Daphne Kwok, APIAVote's Chair & Co-Founder, Appointed Chair of the White House Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Release Date: 
July 27, 2010

Naomi Tacuyan Underwood | APIAVote Deputy Director | (202) 223-9170 | naomi@apiavote.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Daphne Kwok, APIAVote's board chair and co-founder, has been appointed by President Obama to Chair the Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, a part of a White House Initiative re-signed by President Obama last year, to improve the lives of underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Daphne's appointment as Commission Chair will have her working closely with Initiative Executive Director Kiran Ahuja, as well as Initiative co-chairs, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, on collaborations among the public sector, private sector, and community organizations to address AAPI community needs, such as language access, data disaggregation, diversity and inclusion in federal employment, and increased access to federal programs and services.

"Daphne's knowledge and experience with our AAPI community has significant breadth and depth, and is just what the Commission needs to continue the important work ahead of ensuring that federal agencies are making a positive impact on the lives of AAPIs," said Gloria Caoile, former White House Advisory Commissioner for the Initiative, and also an APIAVote board member and co-founder. "Her persistence in ensuring that there are community voices at the table makes her leadership invaluable to the Initiative."

"We in the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community anticipate working with Daphne and the Commission, as well as Kiran and the Initiative, to ensure that not only Asian American but also Pacific Islander issues are sufficiently addressed," said Esther Kiaaina, APIAVote board member and Chief Advocate at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

 "We applaud President Obama's appointment of Daphne. Her commitment to civic engagement has been unwavering," said Leverett Wing, APIAVote executive director. "I look forward to the many strides our community can make working with the Commission and the Initiative."

Daphne is currently the executive director of Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California. She previously served as the executive director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, as well as the Organization of Chinese Americans, a national civil rights organization with more than 10,000 members. She was also the first-elected Chair of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans.

Daphne has served on the Secretary of Energy's Advisory Council and on the boards of many AAPI organizations, including APIAVote, National Japanese American Memorial Foundation, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, National Coalition of Asian Pacific American Community Development and the Asian Pacific American Caucus of the American Political Science Association. She is also a founding board member of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund.

Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is a national nonprofit whose mission as a progressive nonpartisan organization is to build effective and strategic partnerships to mobilize AAPI communities to participate in the electoral and public policy making processes.