25th Anniversary Gala

In commemoration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and CAPAL’s 25th Anniversary, CAPAL hosted our third annual evening gala in May 2014 that featured prominent APA community leaders and CAPAL alumni. The evening celebrated the role of APAs in our society and brought together young professionals and APA leaders committed to public service.

CAPAL would like to thank its sponsors and partners, host committee, speakers and everyone who attended this year’s celebration.

Please sign up for our mailing list and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates on our 2015 gala!


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Norman Y. Mineta
Secretary, US Department of Transportation (Ret.)

Secretary Norman Y. Mineta is well known for his work in transportation – including aviation, surface transportation, and infrastructure – and national security. For almost 30 years, Secretary Mineta represented San Jose, California – the heart of Silicon Valley – first on the City Council, then as Mayor, and then from 1975-1995 as a Member of Congress. While in Congress, he co-founded the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and was Chair of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission in 1997.

In 2000, Secretary Mineta was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the United States Secretary of Commerce. From 2001-2006, Secretary Mineta served as Secretary of Transportation by President George W. Bush. Following the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Secretary Mineta guided the creation of the Transportation Security Administration – an agency with more than 65,000 employees – the largest mobilization of a new federal agency since World War II.

Since 2006, Secretary Mineta has been Vice Chairman of Hill & Knowlton based in its Washington, DC office, providing counsel and strategic advice to clients on a wide range of business and political issues. Recognized for his leadership, Secretary Mineta has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom – our nation’s highest civilian honor. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

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Tina Tchen
Assistant to the President
Chief of Staff to the First Lady

Tina Tchen is an Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady Michelle Obama. Within the Obama Administration she also serves as the Executive Director for the Council on Women and Girls and the past Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Tchen was previously a partner in corporate litigation at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. In that capacity, Tchen represented public agencies in state and federal class actions, including the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Illinois Department of Public Aid, and the Chicago Housing Authority. Tchen is the recipient of many awards, including the Leadership Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (1999); “Women of Achievement” award from the Anti-Defamation League (1996); and Chicago Lawyer “Person of the Year” (1994).


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Parag Mehta

Parag Mehta is a communications specialist with more than a decade of experience in government, politics and community advocacy. He has served in the presidential administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He has also worked on political campaigns at the local, state and federal levels. Mehta served on President Obama’s Transition Team as a Public Liaison for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans. He also managed outreach on education and the arts. From 2005-2008, Mehta worked for the Democratic National Committee during four of the most successful election cycles in the modern history of the Party.

Mehta is a second-generation Indian American from Temple, Texas. He currently directs communications for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, a civil rights agency at the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Katie Oyama

Katherine Oyama is Sr. Policy Counsel for Google, where she focuses on copyright, creativity, and trademark law and policy. From 2009 to 2011, she worked in the Office of the Vice President as Associate Counsel and Deputy Counsel to Vice President Joseph R. Biden. Prior to her government service, Katherine was a litigation associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr’s Washington office, where she worked on intellectual property cases, government and regulatory litigation, and pro bono matters. She previously worked for a New York-based strategy consulting firm, a Silicon Valley-based Internet start-up, and a Washington-based public interest research organization. Katherine is a graduate of Smith College, where she graduated with high honors in Government, and the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where she served as senior articles editor of the Berkeley Technology Law Journal. She recently testified before Congress on issues relating to copyright, trademark, and Internet policy.



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Christopher P. Lu
Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor

 Chris Lu was sworn in as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor on April 4, 2014. In this position, he serves as the chief operating officer of a federal agency with 17,000 employees. Prior to joining the Labor Department, Chris served from 2009 to 2013 as the White House Cabinet Secretary and Assistant to the President. In this role, he was President Obama’s primary liaison to the federal departments and agencies, helping to coordinate policy and communications strategy. As one of the highest-ranking Asian Americans in the Obama Administration, Chris also served as Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Prior to his service in the White House, Chris worked for then-Senator Obama, first as his Legislative Director, then Acting Chief of Staff. And after the 2008 Presidential election, Chris was in charge of managing the Presidential transition planning efforts.

Chris is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and cum laude Harvard Law School. He is married to Katie Thomson, the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and they reside in Arlington, VA.


With grateful appreciation to our sponsors and partners:


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Members of the Circle of 25 will commit to donating or raising $1,000 for CAPAL. Individuals were recognized in Gala marketing materials and on the CAPAL website throughout the year, and received 2 complimentary tickets to the VIP reception. To join the circle of 25, please contact development@capal.org.

Priscilla Baek

Jason Chang

Jerry Fu

Daphne Kwok

Hung Nguyen

Farook Sait

Paul Suh

Alexander Wong

Lina Woo

CAPAL Chairs of 2009, 2010, 2011:

David Lee (2009)
Gene Kim (2010)
Cristian Liu (2011)

CAPAL Board of 2012 and 2013:

Cassie Duong
Mari Hart
Fang He
Kacie Ho
Mariko Iwata
John Kim
An Le
Rebecca Lee
Wonman Lee
Vinh Nguyen
Jin Ohm
Emerson Park
Dan Phan
Jonathan To
Sara Yang



William Kim
Hung Tran
Sam Porter
Whole Foods P Street


408 Films
Absolute Noodle

Barrel Oak Winery
Bikram Yoga Falls Church
Bobby Ly of First Financial Security
Capital Bikeshare
Christopher Y. Chan
Consequi Career Coaches
Duke’s Grocery
Gloria S. Chan Coaching
Margaret Cho
Middle Kingdom Porcelain
Nathan Adrian
Parking Panda
Peking Gourmet Inn
The Phillips Collection
Washington Capitols
Washington Nationals
Washington Redskins
Yoga District

CAPAL is honored and grateful for the support of our Host Committee members:

Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo
Representative, Guam

Christopher Y. Chan
Judicial Law Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Christine Chen
Executive Director, APIAVote

Congresswoman Judy Chu
Representative, State of California, 27th Congressional District

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth
Representative, State of Illinois, 8th Congressional District

Julian Ha
Practice Leader, Heidrick & Struggles

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa
Representative, State of Hawaii, 1st Congressional District

David Kim
Council of Koren Americans (CKA)

Joon Kim
‎Vice President, New Partners

Annette Kwok
President, Asian Pacific American Bar Association-DC (APABA-DC)

Congresswoman Doris Matsui
Representative, State of California, 6th Congressional District

Congresswoman Grace Meng
Representative, State of New York, 6th Congressional District

Lorraine C. Miller
Interim President and CEO, NAACP

Norman Y. Mineta
President & CEO, Mineta & Associates, LLC

Howard Moon
Executive Director, Global Government Affairs, Amgen

Floyd Mori
President and CEO, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies

Christian Oh
Executive Director, DC Asian Pacific American Film, Inc.

Neera Tanden
President, Center for American Progress

Monica Thammarath
Senior Liaison, Office of Minority Community Organizing & Partnerships,
National Education Association

Frank Wu
Chancellor and Dean,
University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Tina Yoon
Founder and Principal Consultant,
Yoon Consulting LLC

Sam Yoon
Council of Korean Americans

CAPAL was pleased to invite alumni to an exclusive brunch in May 2014 at M Street Bar and Grill. Attendees celebrated achievements of CAPAL alumni, met new alumni, and reconnected with their CAPAL class!


Alumni Brunch Invite 25th Anniversary Gala