Members

Executive Director

Jenny Chiang
Jenny is a second generation Taiwanese American. She first got involved in the AAPI community after taking Asian American Studies at UMass Boston; it was an explorative process that revealed the inequities faced by the AAPI community and offered a space that fostered a sense of leadership. She continued her exploration through community organizing in Chicago’s Chinatown as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community.

Jenny furthered her education with a Master of Social Work degree at Boston College, focusing on Macro Intervention, with a determination to improve systems affecting the AAPI community. She has worked alongside community leaders in her work with UMass Boston, the Boston Public Health Commission, and the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK). Jenny has been dedicated to advocating for undocumented immigrants, supporting AAPI health equity, and encouraging youth leadership and civic engagement.

 
 
Commissioners

WingKay Leung, Chairperson
Wingkay Leung got involved in the Asian community many years ago from a cultural perspective. His wife, Winnie, loves to sing Chinese Opera. Wingkay, with an engineering background, felt into the role of the sound equipment “expert” for the Que Shing Chinese Music and Opera Group, a non-profit organization that produces many Opera performances for the Chinese community. Both Wingkay and Winnie have served as Presidents and Directors for Que Shing. Wingkay believes that community service is not just showing up for Board meetings. He believes in getting involved, such as volunteering for the Chinatown Crime Watch program for the past 7 years, rain or snow. The Crime Watch program is credited with reducing crime in Boston Chinatown. Wingkay has 3 grown children, Calvin, Jonathan and Kasey, who all graduated from UMass Amherst. Wingkay graduated from Case Western Reserve University with advanced degrees in Computer Engineering and Business Administration.
 
Vira Douangmany-Cage, Vice Chair
 In 1980, Vira at the age of six, her parents and four siblings, arrived in the United States as refugee immigrants from Laos.  Shortly thereafter in 1983, then Governor Dukakis appointed her father, founding president of the Laotian Association of Massachusetts, to the Refugee Advisory Council.

Vira’s commitment to education and organizing for community empowerment and advancement, led her to run and win a seat on the Amherst School Committee.  She is a member of Town Meeting, and was the former Western Massachusetts coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.  She and her husband Edward live in Amherst with their three children who all attend public schools.  Vira is a graduate of Boston Latin Academy and is a University of Massachusetts at Amherst alumna.  Her activism spanning two decades long, has been recognized by the Asian American Resource Workshop in Boston, Center for Women and Community at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Spring of Hope Church in Springfield and the Prison Birth Project in Holyoke.

 
Mabel Lam, Treasurer
Dr. Mabel S. Lam is a Chinese-American, Clinical, and Police and Public Safety Psychologist in Private Practice.  Her work experiences have been very diverse ranging from clinical to administration.  She has worked for many years nationally and in the state’s under-served and disenfranchised communities by providing mental health services, advocacy, and consultation; and she has also taught and done research in the areas of minority mental and physical health.  The population that she has worked with is also very diverse in socio-economics, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and age.  As a Police and Public Safety Psychologist, she provides psychological evaluations, screenings and fitness for duty evaluations with emphasis on assessing the individual’s capacities to develop culturally competent responses to diverse populations served by law enforcement.  She is the Clinical Coordinator with the Metro Boston Critical Incident Stress Management Team providing services to first responders.  Dr. Lam also teaches at Salem State University as a Visiting Assistant Professor in their Mental Health Counseling graduate program.

Dr. Lam serves on numerous boards of community non-profits, such as Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, and co-founded the Jasmine Asian Women Giving Circle, which fundraises to provide programming grants for Asian women and girls in Massachusetts.  Dr. Lam is the first ethnic minority to be elected as President of the Massachusetts Psychological Association, and Chair to the American Psychological Association’s Committee on State Leaders.  As a member of MPA, she has provided testimonies for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Health Disparity Bill, especially advocating for culturally appropriate services.  Along with the MPA delegations, she has also advocated numerous times at the U.S. Capitol Hill.

 
Dimple J. Rana, Secretary
 Dimple Rana is the Manager of the Healthy Community Initiatives department for the City of Revere, in which she co-leads Revere on the Move, a Mass in Motion healthy eating and active living program.

Dimple volunteers as the Executive Director for Revere Youth in Action (RYiA), a youth leadership program, which she co-founded. Revere Youth in Action is a youth led group organizing for a youth center since 2012. RYiA envisions a city where young people have opportunities to grow, lead, and build a safe and inclusive community.

She serves on the board of directors for Women Encouraging Empowerment, Inc. and The Neighborhood Developers. In March 2016, she was appointed as a Commissioner and serves with the Commonwealth’s Asian American Commission. Originally from Revere, Dimple is a first generation Gujarati Indian American. Dimple’s leadership and organizing roots began in Revere as a teenager with her involvement with Roca as a peer leader. Over the past 15 years she has had extensive experience organizing and work in youth development, immigrant, and LGBTQ rights.  In 2009, she was named “Top 30 Under 30 Asian Americans” in the United States by the Angry Asian Man blog.

Prior to returning to her hometown in 2012, she worked as an immigrants’ rights organizer and advocate for families and communities facing the injustices of the US deportation system in both Cambodia and the United States. A 2002 graduate of Hofstra University in Community Health and Education, she is currently pursuing her Master of Public Policy at Tufts Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning program as a Neighborhood Fellow, focusing on the economic empowerment of gateway cities through a social justice and health equity lens.

She enjoys the company of family and friends, especially in combination with delicious food, laughter, and memorable times. She looks up to the older and younger people around her who continue to push, ask questions, challenge the status quo, and are the change we want to see more of in our world.

 
 
Jonjy Ananth
Jonjy Ananth MD, MBA from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts is the elected President and Chairman of the Board for WCUW Inc. Worcester, MA. With over 700 members, around 120 programmers WCUW broadcasts live on 91.3FM radio and streams online 24/7 to a worldwide audience at www.wcuw.org .

Jonjy hosts his radio show titled “Community Matters” every Thursday 12.30 to 1.00pm at WCUW 91.3FM streaming worldwide online at www.wcuw.org and archived at www.wcuw.org/communitymatters. His show brings community-participation forum interviews with physicians, lawyers, CEOs, community leaders, and elected officials on all issues that impact the community.

Jonjy has been volunteering hundreds of hours in service providing culturally sensitive support to survivors of Asian American origin with his training in Trauma Informed Care. He is engaged with several non-profit organizations, among them include Saheli Inc., India Society of Worcester (ISW), Community Legal Aid (CLA), YWCA, South Asian Bar Association (SABA), Jane Doe Inc., and ADVISE [co-Chair]. He is a White Ribbon Ambassador for Jane Doe Inc., promoting initiatives to prevent intimate partner violence.

As a domestic violence advocate, Jonjy assists survivors for court proceedings, accessing shelter, social security, child care, free legal assistance benefits, and maintaining liaisons with local police. As a community volunteer, he works closely with town, county and state officials to help them connect with the South Asian community. Jonjy is an elected Town member for Shrewsbury, Deputy Sheriff [Reserve] for Worcester County, Shrewsbury Constable, and a Notary Public for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Jonjy has provided volunteer healthcare services at Free Clinics in Ohio and Massachusetts. He has research publications in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine [as first author] and International Journal of Radiation Oncology.Biology.Physics. He is a member of the Mass Medical Society (MMS), World Medical Association (WMA), American Society of Microbiology (ASM), American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and TIE-Boston.

Jonjy is certified extensively in emergency medical skills, including Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Advanced Trauma Life Support, and Fundamental Critical Care Support. He received the presidential merit scholarship from his medical school, was an honoree of the Dean’s list, and was elected President of the student council.

Jonjy enjoys playing chess, tennis, badminton and table tennis with his friends and family.

Jonjy Ananth’s dedication for enhancing others’ lives in the fast growing South Asian community in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts pursues John Quincy Adams quote “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

 
Nick Chau
Mr. Chau is a Chinatown businessman since 1977 when he and his wife Eva, a pharmacist, started TaiTung Pharmacy, the only Asian owned independent retail pharmacy serving the mostly immigrant Asian population. Due to the many years of building the clientele base, they now have a bi-lingual staff of about 25 to render culturally appropriate service to their patients. He has been a Realtor since 1984, opening a small boutique residential real estate sales and service office, Tai Tung Realty. In this role, he represents both sellers and buyers from very diverse backgrounds for their real estate needs.

Nick have been a community activist for many years, always aware of his background and believing that he should contribute in any way to help those who are underserved. He was a Board member of the South Cove Community Health Center (SCCHC) for over 26 years, on the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) for various terms. He currently serves on the Boards of the Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC) and the Chinatown/South Cove Neighborhood Council ( CNC). Also, because of his family’s history with diabetes, he is a committee member of the Asian American Diabetic Initiative (AADI) of the Joslin’s Diabetes Center’s Spoonful of Ginger event for the past 8 years, co-chairing the event for 2 years.

He lives in Newton and have two children, son Derek of San Francisco and daughter Sabrina of Sudbury, MA.

 
Mary Chin
Mary Chin is a longtime community leader with extensive experience in human services and a strong track record of service in Boston and beyond. A native of Lowell, Massachusetts, Mary is the daughter of immigrants and understands the struggles immigrant families face firsthand.

Mary is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in private practice and has served as Vice Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Social Work.  She has led social service departments and psychiatric programs in Boston and the North Shore.  Mary served on AACA’s Board of Directors as President and oversaw the organization’s growth, including the construction of the building at 87 Tyler Street, the expansion of workforce training, education and social service programs, as well as the addition of the Mandarin immersion Reggio Emilia daycare, Buds & Blossoms.

Mary completed her graduate studies in social work at Simmons College and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts. Mary has also served on the boards of Action for Boston Community Development, Urban College, American Cancer Society, Mothers for Justice and Equality, Company One, South Cove Community Health Center, Eastern Bank, and the Asian American Commission.

In 2017, a Citation for her service to Massachusetts was bestowed upon her by Governor Charlie Baker. 

 
Elisa Choi
Dr. Choi has previously served as both Vice Chairperson and Chairperson of the AAC, during her Commissioner tenure. She is currently the Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee of the AAC. She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, and practices both as an Internist and as an Infectious Disease, HIV, and Hepatitis infection specialist. Dr. Choi has a particular interest in healthcare disparities, and in providing culturally competent care of health issues affecting Asian-Pacific Islander and minority populations. She has published articles, has written book chapters, and has been invited to lecture regionally and nationally on various Infectious Disease, HIV, and healthcare and health policy topics. Dr. Choi has been on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for many years, and holds a clinical educational leadership position in her practice. She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP), serves as an elected member of the Massachusetts ACP Chapter’s Governor’s Council, and currently holds an Officer position as Secretary/Treasurer. Dr. Choi is also the Co-Chair Emeritus of the Health and Public Policy Committee of the Massachusetts ACP Chapter and remains an active member of this committee. She has extensive experience in healthcare and public health advocacy efforts at Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, for a number of years, and has also been actively involved in the planning and organization of an annual Advocacy Day at the MA State House for the MA ACP Chapter since 2016. Dr. Choi has received the MA ACP Chapter’s Leadership Award in 2014, and serves on numerous national ACP committees. Dr. Choi is the current Governor-Elect, and will be the next Governor, of the MA ACP Chapter, becoming the first woman, and only Asian American female, to serve as Governor, in the history of the MA ACP chapter. In addition to her professional efforts, Dr. Choi has been active in the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community for many years, through her involvement as a Board member, Board Secretary/Clerk, Board Chair, and current role as Board Chair Emeritus of MAP (Massachusetts Asian & Pacific Islanders) for Health, a community-based nonprofit organization that works to improve healthcare access, disease prevention, and service delivery for the Asian & Pacific Islander (API) community in Massachusetts. She also serves on the Board of numerous other non-profit organizations (ATASK – Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence; KACL-NE – Korean American Citizens League of New England; NAAAP Boston – National Association of Asian American Professionals, Boston Chapter; Company One Theatre, as Board Advisor), which support the AAPI communities of MA in various ways. Dr. Choi is also an invited Advisory member of various regional and national healthcare related panels and committees. Dr. Choi remains passionately committed to promoting advocacy and awareness of issues affecting the AAPI populations of the Commonwealth in her role as Commissioner. 
 
Loan Thi Dao
Loan Dao is an Assistant Professor in the undergraduate Intercollegiate Asian American Studies program and the graduate Transnational Cultural and Community Studies (TCCS) program. She received her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, in Comparative Ethnic Studies, and specializes in Southeast Asian refugee migration and community development, immigrant and refugee youth, social movements, and Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR).
 
Gilbert Ho
Gilbert Ho, resident of City of Newton, Massachusetts. Immigrated to Boston from Hong Kong, completed high school education at Newman Preparatory School in Boston and graduated.  After which he matriculated at Bentley University but transferred to Northeastern University and earned duo Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting and Computer Science.  Met and married to Debbie (Chin) Ho, she was among the first group of the Asian American Commissioners to serve the Commission after the legislation established the  commission in recognition of the Asian Americans constitute the fastest-growing minority, a diverse population within the both Commonwealths and the United States.  She grew up on Hudson Street in Chinatown. They have two children; Courtney currently serving as the Executive Director at the City of Boston Mayor Initiative – Chinatown Main Street program; and Burton is a federal law officer.

Professionally, Gilbert is an IT Business Analyst at the Massachusetts State Treasury IT Department, prior transfer to IT from Massachusetts Clean Water Trust (MCWT) he was the System Compliance Officer and Auditor (formerly the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust (MWPAT), an agency under the Massachusetts State Treasurer and Receiver General.  Before joining the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Treasury, worked in the private sector for 30 years, as a Senior Network Support and Application Analyst in the Information Technology Department at a prestige Boston based Law firm Goodwin Procter, LLP.

Gilbert has volunteered in many Boston Chinatown community organizations, serving on the Board of as Director of Chinatown Main Street. Community elected to serve a two-year term as Treasurer and later as the President of Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of New England.  Serving as the Advisor of the Chinatown Residents Association focused to the Chinatown residents and senior’s affair.  Volunteer and served as co-captain of Chinatown Crime Watch program over 10 years, assisted our neighbor of Chinatown – the Leather District, to establish their Leather District Crime Watch program, they are in their third years to keep Leather District a safer place to live, continue to engage in many organizations to promote cultural awareness, education, and local business development.

 
Ivy Ho
Ivy K. Ho received her PhD in Clinical Health Psychology from the University of Louisville.  She is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.  She is also the director of the Asian American Health Research Hub, a division of the UMass Lowell Center for Asian American Studies.  She conducts research in women’s health, with particular focus on the psychosocial factors associated with physical health of women who occupy multiple marginalized identities.  She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in health psychology, women’s health, and behavioral medicine.
 
Vanna Howard
Vanna Howard has been an aide for Massachusetts Congresswoman Niki Tsongas since 2008, specializing in immigration, US and foreign visas, US passports, and inter-country adoption issues. Additionally, she engages in community outreach activities with the Southeast Asian community, immigrant rights organizations, and local service agencies throughout the Greater Lowell area and the entire Third Congressional District.

In her capacity as a Greater Lowell Regional Director, Vanna is responsible for managing and responding to the hundreds of individuals who contact the congressional office with problems interacting with federal agencies such as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of State, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Vanna has contacted her federal colleagues on the other side of the globe during all hours of the day and night on behalf of a family in need, American citizens working or residing abroad with the US Embassies and Consulates, or for Americans with International travel issues.

Some of her immigration-related issues are particularly relevant to Vanna, as she draws upon her own life experience as a Cambodian refugee who fled her homeland as a child to escape the Khmer Rouge. Because of her own experience, Vanna is able to treat each constituent with a high degree of empathy and respect, even while juggling an enormous caseload.

 
Pralhad KC
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Nina Liang
Nina Liang is the first Chinese-American City Councilor in her hometown of Quincy.  Born in Quincy and raised by immigrant parents, she has experienced first hand the challenges minority children and families face.  Over the years, she has had the opportunity to be a part of community organizations dedicated to addressing the needs of those who are new to both the language and customs of American culture.  Having worked as the office manager and helping to manager operations with her family’s restaurant group, Nina also has the experience and perspective of a small business owner, creating jobs and opportunity in the communities in which they operate.  Nina understands that it takes collaborative efforts among these local organizations, businesses and public service facilities to better address the needs of the diverse residents Quincy has.
 
Chung Liu
Mr. Liu has worked as a Technical Manager for Massachusetts Municipal Electric Company since 1984. He is also the member of Reliability Committee to represent the Public Power to advise the ISO New England on the design and oversight of reliability standards for the power system in the Northeast Region. Mr. Liu received his bachelor’s
degree in Taiwan and Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Mr. Liu enjoys human and social interactions, and integrating culture, education, and science. He currently serves as the Trustee of Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter
School in Hadley, Mass. Mr. Liu also serves as Commissioner of the Culture Council and Commissioner of Sewer Commission of the City of Chicopee. In addition, he works as a
liaison to help the City of Chicopee promote culture and education with both China and Taiwan.

Mr. Liu is the president of the Western Massachusetts Taiwanese Club (WMTC) and the Board member of Chinese Association of Western Massachusetts (CAWM). The Asian
Culture Festival, sponsored by CAWM, was celebrated at Chicopee Library on May 14, 2016. More than 300 people attended the event.
Mr. Liu has also developed a curriculum and taught courses in mathematics and computer technology as an Adjunct Professor of Western International University(WIU).

 
John Naranja
Dr. Naranja’s parents immigrated from the Philippines in 1964 as part of a group of international medical doctors who would help address the perceived shortage of physicians in the United States at that time.  Born in Norwood, Massachusetts, he grew up initially in the Commonwealth, but later moved several times during his father’s service in the United States Air Force.  His current background includes a medical degree from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, followed by an orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.  He then went into practice for approximately 12 years doing General Orthopedic Surgery, after which he decided to go to law school.  He attended Northeastern University School of Law in Boston and subsequently joined the personal injury firm at Diller Law. He is very active in the Filipino-American community, serving currently as an officer in the Philippine American Medical Association of New England, and engaged in helping start up the Filipino American Law Association of Massachusetts.
 
Anil Saigal
Dr. Anil Saigal is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University, Medford, MA. Prof. Saigal received his B.Tech from IIT, Bombay and M.S. and Ph.D from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA. During his tenure at Tufts, he has served as the Chair of Mechanical Engineering, Director of International Programs for the School of Engineering, and on a number of university committees. He is the founder of Lokvani.com, an on-line media serving the Indian-American community since 2001. Currently he is the Treasurer for the Indian Americans for Burlington. He has served as the President of Indian Institute of Technology Society in New England (IITSINE) and the India Association of Greater Boston (IAGB). He has participated in various Asian American Commission activities over the years. He is a Charter Member of TiE Boston – an organization that fosters entrepreneurship, Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Service Alumni Award from IIT Bombay.
 
Kimberly A. Truong
Kimberly A. Truong, Ph.D. is the Director of Inclusion Programs in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Adjunct Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is Co-Chair of the Association of Harvard Asian and Asian American Faculty and Staff.

Dr. Truong is passionate about equity, diversity, inclusion issues in higher education as someone who came from an underrepresented background (first-generation college student, low-income student, and Southeast Asian American student). She began her career in this field so that she could help improve educational access and efforts to retain underrepresented students. Prior to joining the Harvard Chan School, Dr. Truong was an Administrative Fellow where she collaborated with the Harvard College Women’s Center, Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, and Office of BGLTQ Student Life to support equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts at Harvard College.

Dr. Truong conducts research on access and equity issues in higher education, university student experiences, and higher education policy. She is nationally recognized for research on the experiences of doctoral students of color with racism and racial trauma. Her written works have been published in the Harvard Educational Review, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, New Directions for Institutional Research, and About Campus. Dr. Truong co-founded the Support Network for Asian American and Pacific Scholars and has published on the racialized and gendered experiences of Asian Americans in higher education. She has served on the Executive Board of the AERA Research on the Education of Asian and Pacific Americans SIG.

Dr. Truong earned a Ph.D. in higher education at the University of Pennsylvania, Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and B.A. from Brandeis University.

 
Ying Wang
As a lifelong resident of Massachusetts and the proud daughter of Chinese American immigrants, Ms. Ying Wang is deeply rooted in her community. Professionally, she serves as Assistant Vice President and Associate Counsel at State Street Bank & Trust Company. Ms. Wang is also a Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, providing legal assistance and support to the 30,000+ soldiers stationed in the New England region. She is a member of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s SPARK Council, which creates new programming and resources to answer the policy and social needs of millennial Bostonians. She was recently appointed by the Boston City Council to serve on the Community Preservation Committee in making project funding decisions in affordable housing, parks and open space improvements, and historic restoration. Ms. Wang is a Board Member of Boston’s New Leaders Council, which is a training program for young emerging civic leaders. As a student, Ms. Wang benefited tremendously from the mentorship of the Asian Sisters Participating in Reaching Excellence (ASPIRE) Youth Leadership Program and the Asian American Women’s Political Initiative (AAWPI). She is a graduate of Boston Latin School (2008), Emerson College (2012), and New England Law | Boston (2015).