Hannah Lee (2012) is currently a Master of Arts candidate at the Johns Hopkins University – School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), concentrating in Conflict Management and International Economics. After completing her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014, she worked as an investigator at the Mintz Group, an investigative service and due-diligence consultancy firm, in Dallas, Texas. She currently works in the Mintz Group’s Washington, D.C. office while attending Johns Hopkins SAIS.
Cynthia Lam (2013) is a 3-year JD/MBA candidate at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Wharton School of Business, where she is the recipient of the Levy Scholarship and Wharton Fellowship. Last summer, she won a $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace Grant to launch an English leadership academy for disadvantaged youth in Hong Kong’s poorest district. Cynthia graduated summa cum laude from Washington and Lee University in 2015 with a BA in English and BSc in Business Administration and minors in Philosophy and Creative Writing. While in college, she studied abroad at Oxford University, worked for Cabinet Secretary Erik Shinseki at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and interned at the Legal Services of New Jersey. In addition to being a Johnson Scholar, Cynthia served as Managing Editor of the newspaper, Honor Advocate for the university, Writing Center Tutor, and Tour Guide. Ultimately, Cynthia hopes to launch her own nonprofit at the cornerstone of public policy, law, and business to make a positive social impact in the community.
Phil Hsu (2010) is a graduate student at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University, focusing on urban sustainability and urban security. Growing up in Taiwan, Phil has traveled through much of Asia, from Indonesia and Cambodia to Inner Mongolia. Phil did his undergraduate studies at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and has worked as a litigation technical analyst at Covington and Burling LLP. He has also interned in the Employee Education System of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and most recently has worked with KineticCubed, an international trade development and research firm.
Betsy Yang (2012) is currently a second year M.D. Candidate at UNC School of Medicine. She graduated from UNC in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and minors in Chemistry and Public Policy. Growing up between Taiwan and the States, Betsy has developed a passion for community service, international relation and biomedical research. During her summers in college, she interned at the Century Council for Governmental Relations, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for International Affairs, Academia Sinica, Taiwan for biomedical sciences, and ARUP Laboratories, Utah for laboratory medicine on immunology and chemistry. She would like to become a physician with public health focus and participate in improving global health.
André Luu (2015) interned the the U.S. Agency for International Development. As an Anthropology and Peace & Conflict Studies double major, he is extremely passionate about foreign service, international relations, as well as conflict resolution. As an aspiring diplomat, André currently serves as his student body’s elected External Affairs Vice President. He is excited to graduate with the class of 2018 and continue to represent Vietnamese-Americans in the public service field.
Yilin Zhang (2009) is a health care consulting manager at Grant Thornton. Ms. Zhang has worked across the commercial and public sectors in health care strategy and transformation. She is passionate about working with health care systems to deliver accessible high-quality, patient-centered, and cost-efficient care. Ms. Zhang holds an MSc. in Health Policy and Economics from the London School of Economics, a B.A. in Anthropology and International Relations from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and is a Fulbright Fellow alumnus.
Melody Wu (2013) is currently a Master’s of Public Health (MPH) student in Epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health in NYC. She also works remotely for Harvard Medical School as a research assistant in the field of mental health epidemiology. Before her current job, Melody was involved with pediatric quality measurement initiatives at Boston Children’s Hospital. She graduated from Harvard College in 2014, where she majored in East Asian Studies, with a focus on China and Japan, and minored in Global Health and Health Policy. Melody loves working with animals and hopes to volunteer for the Wild Bird Fund next semester, after she finishes most of her required public health classes. In the long run, she plans to pursue a PhD and/or work for a federal or state health agency.
“Living in DC for a summer made me aware of how few Asians there are (comparatively) in the nation’s capital. Although I currently don’t have career plans likely to bring me back to DC, it’s inspiring to read other Fellows’ bios and know that many are doing great work there.” – Melody Wu
Letitia Wu (2009) is currently a M.A. candidate at Georgetown University’s Security Studies program studying U.S. National Security Policy. She has also worked in the public and private sectors over the past five years on various federal civil and criminal legal matters. Letitia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 2010 with a B.S.F.S. in International Politics focusing on Foreign Policy and Policy Processes.
Stefanie S. Chan (2011) is currently a second year J.D. Candidate at New York University School of Law. Prior to law school, Chan served as a financial risk consultant for Deloitte & Touche where her clients consisted of large, complex financial institutions. Chan graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, earning highest university and college honors, and admission into Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society, and Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society.
Lana B. Schanz (2011) joined the State Department in August 2013 as a program analyst in the International Programs Directorate of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS/IP). Ms. Schanz supports the Directorate on matters such as strategic planning, overseas staffing, policy guidance, and management controls. Prior to DS, she served as a management analyst in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) starting in June 2011. During her tenure at the VA, Ms. Schanz worked on information technology (IT) benchmarking and process improvement to modernize the VA benefits claims system. She has received a Meritorious Honor Award for DS/IP strategic planning, and several VA performance and group awards for improving IT systems and business practices to reduce the backlog in disability claims. Ms. Schanz earned a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 2011, and a Professional Certificate in IT Benchmarking from Stanford University in 2012. In 2010, she was selected to study EU and NATO policies and governance at Université libre de Bruxelles in Brussels, Belgium. Ms. Schanz speaks French and Vietnamese.
Bee Vang (2014) graduated from Brown University where he designed a major in “Geopolitical Epistemologies.” He earned the distinction of being one of the commencement speakers for mid-year graduates at Brown University. His speech centered on the state of the world in the Anthropocene. With a background in acting on film and on stage, and a commitment to advocacy and social justice, Bee began engaging audiences on media, critical race, gender, sexuality and queer studies, Asian America and political-economic analysis through co-facilitating over 20 domestic and 3 international forums. He also made social media interventions, and published in multiple genres in such journals as Cultural Studies, Positions, Hmong Studies, and Visual Anthropology. Bee has also traveled to China, to a region in the Zomia hinterlands that he considers his homeland, where he began formulating his scholarship on geopolitics, development, philosophy, and on the notion of the fourth world – stateless peoples, often minorities within dominant states. When he wasn’t in mountainous rural regions, he participated in creative and leadership programs in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. He has since worked with a host of organizations in New York City and Washington D.C. His experience in media and/or activism consists of working at WhyHunger, Asian Cinevision, the Rachel Maddow Show at MSNBC, The Economist, CAPAL and the International Leadership Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and especially Legacies of War, where he helped advocate for the clearance of unexploded ordnance in Laos.
Karim Farishta (2015) is currently in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on a Fulbright grant, looking at the nexus of youth engagement, urbanization, and reconciliation. Before leaving for his research, he served as one of the youngest political appointees in the Obama Administration. He was the Program Manager for the White House Office of Management and Administration, where he focused attention on presidential transition operations, the President’s Leadership Workshop, and professional development. Previously, he was a staff assistant in the same office and an intern in the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. Prior to the White House, he interned at the U.S. Agency for International Development, Alliance for Peacebuilding, and the American Red Cross. He is a proud native of Sugar Land, TX, where he founded the Global Issues Summit and served as President of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council. Karim graduated summa cum laude with a degree in international affairs from The George Washington University. He is also a 2016 Harry S. Truman Scholar.
Jacqueline Jin (2013) will soon be entering the United States Foreign Service in April 2016 to continue her journey in public service. She is currently working at the Department of State for the Ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom. Previously she worked in the Bureau of human Resources as a Program Administrator where she planned and organized the first day of in- processing orientation for all new Foreign Service hires. For the past few years, the Foreign Services has always been her dream and she is very thankful that all her opportunities and experiences has led her to achieve her goal. Originally from San Marino, California, Jacqueline’s passion for travel and culture led her to pursue a degree in International Studies from the University of California, Irvine.
Melissa M. Lee (2006) is Assistant Professor of Politics and International Affairs at the Department of Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of international relations and comparative politics, with a focus on sovereignty, security, and state capacity. Her current research explores the international politics of state weakness and the causes and consequences of political underdevelopment. She has consulted for the United States government and for the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy, and Security, a project of the Kofi Annan Foundation and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. Prior to joining the faculty at Princeton, she was a pre-doctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University and her B.A. from the University of California, San Diego.
Janet Guan (2012) is currently a Development Associate at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Prior to joining Advancing Justice – LA, Janet served as the Civil Rights Fellow for OCA-Greater Los Angeles, t he Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) Capitol Intern for California Assemblymember Ed Chau (CA-49), and the 2012 ILF Civic Fellow for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Civil Rights Center. Janet graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in history and minors in Asian American Studies and Public Affairs.
Joanne Chua (2014) is a recent magna cum laude graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Public Policy. She currently works as a Litigation Project Assistant for Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, an international corporate law firm. Growing up in the Philippines, Joanne has maintained a burning passion for increasing representation of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities in the fields of law and politics – especially the disproportionate representation of AAPI women. Throughout her undergraduate career, she has advocated for increasing access to justice and law resources for minorities through her internship with immigration attorney, Juliette Sarmiento, and her involvement as part of the board for the Partnership for Pre-Professional Pilipin@s and the ASUC Student Legal Clinic on campus. During her summers, she interned in the United States Agency for International Development (Bureau for Food Security) and attended international relations classes in the London School of Economics and Political Science. Within the last year, she has been the recipient of the APAPA-CEF Scholarship and of the CAL Leadership Award. She hopes to attend law school in the future, work with international affairs and policy and flesh out her passions for humanitarian issues and social justice.
Julie Chen (2013) is an analyst in the Structured Finance Advisory Services at EY. She graduated from Wellesley College with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science with the latter focused on Asia-Pacific. During her incredible summer with ILF, she worked under Hannah Kim in the Office of Congressman Charles B. Rangel. Passionate about social justice, Julie was the co-president of an Asian American political organization and was part of student leadership that advocated for Ethnic Studies curriculum at Wellesley. In the future, Julie hopes to combine her private sector experience and heart for public service to create positive impact and opportunities in marginalized communities.
Annie Chiang (2012), an alumna of Georgetown University class of 2014, majored in Mathematics and Linbuistics. Currently she is halfway through her second year as a Federal Advisory Analytics Consultant at Deloitte. She is currently deciding on the university to begin her JD candidacy starting Fall 2016. Ultimately she hopes to work in National Security law within the Federal government.
Jasper Lo (2008) is a Poetry MFA candidate at Queens College. He is a US Army veteran with experience in Reconnaissance and Armor units in Texas and Korea. He serves as the Project Manager of Elastic Magazine. His current project is a book of poetry that links the past and present through his childhood home.
Henry Xu (2015) is currently a senior at NYU, majoring in economics. He has had abundant working experiences in both public sector and private sector. Through ILF program, he interned at USDA, focusing on providing consul to USDA employees. Currently, he is interning at New York State Attorney General, conducting economic analysis to help attorney in pinpointing misbehavior of firms. He wishes to continue down the road of economic analysis and eventually enroll in a PhD program for economics.
Jenny Pelaez (2006) is currently a federal law clerk for the Hon. Judge Pamela K. Chen in the Eastern District of New York. Prior to her clerkship, she also served as a law clerk to the Hon. Frank Maas in the Southern District of New York, and was a staff attorney and fellow at the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, where she litigated impact cases to safeguard legal rights of people living in poverty. She will be joining the law firm of WilmerHale after her clerkship as a senior litigation associate.
“As a first generation immigrant, the ILF fellowship program during my sophomore year in college was my first real exposure to professional world. The lessons I learned about navigating this new and exciting arena from my peers, program staff, and my mentors at my internship placement were invaluable. I am very grateful to be a member of the wonderful community of ILF alumni.” – Jenny Paleaz
Hassan Mukhlis (2011) is a 2L at American University – Washington College of Law where he serves as a Senior Staffer on the Criminal Law Practitioner. Hassan’s first introduction to the law was while he interned at the United States Department of Agriculture Civil Rights Division where he works directly under the Secretary of Civil Rights as a research/legal intern. While attending the University of California at Irvine, Hassan worked for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office as a legal intern. This past summer Hassan worked at Legal Aid Orange County, where he gained first-hand experience helping senior citizens with a variety of issues from Limited Conservatorships to Identity Fraud. This fall Hassan worked out of the Montgomery County (Maryland) State’s Attorney’s Office as a case screener. Hassan was able to second chair criminal court hearings and help prepare the docket for prosecutors. In the Spring Hassan will be joining the Office of the Bar Counsel in Washington, DC as a part-time law clerk. Hassan will be assisting in the prosecution of lawyers accused of ethical violations. He hopes to work as a prosecutor after graduation.
“The ILF fellowship was the stepping stone I needed to get into a career in law. My experience in DC gave me the desire to work hard and move forward in my career. I could not have been where I am today without it. “ – Hassan Mukhlis
Kenny Chen (2011) has developed personally and professionally. Born in Wisconsin and raised in Las Vegas, Kenny graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Psychology. He spent a year working in San Francisco before going to Hong Kong, working throughout Asia, and finally coming to Pittsburgh. His family is all from Taiwan. We caught up with Kenny as he told us about his past and current projects, including his involvement with the Heroic Imagination Project, and how his work has been influenced by his experiences as an ILF and Coro Fellow (read more about him).
Jenna Lee (2008) has been very active in working to give back to the community. A few years ago, she started a non-profit at UC Berkley, which has garnered support and partnership from the school and helped out hundreds of families (read more about her).
Benny Du‘s productive and life-changing experiences in Washington, DC during summer 2006 helped him jump start his professional career. After Benny graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 2007 he joined IBM Global Business Services as a Business Transformation Consultant, where he served a number of public sector clients,such as the U.S. Navy in San Diego (read more about him).
“ILF has had a major impact on my personal and professional life. The ILF experiences have made me a better person, a better leader, and a better colleague and teammate. ILF gave me an opportunity to build lifelong, meaningful relationships and provided a platform for me to experiment and develop my own unique leadership style. I’m truly grateful to be a part of this incredible community and I hope to pay it forward in the coming days!” – Benny Du
Keerthika Melissa Subramanian (2006) is a corporate attorney at Davis Polk & Wardwell in Menlo Park, California. She is a 2011 graduate of the Yale Law School and a 2007 graduate of Emory University which she graduated from with Summa cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors in three years. She attended Emory on a four year John Emory Merit Scholarship and earned numerous accolades as an undergraduate including being named a finalist for the 2008 Rhodes Scholarship and leading the Class of 2007 during commencement exercises as a top ranking undergraduate. She is a member of the state bars of California, Massachusetts and New York. Outside of work, she is active with the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Steering Committee of the Yale Law School Alumni Association, the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the Northern California chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Asian American groups within the Republican Party. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Yale Law School Alumni Association, the Young Leaders Council of the International Leadership Foundation and as a surrogate on Asian American issues for the Republican National Committee. She has authored legal practitioner publications as well as peer-reviewed academic publications and mainstream political articles. Her 2013 op-ed exploring why Indian Americans support the Democratic Party was tweeted by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. In 2014, she founded the Tamil American Pioneers (“TAP”) Awards Gala which recognizes the professional achievements of Tamil Americans. Inaugural award recipients included, among others, Raj Chetty, the award winning Stanford economist, and Jay Vijayan, CIO of Tesla Motors.She is a 2006 alumna of the International Leadership Foundation Fellowship Program and spent her summer interning at the Center for Women Veterans at the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
“The ILF Fellowship program really opened my eyes and made me aware that Asian Americans could serve in influential positions in the US government and in multinational corporations and that there was a seat at the table for us. Meeting people like Elaine Chao was simply inspirational — I aspire to follow in her footsteps. ILF has also provided me with a solid professional and social network — I still keep in touch with a few fellows from my class to this day.” – Keerthika Melissa Subramanian
Tarlochan “Tar” Rakhra (2014) is a fourth year Business Administration major with a concentration in Finance at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). Tar is a President Scholar at CSUF, which is a prestigious four-year full-ride merit scholarship given to a select amount of students each year. He is expected to graduate with honors in May 2016 and will be joining Grant Thornton as an Associate in their Business Advisory Services after graduation. While displaying academic excellence, he is fervently committed to serving his community and believes that the character built from selfless service will develop well-rounded young professionals. His continuous service to his community has had Tar recognized several times by his local community. In 2012, Tar was the recipient of ABC7’s Cool Kids Award, and then in 2014, Tar was also the recipient of the Civic Fellowship from the International Leadership Foundation (ILF), where he had the opportunity to intern for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI). During his summer at WHIAAPI, Tar was exposed to many different issues that are faced by the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and through his work, he realized that it is his dream and passion to help all people of this great nation. Tarlochan plans to attend law school after completing his undergraduate degree at CSUF with dreams of a career in politics.
Jocelyn Gan (2012) is the programs associate at the Building Energy Exchange (BEEx), an energy efficiency resource center in downtown Manhattan. BEEx provides education, exhibits, targeted research, and critical tools to advance the energy efficiency of buildings, directly supporting the City and the State’s ambitious climate action plans. BEEx plays an integral part in NYC’s Retrofit Accelerator, providing education and other tools for building industry stakeholders. She develops and manages engaging events about energy efficiency that showcases innovative projects and industry-leading professionals. At BEEx, she is the co-founder of WISE – Women in Sustainability and Energy, and manages Daylight Hour, a global social media campaign. Jocelyn is currently pursuing her Masters in Sustainability Management from Columbia University as a part-time student.
Justin Lee (2014) Justin Lee is the research and administrative assistant for the Bipartisan Policy Center Advocacy Network (BPCAN). Prior to joining BPCAN, Lee was the 2015 fellowship coordinator for the International Leadership Foundation. He previously interned with the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). He has also held research roles at the Center for an Urban Future, which is a New York-based urban policy think tank, and Cornell University’s Survey Research Institute. Lee is a cum laude graduate of Cornell University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in government and a minor in history.
Van-Anh Su (2011) is a Corporate Strategy Fellow at FHI 360, a global development organization that addresses worldwide health and socioeconomic challenges through evidence-based, integrated, and locally driven solutions. Prior to joining FHI 360, Van-Anh worked as a Strategy and Business Development Analyst at DaVita HealthCare Partners, a Fortune 500 healthcare services company. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, visiting museums, exploring bookstores and coffee shops, and training for half-marathons. Van-Anh graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a B.A. in Economics and International Relations, and was a 2011 ILF Civic Fellow with the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“My ILF Civic Fellowship was an eye-opening learning experience. The Fellowship provided me with hands-on experience working in public service, a cohort of peers, and a structured professional development program that allowed me to reflect on my passions and explore possible career paths. During the Fellowship, I also reinforced my interest in the international development field through my internship with the U.S. Agency for International Development. Through that experience, I gained an understanding of the field that has been incredibly valuable in my current role working at a global health and development organization.” – Van-Ahn Su
Varun P. Balan (2009) is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Rocky Mountain Innovations LLC (RMI). Prior to RMI, Varun was a Director at a Healthcare Technology company in NYC. Varun started his career as an Investment Banker at J.P. Morgan in New York covering capital markets and advisory transactions for clients within the Public Finance, Infrastructure, and Real Estate & Lodging sectors. Varun graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with dual degrees in Applied Mathematics and Political Economy. He is the recipient of several Civic Fellowships. Varun is passionate about the intersection of technology and government.
“The ILF Program was the initial catalyst that allowed me to pursue my interests in the public sector through a rewarding internship and numerous evening / mentoring events. The Program was paramount in providing me with a valuable public sector internship in addition to a variety of well-organized and structured evening events that helped to inform me about the public sector and all the opportunities that it offers. My ILF experience, though not immediately leading to a role in the public sector, set the ground-work for my long-term career in the public sector – or namely in my pursuit to apply the best of private sector principles and values to the public sector.” – Varun Balan
Ma’Ayn Johnson (2004) is a senior planner for Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), where she has specialized in housing and land use policy issues since 2006. Between 2001 and 2004, she served as an intern for several government agencies, including the Federal Highway Administration, the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Office in Washington, D.C. She graduated with an M.A.in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.A. in Legal Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Her senior thesis at UC Berkeley, titled “Proposition 13 and Its Effects on the Tiebout Hypothesis,” analyzed the impacts of California’s property tax initiative on land use policy and granted her the distinction of graduating with honors. In her community, Ma’Ayn currently serves on the City of Fullerton Planning Commission and served as Chair in 2014. Between 2011 and 2013, Ma’Ayn served as the Chair of the City’s Transportation and Circulation Commission and in 2015 she was appointed to the Orange County Housing and Community Commission as an at-large member. She is an active member of the Woman’s Club of Fullerton, where she volunteers for local fundraising projects, and Temple Beth Emet in Anaheim, where she serves on the congregation’s Women’s League Board . In her free time, Ma’Ayn enjoys running, snowboarding, and preparing adventurous cuisine with varying degrees of success.
David DyTang (2011) is Operations Manager at Uber. He was a Strategy & Operations Consultant at Deloitte, where he works with Federal Government clients on key business issues ranging from strategic planning to data analytics to requirements development. His work across the Federal Health and National Security Sectors includes setting metrics and key performance indicators, analyzing and visualizing large data sets, documenting business processes, gathering technical requirements, delivering knowledge management solutions, facilitating focus groups and strategic planning sessions, leading teams, preparing business development materials, and recruiting from undergraduate campuses. David served as an ILF Fellow in the summer of 2011, when he interned with NASA’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer. He graduated from Cornell University in 2012 with a degree in Policy Analysis Management.
Carmen Ye (2013) currently serves as the Special Assistant to the Chief Human Capital Officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development. She graduated in 2012 from the University of California, Berkeley with a double major in Social Welfare and Asian American Studies, and a minor in Public Policy. Carmen got her start in community organizing in her hometown of San Francisco, with the Chinatown Community Development Center, where she was a youth leader and tour guide in the nationally recognized Chinatown Alleyway Tours. In Washington, DC, she currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership as the Vice Chair of Operations. In addition to speaking 4 languages (English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish), she is passionate about running, baking, and writing, and plans to pursue a Master’s in Public Policy.
Tiffany Lam (2009) graduated from Tufts University in 2011 with a BA in Women’s Studies and Peace and Justice Studies. She then spent a year in Madrid teaching English in an elementary school prior to moving to Washington, DC to work at the Federal Trade Commission as a paralegal in the Bureau of Consumer Protection. She has been working at Cohen Milstein, a plaintiffs’ class action law firm, as a paralegal in the Civil Rights group since January 2013. She has been very involved with the Washington Area Bicycling Association (WABA) as a “Roll Model” for the Women and Bicycles group, and as a Certified Cycling Instructor. She also enjoys practicing yoga, reading, swimming, and going to happy hours. In the summer, she will be moving to London to attend the London School of Economics for a Masters in City Design and Social Science.
Ben Chou (2013) currently works as a Policy Advisor and Press Assistant for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). He previously served as the Iowa Outreach and Operations Director for Governor Martin O’Malley’s 2016 Presidential Campaign and prior as an Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) Fellow with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office. He graduated from Rice University in Houston where he was active in local Democratic politics and Asian American advocacy. In 2012, he was elected as one of the youngest delegates to the Democratic National Convention and the sole Asian American LGBT delegate from Texas. At Rice, he won national recognition as both a Harry S. Truman and Morris K. Udall Scholar for his work on environmental and civil rights organizing. Read his journey to politics featured in the World Journal
Jason Hong (2014) is a current undergraduate senior at UCLA pursuing a major in French and Francophone studies. His research interests center on comparative francophonies, French Indochina, and Vietnamese diaspora. He aims to pursue a PhD in French.
“The ILF Fellowship showed me international affairs in action: Instead of just studying French and francophone studies, I received the opportunity on several occasions to see how French has evolved into a global language in Africa and beyond. It’s one thing to study globalization, but it’s by far another thing to see the powers behind it. ” – Jason Hong
Kimberly Dao (2014) is a 2014 graduate from the University of Maine where she majored in biology and minored in child development and family relations. As an undergraduate, she took part in various extracurricular activities including All Maine Women, Student Government (Student Body President), Class Council of 2014 (President), Asian Student Association, Alternative Breaks, Club Field Hockey, Phi Beta Kappa, Black Bear Mentors, Partners for World Health, Vagina Monologues, and participated in the International Dance Festival for three years. During the summer of 2013, she studied abroad through Semester at Sea. Currently, Kim is a student at Tufts University School of Medicine and participates in their Maine Track MD program. Her career goals include becoming a family physician, a public health administrator, and participating in Doctors Without Borders or Physicians for Peace.
“Although officially a college graduate, during my summer with ILF I quickly realized how much more there is to learn out in the real world. The summer was full of listening to inspirational leaders, thoughtful conversations, and self-exploration. It is a rare and humbling experience to have access to such successful and grounded individuals in one setting. In addition, being able to meet and greet with the fundamental people behind ILF, especially Chiling and Joel, truly put this amazing opportunity into context for me. That summer has empowered me to engage with my community in a way that I never thought I would before. More than ever do I aspire to make an impact not only within the medical profession, but politically as well. This program was educational, motivating, and fun. I hope future ILFers will benefit from it as much as I did!!” – Kimberly Dao
Arthur Chen (2013) is part of the IT Advisory Practice in the Financial Services Office at EY. Arthur graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Chemical Engineering and Economics. He has spent time interning at the United Nations and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency. In 2014, he completed the Summer Management Development Program at M&T Bank. On three occasions, he has also taken to the courts as a ballperson at the US Open Tennis Championships.
“Leadership is the willingness to take command when required, the ability to encourage others to succeed, and the capacity to accept the blame for one’s mistakes.” – Arthur Chen
Alda Chan (2008) is an NYC native with a passion for public service, community development, and the natural and urban environment. She is currently a Project Planner with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, where she manages open space planning projects that advance resiliency and climate change adaptation. Alda has a broad range of experience in the public sector, having contributed to the work of New Yorkers for Parks, the Sierra Club, the BlueGreen Alliance, the Metropolitan Transportation Association, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Alda graduated with a Masters in Urban Planning from NYU Wagner School of Public Service and a B.A. in Chinese and International Studies from Williams College.
Crystal Chen (2008) is a doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research examines the intersections among literacy, teacher education, and social justice education. Formerly, she was a high school English teacher in New Jersey, and received her M.Ed. in English Education and B.A. summa cum laude in English from Rutgers University. After graduation, she plans to pursue a tenure-track professorship at a graduate school of education.
” ILF has broadened my experience in the public sector, particularly in the intersections of public education, public policy, and the academy. It has informed my passion for public service and for my desire to continue to build the capacity of public schools across the United States. ” – Crystal Chen
Eunice Roh (2014) is a senior at Vassar College, where she majors in sociology and minors in education policy and practice. During her time at Vassar, Eunice has been heavily involved in both student government and education outreach. Her tutoring and mentoring work with youth inspired her to pursue a career in education policy and research. Previously, she has interned for the Massachusetts Governor’s Office, D.C. Public Schools, and an education research laboratory in Strasbourg, France. This past summer, she interned with the education policy team at the Center for American Progress. After graduating, she will be teaching in Oklahoma City with Teach for America. She is originally from Andover, Massachusetts.
“Through the International Leadership Foundation’s Civic Fellowship, I had a transformative summer in Washington, D.C. Not only did ILF support me financially to intern at the Center for American Progress, they provided me with the professional development and social enrichment that I needed as a budding professional in Washington. Whether it was through the four hour tour of monuments and memorials or the reflective CORO leadership session, ILF nurtured my passion for public service and leadership.” – Eunice Roh
Kevin Chen (2013) is a Litigation Legal Assistant at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City. He grew up in Shrewsbury, MA and graduated from Brown University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies. There, he performed as a violist in the Brown University Orchestra, participated in the campus food cooperative, and worked with the Rhode Island Student Climate Coalition to advocate for environmental policies at the state level. As a Civic Fellow, he interned with the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service in its Policy Analysis Division; he later interned with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development, where he analyzed environmental indicators and researched measures of community engagement. Kevin plans to attend law school beginning in fall of 2017.
Yang-Yang Zhou (2008) is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Politics at Princeton University, an NSF graduate research fellow, and a Princeton Q-APS graduate fellow. She also works for the peer-reviewed academic journal World Politics. Her research primarily focuses on the effects of migration and forced displacement on citizenship and nationalism in Africa. Additionally, She studies torture and other forms of political repression, aid and violence, and citizen demands for better public goods provision. She is also working to develop methods for asking sensitive survey questions. Prior to Princeton, She worked at the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, USAID, and CARE International. Yang-Yang received my BA in International Relations and Africana Studies at NYU.
Belinda Li (2014) is a sophomore at Pomona College in Claremont,CA. She is pursuing a major in International Relations and a minor in Chinese. Belinda’s greatest passions are for singing and public service. She is a part of an acappella group on campus, and has recently taken a year leave of school to learn Chinese folk singing in Beijing. Summer 2014, she was accepted to the ILF fellowship program and interned for Congresswoman Grace Meng in Washington, D.C. She is fluent Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese Chinese.
Michelle Cho (2013) is a second-year Master of Public Policy candidate at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies and Women, Gender and Sexuality from U.Va., and is interested in how gender-inclusive policy can increase the effectiveness of foreign aid and international development. Michelle has been active in advocacy work at both the local and national levels, interning at the Charlottesville Office of Human Rights to increase citywide awareness of civil rights protections, and increasing minority rights visibility nationally at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She has also interned at the U.S. Agency for International Development where she researched how the U.N. Millenium Development Goals can be improved by incorporating women, children and other vulnerable populations into policy interventions. For a year, Michelle was the In-House Blogger for the anti-trafficking non-profit organization End Slavery Now, where she produced a series of articles raising awareness of human trafficking both domestically and abroad. She has also worked for the digital media startup Hy.ly, where she co-authored and published an eBook on industry best practices for reaching audiences through thought leadership. Michelle has proudly served as a Civic Fellow at the International Leadership Foundation (ILF) and an intern at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS). She hopes to continue inspiring others to action and meaningful change through writing and creative expression.
“Leadership is the art of helping people actualize their fullest potential.”- Michelle Cho
Tonia Bui (2006) has advocated for underrepresented communities through media relations, strategic communications and constituent outreach. She is currently a senior consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, specializing in interagency coordination and federal financial assistance programs. Tonia previously served as the Communications Specialist at the national non-profit Equal Justice Works and the Communications Director for the Nguyen for Delegate Campaign (VA-67). Her efforts to build stakeholder engagement stems from her experiences serving as an Outreach Coordinator at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and as the Member Outreach Assistant to Vice Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA-34). She also held internships in the former offices of U.S. Senator Barack Obama (IL-13) and California Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (CA-12). She led the Asian American voter outreach efforts for the Darcy Burner for Congress Campaign (WA-08) in 2008. Tonia is also a contributing writer for Montgomery Community Media, with her commentary, “Politics Within Politics,” which highlights women’s involvement in politics. Tonia holds a Master in Public Policy from American University and a B.A. in Mass Communications and Gender & Women’s Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
Sean Fisher (2016) is a student at Boston College, majoring in International Studies with a concentration in Political Science and minoring in Chinese and History. This past summer, he was an ILF Civic Fellow and interned at the International Monetary Fund. He has had abundant public sector experience having served as a Congressional Intern with the Office of Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) and a Legislative Analyst for the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce. He hopes to combine his diverse skillset and international experience in a career working directly with people to find the best possible solutions to their problems.
David Sen Lin Lee Scholarship: this special scholarship has supported 10 Fellows over the last 8 years thanks to the leadership and dedication of Mr. David S. Lee.
Jessica Liang is a rising senior at Yale University, where she is an Education Studies Scholar majoring in Political Science. At Yale, she has served as Coordinator and Head of the Asian American Cultural Center for the past two years and will continue her involvement with the Asian American community as the Peer Liaison to Timothy Dwight College. Her other campus commitments have included being a member of the Provost’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee, an editor for The Yale Historical Review, social chair of the club badminton team, a flyer on the cheerleading squad, and a runway model for Y Fashion House. She has spent her summers interning at Lenovo, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (as a 2015 ILF Civic Fellow), and The Heritage Foundation.
Dr. John B. Tsu Fellowship Alumni
2013 and 2014 Fellow Alexander Wu currently serves as an Associate Director in the White House Office of Management and Administration and as a Tank Officer in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He previously served as the Program Director for the ILF Civic Fellowship Program and as an active duty Tank and Combat Engineer Officer in the Marine Corps. Alex graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2010 with a B.A. in Sociology and plans to attend law school in the fall of 2017 upon the conclusion of the current Presidential Administration. He is married to Letitia, a 2009 ILF Civic Fellow, who works as an Analyst for the Department of Justice. They live in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
2013 Fellow Alexandria Liu serves as Chief Operating Officer of Custom Cut Clothiers in Washington, D.C. after receiving her Master’s of Public Policy (MPP) degree from Peking University. She also served as editor of the Peking University English News and the Civic Engagement Coordinator for the Association of Baltimore Chinese, which she co-founded in 2007. During her internship at the Minority Business Development Agency, Alexandria developed a global outreach strategy to expand opportunities for minority-owned businesses. Previously, she interned for former Maryland Governor O’Malley during his standard setting trade mission to China in the summer of 2011. She also testified before the Maryland General Assembly, organized the Senate Reception on Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and received a Congressional Achievement Award for her service to the AAPI community.
Esther Lee is a proud alumna of the Civic Fellowship (2011) and Dr. John Tsu Fellowship (2013), through which she was offered internships from the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Agriculture. She is currently attending the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard (HKS), pursuing a Master in Public Policy with a focus on U.S. foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region (read more about her).
2012 Fellow Annie Zhou holds a MPA at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Annie holds leadership positions in a number of non-profit organizations, including the Rural China Education Foundation, Chinese Finance Association, China Institute, and National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. She currently serves as the Founder and Executive Director of Harmonia Holdings, Ltd., which is focused on cross-border investment advisory and cultural exchange and artistic management.
2011 Fellow Soben Huon is a rising Finance Associate at Deutsche Bank -NY in the Asset and Wealth Management division servicing high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals, families and family offices. She obtained the 2011 John B. Tsu fellowship honors for her services in the Asian American community. Soben graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Political Science with an emphasis on International Relations which later spawned her interest to seek an internship in a boutique Asset Management company in Berlin, Germany. She fluently speaks Khmer, German, and is currently pursuing conversational French and Spanish. She is an active participant in various networks including, but not limited to Women on Wall Street, New York’s National Association of Asian American Professional network (NAAAP), and Deutsche Bank’s Multicultural Partnership.
2011 Fellow Michael Wu, MPP, obtained his B.A. from James Madison University and Master’s from George Mason University. He was placed with the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Office of Human Resource and Management as a Dr. John B. Tsu Fellow in 2011. In 2014, Michael was sworn in as a Criminal Investigator for the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General. Wu was relocated to New York City to conduct criminal, civil, and administrative investigations on alleged misconduct involving mail theft, financial fraud, and claimant fraud. In 2015, Wu was reassigned to Virginia to join the Special Inquiries Division, USPS OIG.
2011 Fellow Arthur Chen received his B.A. at the University of California, San Diego, majoring in Communications and Chinese Studies. He was a member of Phi Sigma Theta, a national honors student group, as well as Phi Alpha Delta, an international law fraternity. He also had experience working for local Los Angeles corporations and San Diego PR agencies, and traveled abroad to intern in Hong Kong and Taiwan. He coordinated the ILF 2011 Young Ambassadors program, which trains elite students from Shanghai, Beijing, and Taiwan for 2 weeks in the U.S. Arthur is currently serving as the Program Manager at PureGear.
2009 Fellow Hannah Y. Kim is currently the Communications Director for Congressman Charles B. Rangel, and one of the 10 elected Board Members of Democratic Communicators Network (DC Net). She spearheaded the historic passage of the “Korean War Veterans Recognition Act, U.S. Public Law 111-41,” which was signed by President Obama on July 27, 2009. Envisioning herself as an ambassadress between the United States and Korea, Hannah graduated early from high school to return to Seoul, where she was born and raised until the age of six. After earning her Bachelor’s from Seoul National University in 2005, Hannah relocated to Washington, DC, and obtained a Master’s in Legislative Affairs at the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. Hannah’s experiences span working for the United States Institute of Peace and Peace Corps Headquarters in DC, as well as a published author and CEO of a start-up company in Los Angeles. Passionate about lifetime learning, Hannah also studied entrepreneurship at UCLA Anderson School of Management and international relations at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.