Queer Asian American Voices: A Conversation with Director Alice Wu


Program Description


Date and Time: Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 4:00 PM EDT

In celebration of AAPI Heritage Month in May and Pride Month in June, please join AAFAA, glifaa, and the EAP Diversity and Inclusion Council on Thursday, June 3 at 4 PM EDT for an internal State Department event with celebrated film director and screenwriter Alice Wu. In a conversation with Principal Deputy Spokesperson Jalina Porter, Alice will share how her identity as an Asian American lesbian has influenced her filmmaking and how she sees the world. We welcome State Department colleagues to watch her movies, Saving Face and The Half of It, and submit questions for Q&A ahead of the event. Clips from the event will be distributed on Department social media pages.


Alice Wu, Film Director and Screenwriter

Alice Wu is a Chinese-American film director and screenwriter. After earning a master’s degree in computer science at Stanford University, she designed software at Microsoft before becoming a full-time filmmaker. Alice’s debut feature, SAVING FACE -- starring Michelle Krusiec and Joan Chen and produced by Will Smith – made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival where it was acquired for theatrical distribution by Sony Pictures Classics. The critically acclaimed film garnered several festival accolades, as well as a GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Film-Limited Release and a Breakthrough Director Award nomination for Alice at the Gotham Independent Film Awards.

Alice wrote and directed THE HALF OF IT, which she also produced with Anthony Bregman and M. Blair Breard for Netflix. The script was a 2018 selection for the prestigious Black List, an annual survey of Hollywood executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays. THE HALF OF IT stars Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, and Alexxis Lemire and is a modern-day “Cyrano” story about a shy straight-A student who helps a clueless high school football player woo the girl they both secretly love.


Jalina Porter, Principal Deputy Spokesperson, U.S. Department of State 

Jalina Porter was sworn in as Principal Deputy Spokesperson at the U.S. Department of State on January 20, 2021. A seasoned communications professional, Ms. Porter previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives as Communications Director for former Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana. Ms. Porter began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Kingdom of Cambodia where she taught English in Ministry schools and worked with local and international nongovernmental organizations. She has also worked as a strategic communications advisor and trainer for elected officials, national security and foreign policy non-profit organizations, and global media and entertainment corporations.

Ms. Porter is engaged in leading civic and service-based organizations including membership in the Links, Inc., Council on Foreign Relations, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, National Peace Corps Association, and lifetime membership with the Girl Scouts. In 2020, Ms. Porter became a recipient of the prestigious Franklin H. Williams Award from Peace Corps headquarters for her lifetime commitment to public service and humanitarian work. Born in Louisiana and raised in California, Ms. Porter has also spent several years as a professional dancer. Ms. Porter holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Howard University and a Master’s Degree in Global Strategic Communications from Georgetown University.