Speaker Daphne Kwok
Daphne Kwok is the Vice President of Multicultural Leadership for Asian American and Pacific Islander Audience Strategy at AARP. She leads AARP’s efforts to engage Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and ensures that the interests of AAPIs age 50-plus are integrated into the organization.
Daphne currently serves on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders which counsels the President and the federal government on issues impacting the community. As Chair of the Commission from 2010-2014, Daphne met with constituents at town halls and forums where they could learn about the programs and services provided by federal agencies, and the federal agencies could learn about the needs of diverse AAPI communities.
Prior to joining AARP, Daphne was Executive Director of Asians & Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California where she helped break down the service and cultural barriers faced by AAPIs with physical, mental, and developmental disabilities. She was also the Executive Director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation in San Francisco where she worked to raise awareness and preserve the rich and personal experiences of those who immigrated to the U.S. through the West Coast. As Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, Daphne focused on increasing political participation in the AAPI community and working with AAPI elected officials.
Daphne also served as the Executive Director of OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, a non-profit, civil rights organization with more than 10,000 members for 11 years. She coordinated programs and services for its chapters and affiliates across the country and monitored issues pertaining to the Asian American community, such as hate crimes, campaign finance reform, immigration reform, Census 2000, and affirmative action.
Daphne served on several boards and councils, including APIAVote, the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation, the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, the Comcast-NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Advisory Council, and the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans.
Moderator Gita Ram
Gita Ram works at the Department of Labor’s civil rights office where she leads communications efforts for the agency. Before working at DOL, Gita worked at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau where she was responsible for outreach and engagement with civil rights and faith groups. Prior to that, she was a Communication Associate at The Pew Charitable Trusts, where her responsibilities included messaging and strategic planning for Pew’s advocacy campaigns. Additionally, she worked for a number of elected officials in California. Gita was named Young Alumna of the Year by UC Davis in 2015 and was Chair of CAPAL in 2014. Gita graduated from the New School University with a masters degree in Media Studies, received a certificate in Political Psychology from Stanford University, and graduated from the University of California, Davis with a bachelors degree in Political Science.
More About CAPAL’s AAPI Roundtable Series
The AAPI Roundtable Series provides an informal and intimate space for the public, particularly young AAPI professionals and students, to engage with AAPI leaders in government, policy and nonprofit work. The series is intended to provide a candid perspective on what it means to be AAPI and have a career in public service.
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