U.S. Diplomacy and the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

Program Description: Recently the United States has experienced a deeply concerning increase in hate crimes directed at members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The panel will discuss possible links between U.S. foreign policy and anti-Asian and anti-AAPI sentiment within the United States. 

The U.S. Government takes very seriously our responsibility to conduct diplomatic activities to benefit all Americans.  This program will promote dialogue between foreign policy makers and the AAPI community and its allies to address how we can better work together to address the xenophobia and discrimination within our borders even as we conduct diplomatic engagement around the world.  Through a panel discussion including senior State Department and White House officials and representatives of AAPI civil society groups, we will discuss how to effectively conduct diplomatic relations while keeping the impact on U.S. domestic communities in mind; how we can make our government and society more diverse and inclusive; and how we can together strengthen our democracy so AAPI individuals, and all citizens and residents of the United States, are treated with dignity, respect, and equality. Audience members will be invited to ask questions and make comments using the chat function, so that all will be able to share perspectives and communicate directly with U.S. foreign affairs professionals.

All interested individuals are welcome to join.  The program will be on the record.  

Speaker Bios

(Moderator) Shirlene Yee, Asian American Foreign Affairs Association, U.S. Department of State   

Shirlene Yee is a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, currently serving as an Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China.  From October 2020 to September 2021, she served as President of the Asian American Foreign Affairs Association (AAFAA) and currently remains an active member of the AAFAA Advisory Council. With over 800 members, AAFAA is an association dedicated to strengthening Asian Pacific American representation at the U.S. Department of State.  Shirlene has a Masters Degree jointly awarded by the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Nanjing University. Her prior assignments include Canada, the Philippines, and Washington, DC.

 

 

U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu, (D) California 

Judy Chu was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2009.  She represents the 27th Congressional District, which includes Pasadena and the west San Gabriel Valley of southern California.  Rep. Chu currently serves on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over legislation pertaining to taxes, revenues, Social Security, and Medicare. In that Committee, Rep. Chu is a member of the Subcommittees on Health, giving her oversight over healthcare reform and crucial safety net programs, Worker and Family Support, and Oversight.   She also serves on the House Small Business Committee, which has oversight of the Small Business Administration, and is the Chair of the Small Business Oversight Subcommittee.  Chu was first elected to the Board of Education for Garvey School District in 1985.  From there, she was elected to the Monterey Park City Council, where she served as Mayor three times.  She then was elected to the State Assembly and then California’s elected tax board, known as the State Board of Equalization.  In 2009, she became the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress in history.

 

Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer U.S. Department of State

Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, a 30-year diplomat, is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Department of State.  Previously she represented the United States as the longest serving U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Malta.  Earlier in her career, she served in Baghdad, Jakarta, and Cairo, and as Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for the Middle East and Africa. Her Middle East assignments include election monitoring in the Gaza Strip and an extraordinary assignment where she actively supported gender equality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the first woman to lead a diplomatic mission there. In addition to the State Department, she has held senior positions at the Defense Department and at the National Security Council of the White House. Prior to that, she was a fellow on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the then Ranking Member, Senator Joseph Biden. She was Ambassador-in-Residence at Oberlin College for 2020 and served as the Co-Chair of the Diversity in National Security working group for the Biden-Harris campaign.  She is also the co-author of two papers published in the New York Review of Science Fiction on “Diplomacy in Star Trek” and “The Representation of Disability in Star Trek.”  Ms. Abercrombie-Winstanley, a Cleveland native, has degrees from The George Washington University and The Johns Hopkins University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

Erika L. Moritsugu, Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison  

Erika was appointed by President Joe Biden in April 2021 to serve as Deputy Assistant to the President and AA and NHPI Senior Liaison.  At the White House, Erika supports the Administration on a wide array of the President’s priorities and engages with AA and NHPI communities and leaders on important issues such as advancing safety, justice, inclusion, and opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities through a whole-of-government approach to racial justice.  Her past government service includes serving as the Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations at the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the leadership of Secretary Julián Castro in the Obama Administration and was the first-ever Senate Deputy Legislative Director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  On Capitol Hill, she was a senior representative of Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois. Senator Daniel K. Akaka of Hawai‘i, and at the Senate Democratic Policy Committee under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.  In the non-profit sector, Erika managed two teams the National Partnership for Women & Families for economic justice and congressional relations advancing workforce and health policies focused through a gender equity and race equity lens. Erika has also led the Government Relations, Advocacy and Community Engagement team at the Anti-Defamation League, a leading anti-hate organization.

 

Kin Moy, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State  

Kin Moy was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs on June 15, 2021. Immediately prior to this appointment, Mr. Moy was the Acting Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.  He has been a Foreign Service Officer for 29 years.  His most recent diplomatic assignment was Chief of Mission of the American Institute in Taiwan.  Prior to that he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, with responsibility for China, Mongolia, and Taiwan.  He has also served as Deputy Executive Secretary in the Office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Director of the Executive Secretariat Staff in the Office of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  In addition to his Washington assignments, he has served in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, and the U.S. Consulate in Busan.  He is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and holds the personal rank of Career Minister.  He graduated from Columbia University and the University of Minnesota, and is a Mandarin and Cantonese speaker.

 

Margaret Huang, President and Chief Executive Officer, Southern Poverty Law Center 

Margaret Huang, an advocate for human rights and racial justice for twenty-five years, is the President and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which serves as a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond. Throughout her career, Margaret has championed social justice and human dignity, advocating an end to discrimination and oppression in all of its forms. Prior to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Margaret served as the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, where she was responsible for leading campaigns to protect the human rights of migrants and refugees, torture survivors, gun violence victims, and activists and protestors across the globe. Ms. Huang received a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, and a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University.

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