tireless promoter of Guam’s right to self-determination.”
Following an impressive career as an educator, beginning as a high school teacher in 1972 and culminating with the academic vice presidency of Guam’s university, Representative Underwood was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992. Virtually unopposed, he easily won reelection in 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2000. In 2002, he entered private life and has worked as a consultant and speaker on issues related to Guam and Asian Pacific Americans.
Delegate Kris Valderrama, Maryland House of Delegates District 26
Elected in November 2006 and re-elected in 2010 to represent Maryland’s 26th District, Kris Valderrama serves on the Judiciary Committee and the Juvenile Law subcommittee. One of the few second generation Asian Pacific American politicians, she is the eldest daughter of former Maryland Delegate David Valderrama.
A proud product of the Prince George’s County public school system, where she graduated from Oxon Hill Senior High School, Delegate Valderrama earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Therapy from Salisbury State University, in Salisbury, Maryland. Following her career in the health care field, she worked for the 1.4 million member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO in their Public Affairs Department’s Strategic Communications Unit, working on such issues as child care, home care and health care organizing.
Kris can be seen weekly on Valderrama’s America on Comcast channel 80 in Maryland and Comcast channel 77 in Washington, DC, co-hosting, reporting and interviewing politicians and community leaders on issues of interest to Prince George’s County.
Rep. Hubert Vo, Texas House District 149
Hubert Vo is the first person of Vietnamese heritage to be elected to the Texas Legislature, where he serves on the Business and Industry and Border and International Affairs committees and was named Freshman of the Year by the non-partisan Legislative Study Group.
Rep. Vo, a successful businessman, has been a member of the Alief community for over 20 years. He is a council member of Alief Super Neighborhood, Alief YMCA Board, a member of the Houston Association of Realtors, Houston Association of Builders, Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce, Houston Apartment Association, Harris County Democrats, West Houston Democrats, Braeswood Democrats and Tejano Democrats.
Rep. Vo attended the University of Houston during the day and worked at Hughes Tool Company as a steel worker at night. In 1983, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He went on to open a computer business and establish several commercial real estate ventures. As a legislator, he has served on both the Border & International Affairs and Business & Industry Committees, and was honored for his relief efforts on behalf of displaced Hurricane Katrina victims.