2017 Conference & Gala

International Leadership Foundation 18th Annual Conference and Gala


This week the International Leadership Foundation (ILF), along with the Coalition of Asian American Business Organizations (CAABO),hosted the annual Leadership and Business Conference LuncheonThe Conference occurred at the Capital Hilton on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at Capital Hilton Hotel, 1001 16th Street NW, Washington, DC at 12:00 p.m. Over 200 attendees attended the conference, including Asian-American elected officials like Congresswoman Judy Chu,Congressman Ted Lieu, and Congresswoman Grace Meng. Other attendees included entrepreneurs, community leaders, international business delegates, international students, and ILF Civic Fellows. 


The Conference was preceded by an inaugural Emerging Leaders Policy Forum, hosted by the 2017 ILF Civic Fellows from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fellows presented on public policy topics and recommendations spanning technology and innovation, health and the environment, and business content related to Asian American advocacy. For example, Fellows presented recommendations on issues ranging from patent reform and minority economic opportunities, to heat waves and Native American literacyThe Forum was open to the public and exposed emerging young professionals to the world of public policy. 


This year’s cohort was comprised of 31 astute and ethnically diverse students from over 20 distinguished colleges and universities across the nation. The Fellows interned across 25 offices within nine federal agencies and four offices at the U.S. Congress. Each Fellow servedan 8-week tour of duty and participated in educational seminars to develop a deeper understanding of public service and policy.


The day concluded with the 18th Annual Awards & Scholarship Gala, held at 6:00 p.m. at the same venue with distinguished guests andhonorees. ILF annually celebrates successful completion of its Civic Fellowship program with scholarship beneficiaries and recognizes truly remarkable individuals and organizations at the Gala. They are selected not only because of their tremendous professional achievements, but also for their dedication to the improvement of the APA community. This year, honorees included Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes (Salt Lake City, Utah), Mayor Lily Mei (Fremont, CA), Founder of H20 Clinical Research, Dr. Eugenia Bair Henry (Cockeysville, MD), Chairman & CEO of The Lam Group, John Lam (New York, NY), President of Jupiter Properties Inc., Khalid Muneer (Orlando, FL), President of Merry Richards Jewelers, Richard Cheng (Chicago, IL), Chairman of Southern News Group, Wea Hwa Lee (Houston, TX), CEO of FASTech Inc., Matthew Lee (Rockville, MD), and Executive VP of Bank of China, Dr. Yong Ma (New York, NY). Notable speakers included Dr. James S.C. Chao, Founder and Chairman of Foremost Group, Secretary Elaine Chao, 18th U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Secretary Norman MinetaILFHonorary Chairman, ILF Chairman Dr. Paul Hsu, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, Congresswoman Amata Radewagen,

and Mayor Allan Fung of Cranston, Rhode Island. Other notable guests included Maryland Delegate Clarence Lam, State Senator Tony Hwangand Maryland State Senator Susan Lee.


About ILFThe International Leadership Foundation (ILF) is a non-profit organization that promotes the civic engagement, leadership empowerment, and economic prosperity of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community to enhance the representation of diversity in our country. The mission of ILF is to cultivate civic-minded future APA and Asian leaders in public service, in particular.This is accomplished through civic leadership training support from the ILF’s network of 15 national and global advisory boards. Board members serve as examples of leadership, with tenured professionals who span business, civic, and community-focused industries. Since 2000, ILF has provided scholarships and educational programs with over 7,000 APA and Asian students to make them emerging leaders.