CAPAL Staff

Staff currently includes the Managing Director and the Programs and Operations Associate who work closely with the Board of Directors in developing and coordinating CAPAL’s diverse programming.

Board of Directors

CAPAL is led by a dedicated and diverse working Board of Directors. Towards the end of each year we go through an official recruiting process and accept applications to join the Board of Directors.  We are happy to hear from you at any time. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Advisory Council

The Advisory Council honors founders and influential APA community leaders who believe strongly in supporting CAPAL in anyway possible and keeps the Board connected to the legacy these individuals have bestowed upon the future generations. As leaders in the public, private and non-profit sectors, they continue to open windows of opportunities whenever needed.

CAPAL Staff

Elizabeth Thompson, Managing Director
 Leadership TeamPrior to CAPAL, Elizabeth Thompson worked in a development and communications capacity for Asian Arts Initiative, a community-based multidisciplinary arts center in Philadelphia. She is currently serving on the Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) Metro D.C. Chapter’s Steering Committee and is a mentor for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, DC Chapter (YNPNdc) Mentoring Program. Elizabeth served as the grantmaking co-chair for The Spruce Foundation, which cultivates the next generation of philanthropists through community giving. She is the recipient of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) Diverse Communities Conference and Bridge Conference scholarships and received a scholarship for ProInspire’s Managing for Success Program. She is an active member of AFP, YNPNdc and AAPIP. Elizabeth received her BA in Art History from Western Washington University and her MA in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania. When not promoting young philanthropy and leadership, Elizabeth spends her time thrifting and playing with her handsome Manchester terrier. elizabeth.thompson [at] capal [dot] org

Andrew Lo, Programs and Operations Associate
 Leadership Team A Kansas City native, Andrew received his B.A. in Philosophy and Biology at Saint Louis University. Outside of the classroom he served as president of SLU’s Asian American Association growing AAPI communities and working to to promote social justice for all. He also help to establish Forte, an organization dedicated to providing Saint Louis schools with tutors, instruments, and other resources needed to facilitate an education in music. In 2015, Andrew served as a CAPAL intern first for the USDA Forest Service where he worked to create policies to combat climate change and later as a Programs Assistant for the Foreign Agriculture Service Cochran Program providing growing Eastern European and Eurasian economies with training opportunities within the U.S.   Andrew has a passion for food and music so when he is not consuming delicious food he can often be found singing, playing instruments, and generally causing a ruckus.

Evelynn Bui, Fall Project Coordinator
 Leadership TeamEvelynn is excited to join the CAPAL team as this year’s Fall Project Coordinator. Prior to CAPAL, Evelynn served on staff for the International Leadership Foundation as the 2016 Civic Fellowship Program Manager. She has project management, communications, and advocacy experience in the health sector working across federal agencies, private institutions, and non-profit organizations. Originally hailing from Texas, Evelynn holds a Master of Public Health degree from Baylor University (sic ’em!) and aspires to cultivate and ignite the desire for positive change in her surrounding community. In her spare time she enjoys urban gardening, live music, and adding excessive amounts of garlic to all home-cooked meals.

 

Board of Directors

 

Shiv Rawal, Chair
 Leadership Team Shiv Rawal currently serves as a policy analyst at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, where he researches underserved housing markets and affordable housing programs. Prior to this, Shiv advocated for policies that support fair and affordable housing as a research assistant for the Center for American Progress. His previous experience includes internships with the White House Domestic Policy Council and the City Manager’s Office in Austin, Texas. A proud Texan, Shiv graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in Plan II Honors and government.

Carrie Kagawa, Chair Emeritus
 Leadership TeamCarrie Kagawa is currently serving as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer on a six month assignment in Georgia, working to promote neutral and accessible democratic dialogue in the country.  Prior to this, Carrie served in President Obama’s Administration, where she started in 2009 at the Office of Detainee Policy working on issues of detention in Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan. While at Detainee Policy, Carrie volunteered for a six-month deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan where she was assigned to the Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, which oversaw detention operations and rule of law development. From 2011 to 2013, Carrie served as an Advance Officer to the Secretary of Defense, coordinating and leading logistical negotiations for 23 international and 10 domestic official visits.  Carrie most recently served as Senior Advisor and White House Liaison at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Past assignments include the White House and Office of Senator Barack Obama. Carrie holds a degree in Psychology and Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Mai Ichihara, Treasurer
 Leadership TeamMai Ichihara is currently a Program Assistant for the Government Affairs team at the Natural Resources Defense Council where she supports the legislative advocates in their implementation of governmental strategies and helps coordinate interactions with Congress, the administration, and policy experts to defend and expand U.S. environmental laws. Previously, she worked as an Associate Producer for the D.C. Bureau of TV Asahi, a Japanese broadcast network, where she covered news on foreign affairs and U.S. politics. Prior to that, she held various public service positions including at the State Department, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Congress. Mai holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University, and her most memorable school experience was studying abroad in Shanghai and Beijing in 2011. As a student, she was active in the AAPI community as a board member of the Japanese American Student Alliance and Vice President of an Asian interest sorority, and she hopes to continue promoting cultural diversity and service wherever she goes.

Becky Chao, Vice Chair of Internal Affairs
 Leadership Team Becky Chao is a paralegal specialist. Prior to this role, she worked with the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute (BALI), helping to secure funds and develop curricula for the non-profit organization’s leadership programs targeting young women and girls from minority backgrounds in the New York City tri-state area. Becky graduated in 2015 from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts. At Duke, she pursued majors in public policy studies and linguistics as well as a minor in economics. She explored the intersection of these fields in an honors thesis focusing on the development of the English language as a form of capital among students in China who study English abroad in the U.S., shedding insight on the ways in which China’s language and education policies interact with the U.S.’s immigration policies. As an undergraduate student, Becky obtained valuable experience in public service through internships with the Bureau of Industry and Security at the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State. In her free time, Becky enjoys reading contemporary novels, discovering new artists, watching comedies and period dramas, and baking delicious treats.

Alton Wang, Vice Chair of External Affairs
 Leadership TeamAlton Wang is currently Policy Advisor and Press Assistant for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). Previously, he was the Communications and Development Associate at Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), where he worked to mobilize and engage AAPIs in electoral and civic participation. Alton is originally from the San Gabriel Valley in the Los Angeles area, only moving to the East Coast when he attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut where he received a B.A. in Government and Sociology, as well as where he taught a for-credit course on Asian American history. Alton is passionate about advancing AAPIs politically and building capacity for the AAPI community. He considers Twitter his virtual home (@altonwang).

Eesha Bhave
 Leadership TeamEesha Bhave is a political appointee under the Obama Administration at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, in Washington D.C. In this capacity, she serves the Acting Director and the Chief Management Officer assisting with strategic communications, regulations and other agency priorities. She is a recent graduate of American University’s School of Public Affairs (SPA), where she studied Political Science and International Relations with a focus in South Asia. She is also a graduate of the SPA Leadership Program and the Women and Politics Institute. Her past work experience includes the White House Initiative for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Aspen Institute’s Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation. She is passionate about the intersection between AAPI and gender issues, and the unique challenges presented by both.

Willis Chen
 Leadership TeamWillis Chen is currently a Junior Data Analyst at TargetSmart, where he uses the latest political data targeting technology to assist nonprofits, campaigns, and other politically-focused organizations to engage relevant audiences on the issues that matter most. Prior to working for TargetSmart, Willis was a Staff Assistant with Imprenta Communications, where he mainly assisted staff with various client projects. As part of his role, he assisted in organizing events for a California-based APA/API non-profit, the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation (APALF). During the same time, Willis was also the communications and field director for a successful, historic City Council campaign, helping to get his high school friend elected as the youngest City Councilmember in his community’s history. While in college,he was heavily involved in student government as a student senator and got involved in politics via serving as the Western Regional Director for the College Democrats of Massachusetts. Willis graduated from UMass Amherst with three Bachelor of Arts degrees in History, Political Science, and Economics with a minor in Mathematics. In his spare time, Willis likes to try out new foods, cook, enjoy craft beers exploring the plentiful museums DC has to offer, running through DC and taking in the sights at the same time, cheering on the Los Angeles Lakers, and watching politically-themed TV shows.
Michael Dee
 Leadership TeamMichael Dee is an associate at DLA Piper, where he practices commercial litigation.  He is also the Vice President of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance D.C. lodge.  A California native, Michael attended the University of California, San Diego for college where he received a B.A. in Political Science and was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.  While in college, Michael was an APAICS summer intern and worked as a Senate Doorkeeper at the U.S. Capitol.  After graduating, Michael attended Duke Law School and worked in a legal clinic dedicated to providing legal services for disabled individuals in North Carolina.  In his spare time, Michael enjoys stand-up comedy, traveling, cooking, surfing and snorkeling (although there is noticeable lack of ocean near Washington, D.C.), craft (and non-craft) beer, and unprofessionally critiquing movies.

Fay Gan
 Leadership TeamFotini “Fay” Gan is currently the Public Relations Officer for the Asian Studies Program at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service. In her role, she maintains and improves the brand of the Asian Studies Program as well as coordinates the program’s events agenda. Before joining the Asian Studies staff, Fay was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Kaohsiung, Taiwan where she taught English from 1st through 6th grades in rural public schools. Previously, Fay worked in with an international events and communications firm in New York City, working on assignments across three continents.

Fay graduated from Syracuse University with a B.A. in International Relations and a minor in Chinese Studies. In her free time she enjoys traveling, exploring D.C. on foot, blogging, and playing flag football.

Tiffany Hsieh
 Leadership TeamTiffany Hsieh serves as the Development and Office Coordinator for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators and works to empower environmentally progressive state lawmakers. Tiffany previously worked at the State Climate Hub as the Program Coordinator where she assisted environmental groups and state governments with the implementation and compliance of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. She has interned at the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and the United Nations Environment Programme. Tiffany graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Management and a minor in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning.

Diya Li
 Leadership TeamDiya Li is the communications coordinator for the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, where she oversees the center’s media relations, publications, social media, and webpage. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in political science, Diya worked at a number of news organizations, including: KTSF, a leading Asian television station in California; Singtao Daily, the second largest Chinese-language newspaper/magazine in the world; and the Wang Post, a web journal focused on Asian affairs. She has also worked on several political campaigns, from President Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012 to the San Francisco mayoral race in 2011 and the California gubernatorial race in 2010. Diya has studied US-China relations at Peking University in Beijing, China, and Spanish language and European relations at the University of Cordoba in Cordoba, Spain. In the past few years, she backpacked alone through 17 countries, across 4 continents. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and English, and studies Spanish and Russian.

Janet Namkung
 Leadership TeamJanet Namkung is currently the Civic Engagement Associate at OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, working to mobilize and engage OCA’s members and the AAPI community in civic participation. She was also the Chapter and Membership Associate, before joining the Policy Team at OCA. Prior to working for OCA, Janet was a Team Leader for AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), in the Southwest Region. As a Team Leader, she provided experience and leadership to teams of AmeriCorps NCCC members as they worked to strengthen communities. She led a team of 8-10 Corps Members, in service projects, in areas of natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. Janet is also the Service Committee Co-Chair for AmeriCorps Alums DC Board. Janet is a graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a Bachelors of Art in Psychology. In her spare time, Janet enjoys food vacations, craft beers, exploring new cities, and going to live shows.

Mary Tablante
 Leadership Team

Mary Tablante is the communications associate of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), a coalition of national organizations focused on policy priorities affecting Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. At NCAPA, she works with policy staff, government and community partners to promote NCAPA’s advocacy work, which includes immigration, civil rights, health and education issues. She is involved in the Filipino American community and previously covered Asian American issues as a reporter for Asian Fortune and did social media outreach as a community manager for USA TODAY’s Your Take initiative. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and history from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Elizabeth Thompson, Managing Director
 Leadership TeamPrior to CAPAL, Elizabeth Thompson worked in a development and communications capacity for Asian Arts Initiative, a community-based multidisciplinary arts center in Philadelphia. She is currently serving on the Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) Metro D.C. Chapter’s Steering Committee and is a mentor for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, DC Chapter (YNPNdc) Mentoring Program. Elizabeth served as the grantmaking co-chair for The Spruce Foundation, which cultivates the next generation of philanthropists through community giving. She is the recipient of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) Diverse Communities Conference and Bridge Conference scholarships and received a scholarship for ProInspire’s Managing for Success Program. She is an active member of AFP, YNPNdc and AAPIP. Elizabeth received her BA in Art History from Western Washington University and her MA in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania. When not promoting young philanthropy and leadership, Elizabeth spends her time thrifting and playing with her handsome Manchester terrier. elizabeth.thompson [at] capal [dot] org

Victoria Tran
 Leadership TeamVictoria Tran currently serves as a research assistant in the Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute. Her work primarily involves using microsimulation models to analyze the interactions between welfare and benefit and propose policies to improve the program’s effectiveness in easing poverty. Prior to Urban, Victoria interned with the International Rescue Committee to provide services to incoming refugees. Born and raised in Wichita, KS, Victoria graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016 with a bachelor’s in leadership and public policy. While at UVA, Victoria served as an elected member of the Honor Committee, focusing on improving the committee’s relationship to minority groups and ensuring a fair hearing process. She was also involved with the Asian Student Union, Madison House’s Adopt-A-Grandparent program, and as community service chair for her sorority. Her experiences with domestic policy has fueled a passion for service and dedication towards empowering the Asian American community.

Viet Tran
 Leadership TeamViet Tran is a communications associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), where he manages CSSP’s communication activities, including publications, media relations and operations of the organization’s digital and online presence. Prior to CSSP, he was a communications assistant at Cultural Vistas where he assisted in implementing the social media strategy for a project under President Obama’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has also collaborated alongside the ICS Center in Vietnam to push a digital campaign project advocating for transgender rights. Viet is a former ambassador with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islander’s E3! Program, where he worked on engaging the AAPI community in the mid-Atlantic region on issues of healthcare, education, mental health and immigration. Viet has also worked in various communication roles at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, Global Rights and the Office of Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from University of California, San Diego, where he was a recipient of the Dean’s Award for Leadership and Service.

Justin Trinidad
 Leadership TeamJustin Trinidad is currently the Civil Rights Fellow at OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national membership driven organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans. Born in the Philippines and raised in Richmond, VA, Justin Trinidad graduated from the University of Virginia in May 2015 with a B.A. in Foreign Affairs. At UVA, Justin served as President of the Organization of Young Filipino Americans and on the board and councils of the Asian Student Union, Madison House Medical Services, and the Multicultural Student Center Initiative. During the summer of 2014, Justin interned at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI). Through his work at the Initiative, he cultivated a passion for Asian Pacific American Issues and developed the skills necessary to advocate and provide a voice for the community. Recently, Justin interned with the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI) through the Department of State. His experiences with international and domestic issues have sparked his drive in continuing public service.

Kavya Vaghul
 Leadership TeamKavya Vaghul is a Research Analyst at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a research and grantmaking organization focused on whether and how economic inequality affects economic growth, where she has worked on issues ranging from family economic security and early childhood education to urban infrastructure and racial equity. She is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Public Health Studies.

Annie Xiao
 Leadership TeamOriginally from ZhongShan in Southern China, Annie emigrated to San Francisco with her family in 2005 and later attended college at University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her B.A. in Global Economics and a Political Studies Certificate from the Lyon Institute of Political Studies in France. In 2014, Annie interned as the Community Outreach Intern at DC Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA) through The Fund of American Studies’ (TFAS) summer internship program. She returned to Washington DC the following summer and was a two-time Federal Intern at the U.S. Department of Agriculture with the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL). Annie currently works as the Policy and Civic Engagement Program Assistant at National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD). She is also a Board Member of the 1882 Foundation. Outside of work, Annie enjoys volunteering at local community events and aspires to become a professional Wedding Planner one day.

Lillie Weiya Zeng
 Leadership TeamLillie Zeng is a specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Marketing Service. Ms. Zeng works on communications and policy issues related to a variety of vegetable, fruit, and specialty crop industries. She co-found AMS’s New and Emerging Employees network to help connect new employees and serves as AMS Special Emphasis Program Manager for AAPIs. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with local farms, trail-running and parkour, and being a shameless Instagram/yelp-ing DC foodie.

Legal Counsel

Will Xu
 Leadership TeamWill Xu is a Public Defender in Brooklyn, NY, where he represents low-income individuals charged with criminal and family offenses. He has also previously worked to halt illegal evictions in communities vulnerable to gentrification, leveraging litigation and grassroots organizing to empower low-income, often minority tenants. Outside of the court room, Will serves on the Board of Directors for Odanadi US, an organization supporting the rescue and rehabilitation of human trafficking victims in Southern India. He is also a volunteer with the American Red Cross, where he leads trainings on the laws of armed conflict in the Great New York area. When he is not working, Will is an avid urban biker skilled at dodging city traffic, and casually engages unwilling participants in conversation about his love of airplanes – a relic of his past life as an engineer. Will graduated from the American University Washington College of Law, where he focused on human rights.

*Titles are used for identification purposes only. All board members are serving in their personal capacity and do not represent the respective employers that they work for. 

Advisory Council

Chantale Wong, Chair
John Kusano, Vice Chair
 Leadership TeamJohn Kusano recently retired from a 35 year career with the US Forest Service from a position as a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Chief for Business Operations at the Forest Service Headquarters in Washington, DC focusing on Diversity and Inclusion Programs and Student Recruitment.

Prior to this he has held a number of positions in various fields and in various locations: Senior Advisor to the Deputy Chief for Research and Development, Forest Service Headquarters in Washington, DC | Division Director of the Human Capital Policy & Strategy Division of the Office of Human Capital Management at USDA involved with Department-wide programs in Human Resources Policy, Workforce Planning, and HR Accountability. | Assistant Director for Human Resource Management with the USDA Forest Service with responsibilities for Workforce Planning, Recruitment, Employee Development and Human Resource Technology. | Assistant Director of Civil Rights, Forest Service Headquarters in Washington, DC | Director of Civil Rights in the Forest Service’s Southwestern Region (NM & AZ). | District Reforestation Forester, Plumas National Forest, Forest Service’s CA Region

John is a graduate of University of California at Santa Cruz and Berkeley.  He currently lives with his wife and two sons in the Washington, DC area. John has been involved with CAPAL since 2007 and helped establish the CAPAL/Forest Service Internship program, served on the Advisory Council, assisted with strategic planning, HR issues, and student interviewing and selections.
Jasmeet Ahuja
Priscilla Baek
Christine Chen
Tim Hwang
 Leadership TeamTim is currently the Founder and CEO of FiscalNote, a real-time legal analytics platform that uses AI and natural language processing to help global organizations take control of their government risk and understand the law. The company now powers some of the world’s largest and most influential law firms, legal departments, and governments. With Hwang’s technology and over $30M+ in funding from the likes of Mark Cuban, Jerry Yang, Steve Case, NEA, Renren and others, FiscalNote is revolutionizing access to legislation, regulations, and court cases for organizations around the world.

Prior to starting FiscalNote from a Motel 6 in Silicon Valley, Hwang started his career in politics as a field organizer for the Obama ’08 campaign. He was elected to the Montgomery County Board of Education a year later, overseeing a budget of over $4 Billion for 22,000 public employees. Tim also served as the President of the 750,000 member National Youth Association and the founder of Operation Fly. Inc., – a national 501(c)(3) organization that served inner-city children in underprivileged areas around the country.
Tim was profiled in Forbes 30 Under 30, Inc. 30 Under 30, CNN’s Top 10 Startups, Business Insiders Top 25 Hottest Startups, and many others. He is a graduate of Princeton and currently deferring Harvard Business School. He is also currently a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and a member of the The Economic Club of Washington, D.C.
Carrie Kagawa
 Leadership TeamCarrie Kagawa is currently serving as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer on a six month assignment in Georgia, working to promote neutral and accessible democratic dialogue in the country.  Prior to this, Carrie served in President Obama’s Administration, where she started in 2009 at the Office of Detainee Policy working on issues of detention in Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan. While at Detainee Policy, Carrie volunteered for a six-month deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan where she was assigned to the Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, which oversaw detention operations and rule of law development. From 2011 to 2013, Carrie served as an Advance Officer to the Secretary of Defense, coordinating and leading logistical negotiations for 23 international and 10 domestic official visits.  Carrie most recently served as Senior Advisor and White House Liaison at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Past assignments include the White House and Office of Senator Barack Obama. Carrie holds a degree in Psychology and Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Andrew Kim
Jeewon Kim
Michael Fung
Rebecca Lee
Hung Nguyen
Viraj Patel
 Leadership TeamViraj Patel is an educator, grassroots organizer, facilitator, transnational feminist, and activist based in Philadelphia, PA. Currently serving as the Associate Director at the Pan-Asian American Community House at the University of Pennsylvania, Viraj works as a member of the staff to achieve the Center’s mission to develop and implements innovative programs for leadership development and community service in close collaboration with Asian American student and community groups. Viraj is also an organizer with the Philadelphia South Asian Collective, East Coast Solidarity Summer, and a founding sister of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. Viraj is a proud past Board member of CAPAL and, during her time in Washington, D.C. worked at Georgetown University and George Washington University in student-centered positions, and was involved with a number of community and nonprofit organizations. Viraj holds a B.A. in English  with a Minor in Asian American Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Education from the University of Vermont.

Farook Sait
John Trasviña
 Leadership TeamJohn Trasviña is Dean of the University of San Francisco School of Law. Dean Trasviña received his AB from Harvard University in 1980 and his JD from Stanford Law School in 1983.

Most recently, Dean Trasviña was the assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Dean Trasviña was appointed by President Obama in 2009, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He led more than 580 employees in 43 offices across the country to enforce the nation’s fair housing laws. Previously, he served as president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).

In Washington, D.C., he worked for U.S. Sen. Paul Simon as general counsel and staff director for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. In 1997, President Bill Clinton appointed Dean Trasviña special counsel for immigration-related unfair employment practices. In that capacity, he led the only federal government office devoted solely to immigrant workplace rights and was the highest ranking Latino attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Dean Trasviña previously taught immigration law at Stanford Law School and was director of the Discrimination Research Center in Berkeley. In addition to helping establish CAPAL in 1989 and serving on the D.C. Commission on Asian Pacific Islander Affairs, he has been a member of the San Francisco Elections Commission and ABA Commission on Immigration, president of the Harvard Club of San Francisco, and a board member of the La Raza Lawyers Association, St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco and Senator Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University.  He is now president of the Lowell High School Alumni Association in San Francisco.

 

Honorary Advisory Council

  • Daphne Kwok
  • Chiling Tong
  • April Osajima
  • Lin Liu
  • Paul Igasaki
  • Bob Sakaniwa
  • Julian Ha
  • James C. Ho

Former Board of Directors