For Immediate Release
January 04, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO – The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) today named former Minnesota State Senator Mee Moua as vice president of strategic impact initiatives and Charmaine Manansala as vice president for strategic engagement initiatives.

Sen. Moua and Ms. Manansala will join vice president of operations Patricia Aguilera who began on October 1, 2010, in setting the strategies of APIAHF’s work. This includes all areas of substantive work across programs, in policy advocacy at the federal and state levels, and expanding APIAHF’s national profile and leadership role in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities, as well as in public health and health policy.

“Charmaine Manansala and Senator Mee Moua join us with distinguished backgrounds in health advocacy, social activism and community engagement. We look forward to their leadership and guidance as we work to influence policy, mobilize communities, and strengthen programs and organizations,” said Kathy Lim Ko, president and CEO of APIAHF. “Together, they will lead our health justice agenda and our work to address health disparities and to advance policies and programs that improve the health of all vulnerable communities.”

Sen. Mee Moua served as Majority Whip and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Minnesota State Senate, where she founded the first Legislative Caucus on Children and Youth and enacted laws to expand protections for Minnesota’s children, youth, and vulnerable adults. Sen. Moua is a strong immigrant rights advocate and worked to increase funding for Limited English Proficiency and Adult Basic Education programs. She has played an active role in many national AA and NHPI community political organizing efforts as the highest-ranking Hmong American elected official. Prior to public office, Sen. Moua was an attorney with one of the largest firms in Minnesota.

“APIAHF is recognized as a national leader in health policy and I am excited to work with its incredibly talented leadership, board and staff to maximize health justice outcomes for our communities,” said Sen. Moua. “I look forward to working with our partners and community leaders to promote health policy changes that improve the health of AA and NHPI communities.”

Charmaine Manansala joins APIAHF from the U.S. Department of Labor, where she advised the Secretary on legislative activities and coordinated departmental responses, testimonies, and reports to Congress. Manansala also served as the National Asian American and Pacific Islander Vote Director for Obama for America, where she led field and outreach efforts in nine battleground states. She also has served as a senior advisor to Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in the U.S. House of Representatives and to Rep. Robert Underwood (Guam). During the Clinton Administration, Manansala was the Senior Intergovernmental Analyst for the first White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“For more than a decade I’ve had the privilege of working with grassroots activists, community leaders, public advocates and policy experts that APIAHF brings together to improve the health and well being of AAs and NHPIs,” said Ms. Manansala. “The potential we have to transform the future for our communities is nothing short of inspiring and I am excited to join the dynamic team at APIAHF.”

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.