CAPAL has a very dedicated Board of Directors. Hear from our new Secretary Kaozouapa “Liz” Lee on her interest in the AAPI community and why she chose to be a part of CAPAL.
Why did you join the CAPAL board?
Six years ago, I happened upon CAPAL while interning in DC. The friends I met through CAPAL’s Washington Leadership Program (WLP) quickly helped me get acquainted with the city and its lovely people.
As someone who absolutely believes in giving back, I was always interested in volunteering for CAPAL. After relocating to DC, when I finally felt prepared enough to contribute meaningfully as a board member, I threw my hat in for consideration! It has been incredibly rewarding to be able to become a board member and pay it forward.
What do you hope to accomplish as a board member? If you have an elected position, what do you hope to accomplish in that position?
I am incredibly thankful to my peers for selecting me as CAPAL’s Secretary for 2016. We’ve got an awesome crew this year. As we work to inspire the next generation of leaders in public service, my goal this year is to streamline internal processes and support the development of a robust external communications strategy.
How does being a board member fit in with your professional goals?
My ultimate goal is to help people, so CAPAL has been a great place for me to develop the skills and experience that I’ll need to do just that – on a pretty large scale! I’m very thankful for that.
What does public leadership mean to you?
I think leadership is an inherently public act – whether large or small. But the most important takeaway is that the goal of public leadership is to empower individuals and unleash their potential.
What is the most interesting thing about you?
Since I wrote the responses to these questions after reading them, you probably wouldn’t expect me to be the granddaughter of three strong, Hmong women who were pretty much illiterate. In other words (no pun intended!), I am incredibly grateful to be who I am today, sharing this story.
Kaozouapa works on the Hill for a member of Congress. After graduating from Yale University with a political science degree, Kaozouapa got her start in Washington, D.C. working in the Senate. However, she has been active in public service for as long as she can remember – whether it was canvassing, phone banking, teaching English to new immigrants, or starting her own program to increase literacy awareness. While topics like sustainable trade and development interest her, Kaozouapa is passionate about addressing domestic violence in the AAPI community, and the personal and professional development of Asian American girls. She is also interested in exploring how technology policy can be shaped to improve our lives in the 21st century. Kaozouapa has conducted mentoring and goal setting workshops to help Asian American youth and young professional explore their Asian identity culturally and politically. Through CAPAL, she hopes to help develop enhanced programming for America’s next generation of leaders. Follow her on Twitter @kaozouapalee.
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.