This session will revolve around AANHPI professionals working in the national security and international relations realm, and more broadly how international affairs impacts our community. Topics of discussion include bridging AANHPI identity while working in international affairs, impact of international programs, and the model minority myth.
Denise Lew | Board Member, CAPAL
Ms. Denise Lew (she/her/hers) is a US Air Force veteran who retired as a Colonel from the military after serving 26 years as a healthcare administrator. She is board certified and a Lifetime Fellow (LFACHE) in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and past chair of the ACHE’s Asian Healthcare Leaders Forum (AHLF). After retiring from the military, she spent 10 years as a healthcare consultant with Deloitte Consulting LLP, and supported multiple projects for the Military Health System, specializing in health plan operations, strategic planning, quality management, and patient safety. She currently works part-time for the government contractor, Cognosante, as an Executive High Reliability Organization Leader Coach for Veterans Health Administration medical centers in Detroit and New Orleans.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she lived in Texas, Virginia, Ohio, Utah and in the Azores, Portugal, before settling in the Washington DC area. During her time at Deloitte, Denise was actively involved in several firm initiatives, including recruiting, the Experienced Hire Initiative, and military veteran transition programs, as well as a wide variety of inclusion activities, such as the firm’s Federal Inclusion Council and the Armed Forces and Asian Business Resource Groups. Denise is also an active member of the Board of Admissions and the Community Affairs Committee of the University Club of Washington DC.
Denise holds a BA in Health Arts and Sciences from the University of California at Berkeley, and earned an MPA from the California State University, East Bay. She also completed a certificate program in 2021 as a Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer from George Mason University.
Cheyenne Cheng | Youth & Programs Manager, JACL
Cheyenne Cheng is the current Youth and Programs Manager for the Japanese American Citizens League. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, she graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. During her time at UF, she led a task force in support of Asian American studies and co-founded the Asian American Oral History Project which seeks to collect narratives of Asian Americans at UF and in the greater South. Cheyenne has served on the national board for the East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) where she educated Asian American & Pacific Islander students across the East Coast through advocacy-based workshops and initiatives.
Tanya Harris Joshua | Deputy Director of TAP, Office of Insular Affairs
Tanya Harris Joshua is the Deputy Director of Technical Assistance Programs (TAP) and Communications Lead in the Office of Insular Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. TAP administers more than $300 million in discretionary and other funds for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and the freely associated states which are the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.
Born and raised in Micronesia, when it was a U.S.-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Tanya now lives and works in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with her family. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the George Washington University. She co-founded the Pohnpei Language Club USA to encourage her children and other Pohnpeian-American children to stay connected to their Pacific Islander language roots and is studying part-time at the Johns Hopkins University towards a Master’s in Communications.
Medha Gargeya | Government Attorney and Air Force Reservist
Medha Gargeya is Associate Counsel to the Vice President and a reservist with the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps. She previously worked at WilmerHale LLP, where she focused on administrative law, appeals, and anti-discrimination matters. Before joining the firm, Medha worked on voter protection and election litigation and on the judicial nominations team during the presidential transition. From 2019 to 2020, Medha was a law clerk to the Honorable Roger Wollman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. In 2020, she worked as an adjunct professor at the University of South Dakota School of Law. She received her A.B. and J.D. from Harvard University, where she served as a research and teaching assistant for seven professors. Medha also served as a legal fellow with the MacArthur Justice Center, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, Senate Judiciary Committee, and Protect Democracy. She grew up in North Carolina.
More About The Washington Leadership Program
The Washington Leadership Program (WLP) provides a space for young AANHPI students interning in Washington, D.C. to come together, build community, and explore their heritage within the context of public service. Through six sessions over the summer, WLP introduces students to AANHPI public service leaders who can inform and inspire students’ own civic engagement.
The Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) seeks to empower Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) youth by increasing access to public service opportunities and building a strong AANHPI public service pipeline. We envisions a future with equitable AANHPI representation throughout all levels of government and public service.
By registering for CAPAL’s Washington Leadership Program, you give permission to be recorded or photographed during the session. Food provided at this event may contain nuts, dairy, gluten, and other allergens. Vegetarian options will be available. We kindly ask for all guests to follow our mask-required policy.