May 6, 2014

WASHINGTON—Today Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), was ceremonially sworn in as one of 14 new members nominated by President Obama to his Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The ceremony served as the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders’ (WHIAAPI) official kickoff for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

“I am both honored and humbled to have been chosen to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission,” said Ko Chin. “The commission has worked to address some of the issues most important to Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (AA and NHPI) including access to health care, immigration, education and economic stability. I am incredibly excited to join my fellow commissioners in moving AA and NHPI communities forward.”

The commission is charged with working to improve the quality of life for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by facilitating increased access to and participation in federal programs where they remain underserved.

With strong values from her parents, Ko Chin’s life’s work has been to build community institutions which contribute to a just and multiracial society. At an early age, her parents, immigrants from China, shared with her the truths about injustice in our society, instilling in her the impetus to give back to the country that has given her so much. With more than three decades of experience, Ko Chin has provided direct community-based health services, been staff and consultant to nonprofits and private philanthropy and has worked in policy advocacy to improve health care options and access and break down barriers. Ko Chin is recognized as an expert on health and health care access for racial and ethnic minority communities and frequently provides commentary in national outlets.

As a commission member, Ko Chin looks forward to working with federal agencies to ensure that federal efforts meet the needs of AA and NHPI communities by working with federal officials and community members to close health and economic gaps and improve the lives of AAs and NHPIs nationwide. Ko Chin will join former APIAHF board member Bill Imada, who was also sworn in today to the commission.

APIAHF played an integral role in supporting the establishment of the initial WHIAAPI in June 1999. APIAHF’s founding CEO, Tessie Guillermo, served on the commission under President Clinton. The WHIAAPI has included leading Asian American and Pacific Islander policy and community leaders as well as luminaries such as Hines Ward.

To learn more about the WHIAAPI visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/aapi.