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Washington Leadership Program Session I Opening Ceremony

June 17, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

*Online registration for WLP Opening Ceremony is now closed. Please register at the door, thank you!*

Join us as we kick off the 2015 season of CAPAL’s Washington Leadership Program (WLP) “Building Our Future.” WLP is an opportunity for interns and young professionals to learn about issues facing the APA community, explore careers in public service, and share their stories. Sessions include panel discussions as well as skills-based simulations.

Screen Shot 2015 06 16 at 11.17.42 AM 199x300 Washington Leadership Program Session I Opening Ceremony

Welcoming Remarks Albert K. Shen

Mr. Albert K. Shen has recently been appointed to serve as National Deputy Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, (MBDA). In this role, Mr. Shen serves as the principal advisor to the MBDA National Director and will assist in managing the day-to-day activities of the Agency.

Prior to his appointment with MBDA, Mr. Shen was a small business owner and respected community advocate whose leadership has made a big impact on some of the Northwest’s largest and most critical infrastructure and environmental clean-up projects.

In 2009, Mr. Shen received the Seattle Mayor’s Small Business of the Year award and in 2011 he was awarded the International Examiner’s Community Voice Outstanding Individual Award and also an Honoree for the 2011 NW Asian Weekly Asian American Pioneers in Social Entrepreneur. In 2012, he was recognized as one of the Top 100 Asian American Businesses in the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce and was awarded the 2012 U.S. Small Business Administration Region X Minority Champion of the Year Award.

Shen lends his expertise to support educational institutions, non-profit community organizations, civic committees, business organizations and political advocacy groups. In 2009, he was appointed by Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire to serve on the Seattle Community College Board of trustees where he was the Board Chair. He previously served as a Commissioner to the Washington State Commission on Asian and Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA) to advise the Governor as the Vice Chair of Economic Development for CAPAA. In 2013, he was appointed by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee to serve on the Capital Projects Advisory Review Board (CPARB).

He is a continuous advocate for the minority business community on a variety of economic issues and has hosted numerous roundtables for Asian American small businesses and the Obama Administration on domestic and international business development policy matters. He is a co-grounding board member of a non-profit group called the Washington State Minority Business Advisory Council (MBAC) and is now an advisory board member for MBAC. In 2010 he accompanied U.S. Congressman Jim McDermott (WA) on an international business and education trade mission to Orissa, India to open doors on higher education exchange and business development opportunities.

Mr. Shen earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and environmental science from the University of Washington.

Screen Shot 2015 06 16 at 11.08.52 AM Washington Leadership Program Session I Opening Ceremony

Keynote Speaker Vanita Gupta

Vanita Gupta currently serves as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and head of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).Under Ms. Gupta’s leadership, the Division continues its crucially important work in a number of areas, including advancing constitutional policing and other criminal justice reforms, ensuring that individuals with disabilities are afforded an opportunity to live in integrated community settings,  protecting the rights of LGBTI individuals, and combating discrimination in lending and voting.

 Ms. Gupta is a longtime civil rights lawyer.  Prior to joining DOJ, she was Deputy Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union and Director of its Center for Justice. While managing a robust litigation docket, Vanita also worked with law enforcement, departments of corrections, and across the political spectrum to advance evidence-based reforms to increase public safety by promoting greater fairness and trust in our criminal justice system.  From 2006-2010, Vanita was a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Racial Justice Program. She won a landmark settlement on behalf of immigrant children detained in a privately-run prison in Texas that led to the end of “family detention” at the facility. Prior to that, she worked at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund where she successfully led the effort to overturn the wrongful drug convictions of 38 individuals in Tulia, Texas, who were ultimately pardoned by Governor Rick Perry. She then helped negotiate a $6 million settlement on behalf of her clients.  Vanita also served for several years as an adjunct clinical professor at NYU School of Law, where she taught and oversaw a civil rights litigation clinic.

Vanita has won numerous awards for her advocacy and has been quoted extensively in national and international media on civil rights issues. In 2011, the National Law Journal recognized her as a Top 40 Minority Lawyer Under 40. Vanita is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale University and received her law degree from New York University School of Law.

Since 1989, CAPAL has offered the Washington Leadership Program (WLP) to interns and young professionals in Washington, DC free of charge, as a supplement to a summer internship experience. WLP has been the only educational and leadership development working series in Washington that focuses specifically on the APA community and our role in public policy.

Directions to the US Capitol Visitor Center can be found here.

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Due to limited capacity, pre-registration is now closed. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email ylan.nguyen@capal.org with “WLP – Waitlist” in the subject title. Please also list the session titles you are interested in attending. Door registrants may not be accommodated.


June 17, 2015 6:00 pm
June 17, 2015 8:00 pm


HVC-215 (U.S. Capitol Visitor Center)
The U.S. Capitol Washington, DC 20035 United States