CAPAL would like to welcome our new board member Becky Chao. Hear about her interest in the AAPI community and why she chose to be a part of CAPAL. We’re glad to have her on the team!
Why did you join the CAPAL board?
I’m a recent graduate new to the DC area, but I knew that I wanted to be here pursuing a career in public interest after spending a fantastic summer interning for a federal agency. The path to public service, especially as a young woman with a minority background, was in no ways easy. However, various non-profit organizations, CAPAL included, inspired me to stay true to my dreams by sharing the experiences of like-minded, successful people and pushing me to develop myself further professionally. I know firsthand how critical the services that organizations like CAPAL provide are, and I love that I now have the opportunity to pay their generosity forward by serving my community.
What do you hope to accomplish as a board member?
CAPAL’s mission to build leadership and public policy knowledge within the AAPI community is one that I identify with closely. I want to further that mission in any way possible: be it through sharing my own personal experiences as an Asian American in public service to aspiring public servants, or by helping the organization expand its capacity in its third decade of existence. I am extremely honored to serve on this board. I’m confident that CAPAL will continue to grow this year, and I look forward to what my term as a board member holds!
How does being a board member fit in with your professional goals?
It’s relatively early in my career, but I know from having worked with non-profit organizations like the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute and CAPAL, as well as with federal agencies like the U.S. Departments of Commerce and State, that I am happiest when I am doing meaningful work. To me, meaningful work is creating positive change in our communities. By serving as a board member for CAPAL, I hope to help create a more inclusive and informed world.
What does public leadership mean to you?
Public leadership means listening to the constituents who you are working to serve and actively working in their interests. To be a public leader, you have a duty to stay true to your constituents and hold yourself accountable. To achieve that, transparency and constant communication between public leaders and constituents are key.
What is the most interesting thing about you?
I’m not sure what the most interesting thing about me is exactly, but one interesting fact is that I studied abroad at a university where parts of the Harry Potter movies were filmed, so you could say that I studied abroad at Hogwarts (yeah, be jealous).
Becky Chao currently works as 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.
Posted by Nyana Quashie
Nyana recently graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.S. Geographical Sciences. While there she also pursued minors in Global Poverty, and Spanish. She is committed to engaging communities and creating social change both in the U.S. and abroad. In 2013, she consulted with local businesses in Nicaragua as an intern with the Social Entrepreneur Corps. She also recently completed a fellowship at the grassroots advocacy organization RESULTS, working to end poverty around the world. Nyana has previously volunteered with CAPAL, blogging on rising leaders in the APA community, and assisting with the Washington Leadership Program. Currently, Nyana serves as CAPAL’s Programs and Operations Intern and will be focusing on event planning, volunteer engagement and fundraising. In her free time, you can often find Nyana reading a book, catching up on shows, or attempting to cook.
*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.