Press Releases | 07.8.17

APAICS Hosts Political Candidate Training for Emerging AAPI Leaders




Floyd Mori
President & CEO
Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS)
(202) 296-9200


APAICS Hosts Political Candidate Training for Emerging AAPI Leaders


Washington, D.C. – July 2017 – During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, APAICS hosted 34 emerging AAPI leaders from across the country for the annual National Leadership Academy Program in Washington, D.C. on May 15-16.



(Sujata Tejwani, Founder & President of Sujata Strategies, facilitating our 2017 National Leadership Academy)

Attendees from across the country became well-versed in strategies for: planning a political campaign, developing and telling a campaign story, building a base of support, implementing outreach mechanisms and successful fundraising.

They all clearly share a deep sense of public service and AAPI representation in our democracy. Of the attendees who do not currently hold elected office, 45% have already declared privately and publicly their intention to run for office.




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Many participants also come from a wide variety of professional fields, ethnic backgrounds, and levels of government. Since 1999, the National Leadership Academy has had a transformative impact on 366 leaders of Asian-Pacific-American descent who have gone on to take part in the AAPI political pipeline. Community leaders including Congressman Ted Lieu and Boston City Council President Michelle Wu are past participants of this highly engaging gathering of AAPI politicians.

The first day of the leadership academy included the importance of building political power as an ethnic minority community here in the United States. Participants practiced their stump speeches, learned about the power of organizing online and shared stories about their ambitions for public service.

Guest speaker Marc Bien, Vice President of Global Communications for Dell Inc., mentioned that “just as diversity and championing an inclusive culture are essential to Dell’s success, our city councils, state legislatures and local and federal governing bodies succeed by embracing diversity, celebrating our differences and championing inclusion.”

Additionally, Joanne Tabellija-Murphy, Director of Public Affairs-Constituent Relations at Walmart noted that “Walmart has supported APAICS for many years. This has connected us through the APAICS Fellows program, the National Leadership Academy and throughout the year. Walmart is focused on bringing economic opportunities to communities by supporting organizations that create jobs and provide advancement training, and we support manufacturers who bring jobs to communities.”

Later that day, Chris Lu, former Deputy Secretary of Labor under the Obama administration, shared his insight from the executive with participants.

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(Counter-Clockwise from top-right: Joanne Tabellija-Murphy, Director of Public Affairs-Constituent Relations, Walmart; Marc Bien, Vice President of Global Communications, Dell Inc.; Chris Lu, United States Deputy Secretary of Labor from 2014-2017)

The second day of training included a panel on the importance of modern technology in campaign strategies and governance. Keynote remarks were given by Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), who attended the National Leadership Academy in 2001.


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(Above: National Leadership Academy participants share a light-hearted moment with Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii’s 1st District; Below: APAICS President & CEO Floyd Mori leads the Technology Panel with industry leaders)

Later in the evening, participants were able to attend the 23rd Annual Awards Gala, the premier national celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. There they were able to connect with the largest national gathering of AAPI political, community and industry leaders.


(APAICS National Leadership Academy attendees enjoying the reception before the 2017 Annual Awards Gala)




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