Ben C. works for Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s O’PAC. 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. He previously worked for former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Jeffrey W. is a government contractor for the US Environmental Protection Agency. An Environmental Economics and Environmental Sciences graduate of UC Berkeley, he had spent a year in Beijing working to reduce China’s coal consumption prior to moving to the nation’s capital. While in China, he was a volunteer for the Beijing LGBT Center and and also engaged in HIV/AIDS public health outreach with the API Wellness Center in San Francisco. In addition, he currently runs Gaysian Third Space (G3S), a blog dedicated to sharing queer AAPI stories and experiences.
Michael T. works at the US Patent and Trademark Office as a Patent Examiner. He was born in Taiwan and has lived extensively in both Taiwan and Los Angeles. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in Electrical Engineering. His hobbies include running, diving, playing the violin, and posting food and cat pictures on Facebook.
Eugene H. has one simple belief: Living may not always be jumping out of a plane, but it is living with a passion. Can you imagine diving out of a plane 14,000 feet high or bungee jumping off a 764 feet high platform? Well, he can, because he’s done it! Beyond the thrill of risking his life, you’ll often find him at the National Science Foundation analyzing big data and creating business intelligence tools or at the local hole-in-the-wall restaurant punching an extra hole in his belt.
Alex T. is the communications associate at LIFT, a national nonprofit that aims to lift people out of poverty for good, where he serves as the lead digital ambassador. He is a second-generation Asian American hailing from the Midwest who was actively involved with the Asian American community at his alma mater, the University of Missouri. Aside from saving the world one community member at a time, he’s a freelance graphic designer, a workshop facilitator for Asian American youth, and a self-proclaimed foodie, exploring DC’s food scene one bite at a time.
Kevin L. is a Market Research Analyst for Canon Life Sciences in Rockville, Maryland where he works on M&A, business development, market research and product commercialization efforts. Originally born and raised in Taiwan, Kevin moved to Orlando in middle school then attended the University of Florida and Georgetown University. Being an active Asian food lover, Kevin explores different styles of Asian cuisines in his spare time and would be more than happy to share this culinary experience with any of the AQUA members who also see food as a good way to explore one’s culture. Aside from food, Kevin also enjoys getting to know new people from different backgrounds and getting everybody connected. If you meet him at any of the AQUA events, please do not hesitate to say hi and have him show you around!
Kham M. works at OCA – Asian Pacific Americans, a national Asian Pacific American (APA) civil rights organization, as their Policy Associate. At OCA, he manages OCA’s policy and advocacy portfolio, which include immigration reform, military hazing, and hate crimes. Kham previously worked for Hmong American Partnership and Hmong National Development. In those roles, he coordinated programming for low-income and high risk Southeast Asian youth, and he engaged in community outreach and advocacy for the Hmong community. During this time, he was also the Board Chair for Shades of Yellow, the only Hmong LGBTQ organization in the United States. Issues close to him include LGBTQ rights, Asian Pacific Islander and Southeast Asian equity, and comprehensive immigration reform.
Vincent W. currently works for a progressive nonprofit in Washington DC. A UC Berkeley graduate, he studied Political Science and Peace & Conflict Studies while in school. During his time on campus, he was actively involved with the Taiwanese American and Asian American community on campus and in the San Francisco Bay Area. His time at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Berkeley instilled in him a sense of public service and the need for community organizing, something he continued through his experiences at the U.S. House of Representative and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute. Vincent strongly believes in the power of conflict transformation and people to people dialogue, a belief that at one point took him to North Korea.