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Fifteen Members Named to the Advisory Commission on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders

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The Briefing Room

Office of the Press Secretary
(St. Paul, Minnesota)

For Immediate Release May 4, 2000

The President today announced his intent to appoint fifteen members and to designate a chair to serve on the Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

The Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders was established by Executive Order 13125 to advise the President on the development, monitoring, and coordination of Federal efforts to improve the quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The Commission will study ways to increase public sector, private sector, and community involvement in improving the health and well being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and to increase their participation in Federal programs where they may be under served. The Commission will study ways to foster research and data collection on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including information on public health.

The Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, of Edgewater, Maryland, who will chair the Commission, is a former Member of the United States House of Representatives and has a long and distinguished record of public service. Currently, he serves as Vice President of Special Business Initiatives at Lockheed Martin. First elected to Congress in 1974 to represent Silicon Valley, Mr. Mineta became the first Asian American to chair the important U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Public Works and Transportation. While serving in Congress, he founded and chaired the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and was the driving force behind the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 which provided an official apology and redress to over 100,000 Japanese Americans interned in camps during World War II. Prior to his election to Congress, Mr. Mineta spent seven years in local government serving on the City Council and as Mayor of San Jose, California.

Ms. Haunani Apoliona, of Honolulu, Hawaii, is currently serving her fourth year as a Trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs of the State of Hawaii; a semi-autonomous agency dedicated to improving the quality of life for Native Hawaiians. In addition, she also serves as Chair of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders Subcommittee of the U.S. Department of Commerce Census Advisory Committee on Asian and Pacific Islander Populations. Ms. Apoliona has held positions in numerous community-based organizations including President and Chief Operating Officer of ALU LIKE, a non-profit service organization whose mission is to assist Native Hawaiians in their efforts to achieve social and economic self-sufficiency. Ms. Apoliona received a B.A. degree from the University of Hawaii, and a M.S.W. degree from the University of Hawaii.

Ms. Gloria Caoile, of Springfield, Virginia, is Special Assistant to the President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a 1.3 million-member labor union. In this capacity, Ms. Caoile is considered the highest-ranking Asian Pacific American in the American labor movement. She is currently the First Vice President of the National Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and formerly served as President of the Metropolitan Washington chapter. Ms. Caoile is a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute and a board member of the Filipino American Civil Rights Advocates. She is the National Vice Chair of the National Federation of the Filipino American Associations. In addition, she has served in leadership capacities of the APA Heritage Council and the Association of Philippine American Women.

Ms. Martha Choe, of Seattle, Washington, is the Director of the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development of the State of Washington. Prior to her appointment, she served as a member of the Seattle City Council, having been elected in 1991 and, again, in 1995. Previously, Ms. Choe was Vice President of the Bank of California in commercial lending, credit administration, and private banking. She serves as a trustee of Western Washington University and has been recognized for her accomplishments by Newsweek magazine, the Seattle Chinese Post, the Japanese American Citizens League, the Korean American Professional Society, and the Korean American Alliance. Ms. Choe received a B.A. degree from the University of Washington and a M.B.A. degree from Seattle University.

Ms. Susan Soon-Keum Cox, of Eugene, Oregon, is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of international adoption and child welfare. Currently, Ms. Cox is the Vice President of Public Policy and External Affairs for Holt International Child Services. She has advised the First Lady on public policy regarding adoption and foster care and has participated in White House briefings on these issues. Ms. Cox serves on the North American Council on Adoptable Children and was designated by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare as the U.S. Spokesperson for Korean adoption during the 1988 Olympic Games.

Mr. Vinod Dham, of Fremont, California, is the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Silicon Spice, Inc., a communications technology development firm in Silicon Valley. Previously, he was the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of NexGen, Inc. where he executed the launch of the world’s fastest PC microprocessor. Mr. Dham earned a reputation as a “technology trailblazer” during his time at Intel Corporation where he headed the team responsible for the creation of the Pentium “chip” processor. He has also developed a non-profit “virtual community” for Bay area seniors and was named to A Magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential Asian Americans for the Past Decade.” Mr. Dham received a B.S.E.E. from the University of Delhi, and a M.S.E.E. from the University of Cincinnati.

Dr. Wilfred P. Leon Guerrero, of Asan, Guam, is the President and owner of W. P. Leon Guerrero & Associates, a consulting firm based in Guam. Dr. Guerrero is also a prominent advocate of education, having served as President of the University of Guam, in addition to being the Founding Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Dean of the Land Grant Program, and Associate Dean of the College of Education. With his extensive knowledge as a working professional in the Asia/Pacific Region, he has authored numerous articles emphasizing agriculture and education issues. Dr. Guerrero is currently the Chairman of the University of Guam Endowment Foundation Board. He is also an active member in Guam’s community, having served among others, as the President of the Hagatna Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and President of the Young Men’s League of Guam, a community assistance organization. Dr. Guerrero received a B.A. degree from the University of Guam, a M.A. degree from the University of Northern Colorado, and an ED.D. degree from the University of Northern Colorado.

Ms. Tessie Guillermo, of San Francisco, California, serves as the Executive Director of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, a national health policy and advocacy organization based in San Francisco. Ms. Guillermo has served as a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Minority Women’s Panel of Experts, and on the boards of the Community Technology Foundation of California, the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, and the Intercultural Cancer Council. Ms. Guillermo is a published author on health policy issues and was recognized by the American Journal of Health Promotion for her distinguished work on behalf of the health needs of underserved ethnic communities. Ms. Guillermo attended the University of California, Berkeley and California State University, Hayward, and graduated from the Gallup Leadership Institute.

Mr. Dennis Hayashi, of Sacramento, California, currently serves as the Director of the State of California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the first Asian American appointed to this post. Previously, he led the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and held the position of Counsel to the Deputy Secretary. During his tenure in Washington, D.C., Mr. Hayashi served on President Clinton’s working group on affirmative action and the White House interagency group on immigration policy. He has been an advocate for civil rights and equality for AAPIs as an attorney with the Asian Law Caucus, Inc., as the National Director for the Japanese American Citizens League, and serves on the boards of the San Francisco Legal Assistance Foundation, and the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans. Mr. Hayashi received a B.A. degree in philosophy from Occidental College, and a J.D. degree from Hastings College.

Dr. David D. Ho, of Chappaqua, New York, is a distinguished AIDS researcher who serves as Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center. He has served on numerous councils and boards, advising the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute and the Office of AIDS Research at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Ho has taught at Harvard Medical School, UCLA School of Medicine and the NYU School of Medicine. He is currently a professor at The Rockefeller University. Dr. Ho was named TIME magazine’s 1996 Man of the Year for his groundbreaking work in HIV research. Dr. Ho
Received a B.S. degree from California Institute of Technology and a M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School.

Ms. Ngoan Le, of Chicago, Illinois, currently serves as the Deputy Commissioner of Human Services for the City of Chicago. Formerly, she served in the Illinois Department of Human Services as Assistant to the Secretary for Special Projects. She has served as a Special Assistant for Asian American Affairs to Governor James R. Thompson and as Executive Director of the Vietnamese Association of Illinois, a non-profit agency providing services in business and community development, employment services, and women’s services. Ms. Le serves on numerous boards such as the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium and the Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. and has been recognized by the National Association for the Education and Advancement of Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese Americans. Ms. Le attended Saigon University and received a B.A. degree from Illinois State University.

Mr. Jonathon R. Leong, of Piedmont, California, is a businessman and President of JLA Companies. Mr. Leong is the founder of the Asian Business Association and a past board member of the Council of Asian American Business Associations. He also served as an elected delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business in 1986 as well as in 1995. In addition, Mr. Leong has been an active leader in the AAPI community, where he has served on various boards and committees including the National Marrow Donor Program, The Institute for the New California, Chinese Performing Arts Foundation, and Oakland Chinatown/Center District Community Development Council. Mr. Leong is currently the President of the Asian American Donor Program. He recently initiated an AAPI-based umbilical cord blood bank. Mr. Leong received a B.A. degree from San Francisco State University.

Mr. Mukesh “ Mike” Patel, of Atlanta, Georgia, is a leader in the hospitality industry. He is a founding member of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) and served as its Chairman from 1997-1999. In 1981, he co-founded the Diplomat Hotel Company and currently serves as President. AAHOA represents the almost 15,000 hotel properties owned by Asian Americans, comprising about forty percent of the hotels in the United States. Mr. Patel is also a Trustee of Morris Brown College in Atlanta, and a board member of the Georgia State University’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality. Mr. Patel is a graduate of the London School of Business.

Ms. Jacinta Folasa Titialii, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been involved in the health care industry for fifteen years and is currently Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Tenet Healthcare Corporation, the second largest investor-owned health care management company in the United States. She has been very active in the Samoan and Pacific Island communities in the continental U.S., Hawaii, and in American Samoa. Ms. Titialii has also served as Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission and Director of Employment Opportunity Centers, Inc., a non-profit organization aiding AAPIs with employment opportunities. Ms. Titialii received a B.A. degree from the University of Washington and a J.D. degree from the University of Washington School of Law.

Mr. Lee Pao Xiong, of St. Paul, Minnesota, is the Director of Government and Community Relations for Concordia University in St. Paul. He presently serves as a member of the Metropolitan Council, a regional planning agency for the Seven Counties Metropolitan Area. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Minnesota Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans, where he advised the Governor, the State Legislature and other government agencies on AAPI issues. He has also been the Executive Director of the Hmong American

Partnership and the Hmong Youth Association of Minnesota. Mr. Xiong was the Legislative Clerk for State Senator Joe Bertram, Jr. and also worked for United States Senator Carl Levin (D-MI). Mr. Xiong received a B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota, and a M.A. degree from Hamline University.

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