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

Saturday, June 11, 2022
Contact: Amy Cheng Tarnoviski / 202-351-0575

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.

Among his many contributions to America and the Asian American community, Secretary Mineta was the Honorary Chairman for the International Leadership Foundation along with former Secretary of Transportation and Labor, Elaine L. Chao. He believed in fostering the next generations of AAPI young leaders in public service and supporting programs, such as the ILF Civic Fellowship Program and the Young Leadership Academy. We are indebted to his vision, courage, and leadership.

“From his military service as an Army intelligence officer to his decades on Capitol Hill and in the Cabinet, Secretary Mineta was a model of patriotism and service to the common good. I join the nation in giving thanks for the life of this dedicated public servant, and hold the entire Mineta family in our prayers.” — ILF Honorary Chairman, Secretary Elaine L. Chao

“Secretary Mineta had a lifelong devotion to public service. A giant American servant leader, quietly working out of the spotlight to transform our Asian communities. A great man, a great mentor, and a great friend. He will be missed. ” — ILF Chairman, Dr. Paul Hsu

“Secretary Mineta always said that as we use one hand to climb up the ladder of success, use the other hand to bring up others. He exemplified the best qualities of public service and worked tirelessly to strengthen ILF to cultivate the next generation of AAPI leaders.” — ILF Executive Director, Linh D. Hoang

In honor of his memory, leadership, and achievements, ILF will establish the Norman Y. Mineta Civic Scholarship to inspire next generation AAPI leaders in public service.

About ILF – International Leadership Foundation (ILF) is a non-profit organization that promotes civic engagement, leadership, empowerment, and economic prosperity of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community to enhance the representation of diversity in our country. The mission of ILF is to cultivate civic-minded future AAPI leaders in public service. Founded in 2000, ILF has provided scholarships and educational programs with over 10,000 AAPI students.