Dear APIAHF Family and Supporters,
It is with mixed emotions that I share that after nearly 17 years of dedicated service, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum’s (APIAHF) Executive Vice President, Edward Tepporn will be moving on to his next exciting adventure. I have relied on his partnership for the near decade I have been at APIAHF, but I am so excited about his new opportunity to lead, as the Executive Director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF). It is special for me, as I was just the Chair of the AIISF Board of Directors before I came to APIAHF.
Ed joined our staff as a Program Coordinator for APIAHF’s long-standing and on-going HIV program and subsequently served as its program manager and director where he helped to grow our national services, profile, and reputation. In 2012, I asked Ed to join APIAHF’s Executive team, first as the Vice President of Organizational Capacity Building and later as Executive Vice President, with direct authority delegated by the Board of Directors to him as the second-in-command.
Whether it was putting together the puzzle pieces to secure federal grant after federal grant; working with staff to develop new programs and innovative strategies such as the Health Rising Leadership Fellows program; shepherding the Board and senior staff through strategic discussions and decisions; building out the organization’s chief strategy office; or role-modeling what it means to be a powerful advocate and storyteller for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities while also serving a strong ally to other racial and ethnic minority groups, Ed has always fully brought his heart, strategy insights, and passion for APIAHF’s mission to each of these roles and responsibilities.
Ed’s unique and special combination of talent, intuition, and skills is what will make him an excellent Executive Director for AIISF. From 1910-1940, Angel Island (often referred to as the Ellis Island of the West) served as the first stop for over one million immigrants from across Asia and the Pacific. Unlike Ellis Island, however, many immigrants from China and other Asian countries passing through Angel Island were interrogated, detained and refused entry due to the exclusionary immigration policies of the time. Today, AIISF seeks to both preserve the historical site as well as to elevate the important stories of those who passed through Angel Island and celebrate as well the current-day experiences and contributions of immigrants in the U.S.
While I am saddened that APIAHF is losing such a dedicated leader, and that I am losing a trusted thought partner and confidante, I am personally thrilled for both Ed and AIISF. As a longtime supporter of the Foundation, having dedicated over 12 years of my personal and professional time to the restoration of the barracks, the Immigration Station continues to hold a very special place in my heart. To have Ed and AIISF together, continuing the mission of the Foundation, is a previously unimagined dream combination!
Our nation is at a historic crossroads that will impact health equity, racial equity, and the immigrant experience for years to come. I am confident that AIISF, the Foundation, and our broader communities will continue to benefit from Ed’s special talents and leadership. Please join me in thanking Ed for his years of service and dedication to APIAHF and in wishing him nothing but success in his new role at AIISF.
With deep gratitude and best wishes,
Kathy Ko Chin
President & CEO