Diya Li 1

CAPAL would like to welcome our new board member Diya Li. 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?

Before moving to Washington, DC this year, I had been an active member of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the San Francisco Bay Area, and my various experiences of being involved were deeply rewarding. Naturally, when I moved, one of my priorities was to continue my work in the community by helping to build AAPI leadership and promote public service. It also quickly became apparent to me that AAPI leadership was notably lacking in Washington, DC. I joined the CAPAL board to continue my investment in the community and because I believe in its mission to promote AAPI interests.

What do you hope to accomplish as a board member?

As a board member, I plan to contribute to the sustainability of CAPAL by growing its national presence. This includes reaching out to more AAPI communities in the country, forming and fostering more partnerships, and increasing the media presence of the organization and its programs and events. On a more personal level, I hope to be able to help more young AAPI leaders get where they would like to go.

How does being a board member fit in with your professional goals?

Wherever my career takes me, I know that advancing AAPI leadership and community interests will always be part of what I want to do. Serving on CAPAL’s board allows me to actively work toward these goals and develop the skills that I would need to continue to do so throughout my career.

Moreover, this organization is a great platform to work with other young AAPI professionals who are pursuing the same goals. Being part of this network of driven and passionate people only motivates me more.

Diya Li 2 300x225 Meet the Board: Diya LiWhat does public leadership mean to you?

Public leadership is about taking yourself out of your immediate space and working towards a bigger picture. It means operating with the belief that individuals can work together to advance social and economic prosperity for a larger community. To me, it means reinvesting the resources or advantages you were given in your life back into your community and paying it forward.

What is the most interesting thing about you?

My devastatingly good looks. Just kidding – my wicked intellect. Just kidding. This is a difficult question…

I suppose it would be that I’m somewhat of a world traveler. I’ve backpacked, largely by myself, in Europe, Asia, and Africa. So far, I’ve traveled through 18 countries, and can’t wait for more!

Diya 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 18 countries, across 4 continents. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and English, and studies Spanish and Russian.

Posted by Nyana Quashie

Nyana Quashie 150x150 Meet the Board: Diya LiNyana 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.