The International Leadership Foundation’s 2023 Civic Fellows

The International Leadership Foundation is pleased to welcome 2023 Civic Fellows. This year’s cohort boasts of 33 accomplished and civically-minded Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) undergraduate students from distinguished colleges and universities. They are interning in government agencies from across the U.S. federal government, congressional offices, and think tanks. Each Fellow participates in leadership and professional development seminars as well as have the opportunity to engage with various business, government, and community leaders. This will all help equip the fellows with tools and skills, help them build their networks, and train them to be civically engaged leaders.


ILF Announce the Appointment of Chiling Tong and Tina Wei Smith to the Congressional Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture

Chiling Tong is President/CEO of National ACE, and Tina Wei Smith is the former Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; the two were recently appointed by Senator McConnell to the 8-Person Commission as directed under legislation authored by Representative Grace Meng, and signed into law by President Biden last June.


ILF Applauds the Nomination of Julie Su to Secretary of Labor

Linh Hoang, Executive Director of the International Leadership Foundation (ILF), gave the following statement:

“Julie Su is eminently qualified to serve as our next Secretary of Labor. She is best positioned to create opportunities and expand our nation’s economy. As Deputy Secretary, Su has been an indispensable leader within the Department of Labor, partnering with leadership across the government to solve national crises and build a more inclusive economy for all Americans. Su brings valuable perspective and lived experience as a daughter of immigrants, an Asian American, and a woman of color to the role of Secretary of Labor, ensuring all communities are prioritized in the workforce.”


Connecting the AAPI Community in the 118th Congress

As the 118th Congress kicks off, the International Leadership Foundation (ILF) is focused on ensuring that the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community can access and benefit from recent infrastructure investments. These funds could provide millions of AAPI families and individuals with access to increased opportunities through focused broadband investments. Over the next few years, one of ILF’s priorities will be ensuring that infrastructure funds are invested wisely.


Now Accepting 2023 ILF Civic Fellowship Applications!

WASHINGTON, DC – The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) is now accepting applications for the Summer 2023 Civic Fellowship Program. Every year, ILF identifies approximately 30 outstanding Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) college students to spend 8 to 10 weeks interning at a federal agency in Washington D.C. during the summer term. Students are also placed in the U.S. Congress, D.C. based nonprofits and think tanks.


President Biden Announces Key Nominees

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve as key leaders in his administration:

  • Jennifer M. Adams, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Cabo Verde
  • Nicole D. Theriot, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana
  • Joel Matthew Szabat, Nominee for Member of the AMTRAK Board of Directors
  • Robert G. Taub, Nominee for Member of the Postal Regulatory Commission


Press Advisory – 2022 ILF Leadership & Business Conference & Gala

Washington D.C. – The International Leadership Foundation (ILF), along with the Coalition of Asian American Business Organizations (CAABO), will host the 2022 ILF Leadership and Business Conference. The conference will be held on Thursday, July 28, 2022.

Featured speakers include Secretary Elaine L. Chao, Ambassador Christopher Lu, Dr. Henry C. Lee, and Governor Larry Hogan. Approximately 350 guests will attend, including distinguished Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) business and community leaders, entrepreneurs, and ILF Civic Fellows. The Gala seeks to recognize leaders in the AAPI community who have contributed significantly to the advancement and representation of AAPIs.


The International Leadership Foundation’s 2022 Civic Fellows

Washington, DC – The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) welcomed their 2022 Civic Fellows cohort at the 2 days DC-Fly In on June 7th-8th. Our Fellows met with the Honorable Elaine L. Chao, former Secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Labor and U.S. Dept. of Transportation; U.S. Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-48); Krystal Ka’ai, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders; Howard Ou, Associate Director, Office of Public Engagement at The White House; Andrew Kim, White House Fellow; House Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Maeve Healy, Chief of Staff, U.S. Representative Grace Meng (NY-6).This two-day program proved to be an inspirational one where students continued to hone their leadership skills, received expert advice from national leaders, and discussed policy issues that are important to each of them with government officials. They also participated in an epic tour of all of the National Monuments, guided by ILF’s Founder and in-house historian, Joel Szabat.


Norman Y. Mineta, the First Asian American Cabinet Secretary and former Honorary Chairman of ILF, Passes at Age 90

Washington, DC – The International Leadership Foundation joins the nation in mourning the passing of Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. A first-generation Japanese American, Secretary Mineta lived the horrors of the internment camp during World War II, but he saw the goodness of America and worked tirelessly to preserve it. He became the first Asian American elected mayor of a major city and went on to serve 11 terms in Congress. He continued to pave the way for the Asian American community by becoming the first Asian American to serve in the President’s Cabinet after being confirmed as the Secretary of Commerce and later as Secretary of Transportation.


Norman Y. Mineta – In Memorium

On May 3rd, 2022 Norm Mineta passed away. The International Leadership Foundation lost a dear friend – our first National Honorary Chairman. America lost a great leader.

Although Norm Mineta saw the worst of America, he always believed in our best. He made America, and Americans, better for his faith in us. His persistent optimism made each of us who knew him want to live up to his ideals.

As a young boy he was incarcerated at the beginning of World War II, thrown into an internment camp along with his family and 120,000 other Japanese-Americans because our government would not trust their loyalty in a war against Japan. Through his efforts, the US government eventually apologized for the unjust internment, and gave restitution to the survivors.


Protecting the Privacy of AAPI and All Consumers on the Internet

The COVID pandemic has resulted in more people turning to the internet to stay engaged with their communities. People are working, learning, and interacting online more than ever. With more Americans active online, the protection of consumer privacy on the internet must become a policy priority for lawmakers.


Now Accepting 2022 ILF Civic Fellowship Applications!

WASHINGTON, DC: The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) is now accepting applications for the Summer 2022 Civic Fellowship Program. Every year, ILF’s selection committee identifies approximately 30 outstanding Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) college students to spend 8 to 10 weeks interning at a federal agency in Washington D.C. during the summer term. Students are also placed in the U.S. Congress, nonprofits and think tanks.


Congress Needs to Seal the Deal on Universal Broadband

Congress is just one vote and one signature away from delivering once-in-a-generation infrastructure investments that can make universal broadband a reality. In a broadly bipartisan 69-30 vote, the Senate approved an infrastructure package containing $65 billion in funding to improve internet access, broadband affordability, and digital literacy. ILF applauds the Senate for supporting our universal connectivity goals, and we now urge the House of Representatives – and President Biden – to swiftly approve the proposal.


The International Leadership Foundation’s 2021 Civic Fellows

Washington, DC – The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) welcomed their 2021 Civic Fellows cohort at a Virtual Kick-Off Orientation on Saturday, June 5th, 2021.

Amongst the speakers included both Founding President, Chiling Tong, and Founder, Joel Szabat, and ILF Executive Director, Linh D. Hoang. Teddy Liaw, CEO of NexRep and Boardmember of the Leaders Forum, provided motivating and encouraging keynote remarks. The program directors for the Civic Fellowship Program, Tina Wei Smith and Amy Cheng Tarnoviski outlined their goals and activities for this summer.


TPJ: Violence against Asian Americans worries community members in RI

Growing up in Providence, Wing Chau, a Chinese American, was called “every name in the book,” he says.

With family in the restaurant business, Chau finds “disheartening” the derogatory language some customers still use with staff members, but he says “I love Rhode Island” and welcomed the chance to return in 2019 to work as U.S. marshal in the state.

Like many, Chau is concerned about an increase in discrimination and acts of violence nationwide against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. He appreciated it when Acting U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island Richard B. Myrus called him, former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, Pawtucket businessman Louis Yip and others together for a meeting last week to hear their concerns and show support.


ILF Condemn the Mass Shooting in Georgia and the Ongoing Violence and Attacks Against the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community

Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, eight Americans were shot and killed in Atlanta, Georgia. Six of them were Asian American women. We join people everywhere in mourning for the victims of the horrific mass shooting in Georgia. This attack comes amid the disturbing nationwide rise in violence against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, exacerbated by misinformation and fear of the COVID-19.

Anti-Asian bias and hate crimes against our communities have existed for centuries and we are now seeing a new alarming resurgence of hate incidents. Since the start of the pandemic, Stop AAPI Hate has received over 3,795 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents. These incidents are no doubt the consequence of the harmful rhetoric that blames AAPIs for the COVID-19 pandemic.


WSJ: America Needs Leaders Like Elaine Chao

She’s an inspiration to minorities and women and is under baseless attack.

As immigrants to the U.S., we are proud to be among the first Korean-American women to serve in Congress. We have sought, and encouraged others to seek, mentors who broke barriers for women and minorities. Secretary Elaine Chao is one of the women we have looked up to and counted on for guidance and advice throughout our careers.

When she became labor secretary in 2001, the Taiwan-born Ms. Chao was the first Asian-American woman appointed to a president’s cabinet. She is the longest-serving cabinet member since World War II, having also served as President Trump’s transportation secretary. Countless Asian-Americans like us have benefited from her tireless commitment to breaking barriers since she first came to this country on a cargo ship.


ILF Condemns Racial Violence Against Asian American and Pacific Islanders

Washington, D.C. – The recent acts of violence and hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) has traumatized many AAPI families and caused much fear and concern amongst the AAPI community. According to Stop AAPI Hate, since March 2020 they have received over 2,800 incident reports of hate against Asian Americans from 47 states and the District of Columbia. Incidents include verbal harassment, physical assault, vandalism, and workplace discrimination.

Since the surge of COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, there have been mounting reports of xenophobic and racist incidents targeting the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. A string of recent violent and deadly attacks on elderly Asian Americans has led to a much-heightened level of fear and concern.


Imagining a Post-COVID Future with Improved Internet Access for All

As we start this new year, we cannot ignore the 19 million Americans who lack internet access. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of universal broadband in economic growth and recovery. In the 21st century, internet access is an indispensable means to work from home, pursue education, and to communicate with our friends and family. Everyone must have access to this critical technology, especially during this crisis.

ILF strives to promote the economic effectiveness of the AAPI community – every year, we host an exciting business and leadership conference which includes a Global Strategic Economic Forum and Business to Business matchmaking. At 20 million strong, Asian Americans are a powerful economic force: nearly two million Asian American–owned small businesses generate $700 billion in annual GDP and employ around 3.5 million people. Yet, COVID-19 has illuminated ways in which Asian Americans have been disproportionately affected – unemployment rates among Asian Americans increased by more than 450 percent during the public health crisis.


ILF Civic Fellowship Program Accepting Applications for 2021

The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2021 Civic Fellowship Program. Every year, ILF’s selection committee identifies approximately 30 outstanding Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) college students to spend 8 to 10 weeks interning at a federal agency in Washington D.C. during the summer.

Students accepted into the program are known as Civic Fellows and will receive a stipend upon program completion. In addition to their full-time federal internships, they will attend professional development workshops and leadership training. Fellows are responsible for their own travel, housing, and living expenses.


ILF Congratulates President-elect Joe Biden and the First AAPI Vice President-elect Kamala Harris

Washington, DC – The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) congratulates President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their win. Kamala Harris will be the first AAPI woman and woman of Color as Vice- President in American history.


Congress Can Protect People and Businesses by Expanding Access to Broadband

As the country continues to grapple with an unprecedented public health and economic crisis, millions of families and business owners are left with no choice but to conduct their lives and responsibilities remotely – away from offices, schools, and other social settings. Increasingly, our communities depend on internet access to connect with loved ones, attend online classes, video conference into office meetings, and manage businesses without putting themselves or others in harms way.


The International Leadership Foundation Begins 2020 Civic Fellowship Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) is pleased to welcome the 2020 cohort of Civic Fellows during the first ever Virtual ILF Civic Fellowship Program Orientation on Saturday, June 6th, 2020.

This year’s cohort is comprised of 30 diverse and ambitious students from distinguished universities across America. Fellows will intern at federal agencies and congressional offices; in addition, Fellows will also have the opportunity to work on ILF Challenge Teams focusing on the Social Justice Initiative, COVID-19/PPE Relief Effort, and Innovation Spaces. Each Fellow will participate in educational seminars and professional training to develop a deeper understanding of public service and policy.


Congress Can Protect People and Businesses by Expanding Access to Broadband

We join in solidarity with the Black community and those who are peacefully protesting around the country in the continuing struggle against racism and injustice. We strongly condemn police violence and racism in all their forms and deeply grieve the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.

As we strive to be inclusive and to amplify the voices of those who are marginalized, we must redouble our commitment and efforts – individually and collectively – to support the Black community and engage in this work as agents of change in the United States.


Over 200K Face Masks Donated by Rhode Island Chinese-American Community to Local COVID-19 Response Efforts

PROVIDENCE, RI – Lt. Governor Dan McKee today shared news of a donation of 208,000 face masks from Rhode Island’s Chinese-American Community to the Rhode Island Department of Health and several municipalities to support local COVID-19 response efforts.

Blackstone Valley businessmen Louis Yip and Sunny Ng of Tai-O Group facilitated the donation at the request of Lt. Governor McKee. The Rhode Island Chinese-American Anti-COVID-19 Task Force raised the funds to purchase the masks from China.


ILF’s Response to COVID-19

We are living in unprecedented times – the coronavirus is impacting our families, our communities and our very way of life. ILF National is working closely with Capitol Hill, the White House, federal agencies and other AAPI organizations in Washington DC to provide accurate information and action to support and sustain our families and small businesses.

We will continue our Civic Fellowship Program as scheduled. Our students’ safety is our top priority and we will monitor the development of the pandemic. We also take your health and the health of our staff very seriously and will keep you posted on future activities. Please stay safe and healthy.


ILF Local Chapter Advisory Board Meetings

ILF local chapters have hosted events during past months where Chairperson Dr. Paul Hsu delivered inspiring speeches at the Houston Chapter led by Chair Shelley Ding. Dr. Hsu encouraged ILF national advisors in each chapter to continue their support to accomplish ILF’s mission to develop young leaders in the fields of public service, entrepreneurship, international business, and politics.


ILF Welcomes the 2019 Civic Fellows!

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) was pleased to welcome the 2019 cohort of Fellows at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center during the ILF Civic Fellowship Program Orientation on Saturday, June 1st.