About Us

Meet the Staff

Madalene Mielke

President & CEO

Madalene Mielke

President & CEO

Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke is the President & CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) as well as the Founder and Principal of Arum Group, LLC.  She brings more than 20 years of experience working in political campaigns and specializes in political/non-profit fundraising and political training. Ms. Mielke began her professional career working at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in the Training Division of the Political Department and later for the Clinton/Gore Coordinated ’96 campaign as a Regional Field Director in Pennsylvania.

After returning from the ’96 campaign, Ms. Mielke worked for the Co-Executive Director at the Presidential Inaugural Committee and later to Vice President Gore’s team. Ms. Mielke started fundraising while working at the New Democrat Network PAC and she returned to her roots as the Training Director for the Ron Brown-Paul Tully Institute (BTI), the training arm of the DNC.  In 2002 Ms. Mielke started her political consulting firm, specializing in fundraising and political training. Madalene has collaborated with the NAACP National Voter Fund, John Kerry for President, Democratic National Committee Asian American Leadership Council, Mike Honda for Congress, Friends of Hillary, CHC BOLD PAC, Akaka for US Senate, Xavier Becerra for Congress, Mazie Hirono for Congress, Honda for Congress, America’s Opportunity Fund, Asian American Action (AAA) Fund and Young Democrats of America to raise millions of dollars to empower communities of color.

Throughout her career, Madalene has been a featured speaker or trainer at many conferences and trainings including the American Medical Association (AMA), the Center for Asian Pacific American Women, Virginia Leadership Institute, Netroots Nation, Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL), and numerous other organizations and non-profits.

She has spent her entire professional political career working to bring diversity to the political process and nurturing candidates and staff as they move forward in bringing political change.  The Vietnamese American Chamber of Commerce awarded Ms. Mielke with its National Community Service award for her work in mentoring and promoting Vietnamese American civic participation.

Madalene is a proud graduate of Tulane University, Newcomb College. She serves as a mentor through a variety of collegiate mentoring programs including the Newcomb College Institute Women to Women Mentoring Program and Georgetown University’s Politics Mentorship Program.

Justin Cohen

Communications Associate

Justin Cohen

Communications Associate

Justin Cohen is a graduate of Howard University with a B.A. in Strategic, Legal and Management Communications.

He has a demonstrated expertise in the nonprofit industry, having previously worked with the Society for Science & the Public and the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington.

Justin has hopes of eventually becoming a speechwriter for a politician based in Washington, DC.

Alex Huang

Director of Programs & Community Engagement

Alex Huang

Director of Programs & Community Engagement

Alex is the Director of Programs and Community Engagement at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS). In this capacity, he leads the development and implementation of programming to advance the leadership, representation, and participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the political process. Most recently, Alex served as the Senior Legislative Assistant in the Office of Congresswoman Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14) where he was responsible for developing the Congresswoman’s legislative strategy and advising the Congresswoman on a range of issues including appropriations, education, labor, energy, interior, environment, and housing policy. 

Alex graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012 with a double major in International Studies, Spanish, and a minor in Music. He then went on to teach second grade in Detroit as a Teach for America Corps Member and in 2015 completed a masters in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan’s School of Education. From 2015-2016, Alex was selected for the APAICS Legislative Fellowship where he served in the Office of Congressman Ami Bera (CA-07) before ultimately joining the office of Rep. Lawrence in 2016. Alex is passionate about educational equity and increasing Asian American/Pacific Islander political engagement. In addition to his current role Alex also runs a volunteer tutoring program at an elementary school in his Washington, D.C. neighborhood.

Anthony J. Maglaqui

Staff Assistant

Anthony J. Maglaqui

Staff Assistant

Anthony Maglaqui graduated from Florida State University with his Undergraduate degree in International Affairs and Political Science (SU ’18) as well as his Master’s degree in International Affairs (FA ’19). Throughout his college career, Anthony spent his time facilitating a sustainable AAPI network in Florida. In his current endeavors he is the Operations Director for the Florida Asian American Student Union comprised of 8 major universities in Florida. He served as the executive director of the South East Regional Conference for Asian American Leaders (SERCAAL) and garnered students from North Carolina to South Florida allowing them to utilize this opportunity to network between another. Anthony also served as the National Internal Vice Chairperson of the Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue. FIND is a 501c3 non-profit consisting of all Filipino Student Associations across the east coast from Maine to Florida. Anthony is committed to fostering a well-educated and inspired generation of young Asian Americans, acting as a resource for potential opportunities. In his spare time Anthony coaches high school debate students and plays video games.

Helen M. Ruggiero

Chief Operating Officer

Helen M. Ruggiero

Chief Operating Officer

Helen Ruggiero has over 20 years of experience in office administration and finance. In her current position, she is in charge of financial responsibility, fundraising, grant writing and event planning.  She is also liaison for APAICS Board and Advisory Council.

Helen also served as Office Manager/Finance Manager for The Interface Group, Ltd. in Washington, DC, an executive recruiting firm that placed presidents, CEOs and vice presidents with Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations.

Previously, she was Office Manager for the North American Marketing Office of HD International, Inc. in New York City, a London based investment firm.  Prior to her affiliation with HD International, Helen was Office Manager for Kortright Market Systems, Inc. in New York City and Assistant Controller/Office Manager at the Harvard Club of New York City.

Helen is a graduate of Katherine Gibbs School of Business.

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