Workshop Host Biographies
GROW Trainings (USSA)
Kham S. Moua
Kham S. Moua is the Associate Director of Policy and advocacy for OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates. In his role, he directs and manages OCA’s policy, advocacy, and campaign efforts. Though not limited to the following, his portfolio focuses on immigration, media, technology, and telecommunications policy. Moua co-chairs the National Council of Asian Pacific American committee on immigration and also currently sits on the board of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA). Issues close to him include LGBTQ rights, Asian Pacific Islander and Southeast Asian equity, and comprehensive immigration reform.
Kim Hall graduated from the University of Virginia in May 2016 with a degree in Economics and a minor in Religious Studies. Upon graduation, she interned at the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) before she stepped into her role as the Civil Rights Fellow for OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates. Kim is responsible for the education portfolio and working in partnership with other organizations. In her free time, Kim enjoys exploring new coffee shops, collecting garden gnomes, and catching up on the latest from The Real Housewives franchise.
A Kansas City native, Andrew Lo is the Programs Associate at OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates. In his role, Andrew engages the next generation of Asian Pacific Americans by coordinating OCA's national Internship, APA Y: Advocate, and APIA U: Leadership Programs. Growing up in his family's restaurant fostered Andrew's love for creating and consuming food. In the rare occasions where Andrew does not have a pair of chopsticks in hand, he can be found making music, invading the privacy of others with a camera, and generally causing a ruckus.
APAICS: How to Begin a Career in Politics
The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) is a national non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting Asian Pacific American participation and representation at all levels of the political process, from community service to elected office. APAICS programs focus on developing leadership, building public policy knowledge, and filling the political pipeline for Asian Pacific Americans to pursue public office at the local, state, and federal levels.
Jason is currently the Communications Consultant at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS). He works to develop and implement a strategic vision to build the APAICS brand through communication platforms, such as website, e-newsletter, and social media.
Jason is a Florida native who went to the University of Florida majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Mass Communications. During his undergraduate career, he was involved in multiple organizations that developed his interest in event planning, social media marketing, and Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) issues.
Alongside APAICS, Jason continues to volunteer his time as the Operations Director for Sparks Magazine, an organization that provides a mixed media platform for students to create content to engage in, develop and understand the APIA experience.
Anthony currently serves as the Program Associate at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS). In this role, he supports the APAICS mission through its various programs such as the Summer Internship Program, Congressional Fellowship Program, Young Leaders Summit, Regional Leadership Academy, and National Leadership Academy.
Prior to joining APAICS, Anthony worked with various local, state and national AAPI organizations during the 2016 Presidential Election cycle. He also had the opportunity to intern in Washington D.C. with the United States Senate and a Southeast-Asian regional trade association.
Anthony graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in Political Science with a concentration in international relations and a minor in history and entrepreneurship. He was a member of several organizations on campus and was a Bob Graham Civic Scholar.
Fighting for Affordable Health Care (AARP)
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.
Joseph Liu is the Director of Campaign Strategy and Management at AARP. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, social welfare organization that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families. As the Director of Campaign Strategy and Management, Joe designs and supervises AARP’s efforts to engage, mobilize and activate its 38 million members around issues such as Social Security, health care, age discrimination, financial and retirement security, consumer utility rates, and family caregiving. Prior to joining AARP, Joe was a strategy consultant with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Lewin Group, and the Advisory Board Company. His policy and advocacy experience spans organizations such as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Children’s Defense Fund, and the National Association of Community Health Centers. He has also been involved with numerous electoral campaigns at the national, state, and local level. Joe is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School and Columbia University.
Advocating for Yourself and Your Cause
E. Samantha Cheng is a broadcast veteran in national news and broadcast television production. She is an experienced journalist, documentarian and successful minority small business owner. She has devoted much of her time to raising the visibility of APIAs and their contributions to American history.
PIRG: Developing a Winning Campaign
Dan Xie is the Political Director for the Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG). The Student PIRGs are a federation of state based student-run non-profits based on college campuses. Since starting with the Student PIRGs in 2005, Dan has overseen successful field campaigns to stop the oil industry from overturning California's global warming warming laws, fund programs that have have saved students millions of dollars on textbook in New Jersey, and convince major fast food chains to change their meat purchasing policies to save antibiotics. Dan grew up in the mid-west and California and is currently based in New Jersey. In her free time she likes to ride bikes and climb rocks.
Fundraising and Sponsor/Partner Relationships
Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke
Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke is the Founder and Principal of Arum Group, LLC. Arum Group, LLC is a political consulting firm that brings innovative approaches and classic methods to reach fundraising and training goals. With over 20 years of experience working in the political space, Ms. Mielke has a deep understanding of the psychology of a political donor.
She 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. In 2002 Ms. Mielke started her political consulting firm, specializing in political and non-profit fundraising and political training. She has collaborated with national organizations and political campaigns such as the NAACP National Voter Fund, John Kerry for President, Democratic National Committee, Mike Honda for Congress, Friends of Hillary, CHC BOLD PAC, and Young Democrats of America while working to advance the progressive agenda by raising millions of dollars to empower communities of color.
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. Ms. Mielke is the Advisory Council Chair for the Women’s Information Network (WIN), an organization dedicated to the advancement of Democratic pro-choice women.
Community & Media Relations Workshop
Mary Tablante is the communications associate for the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA). At NCAPA, she works with policy staff, government and community partners to promote NCAPA’s advocacy work and manages the organization’s social media, website and written materials. She previously covered Asian American issues as a reporter for Asian Fortune and did social media outreach as a community manager for USA TODAY’s Your Take initiative. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park.
Alton Wang is a policy advisor at the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), and also serves as the Vice Chair of External Affairs for the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL). Prior to CAPAC, Alton worked to engage Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voters at Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), where he focused on developing a comprehensive communications and digital campaign strategy.
Currently based in Washington, D.C., Alton hails from the San Gabriel Valley outside of Los Angeles. He has been recognized for his work around organizing for Asian American Studies, and has taught a course on Asian American history as a student at Wesleyan University.
Legal Contracting and Finance Basics
Nimesh Patel is the firm's Director of Diversity and Inclusion. He works with the firm's management and diversity committees to develop and execute the diversity and inclusion strategy. He also aids in the recruitment, mentoring and career development of diverse attorneys at the firm, and in the creation of diversity-related programs. With stints in both the federal government and private practice, Mr. Patel has about 20 years of experience advancing diversity and inclusion across a range of industries.
Before joining the firm, Mr. Patel served for nearly five years as Executive Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In this capacity, he led diversity and inclusion for a workforce of more than 230,000 employees around the world. He created and implemented the Department's first Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, which is still in use today. He also developed and led DHS's recruiting initiatives, incorporated diversity and inclusion in workforce and leader development, and engaged with senior leaders to enhance commitment and drive results. Mr. Patel also spent six-and-a-half years in private practice at Am Law 100 firms where he was a member of the labor and employment practice with a specialty in corporate diversity counseling. His experience includes performing diversity risk assessments, developing diversity strategy and action plans and advising Fortune 500 companies and government agencies on their diversity and inclusion efforts. He began his legal career at the United States Department of Justice through the Attorney General's Honors Program. Mr. Patel serves on the Board of Directors for Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) and is a former President of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. He is also a former member of the American Bar Association Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity and a former Vice Chair of the District of Columbia Commission on Human Rights.
Keith McAllister is currently the Marketing and Social Media Manager for the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. Keith brings over 10 years of experience to this position. Most recently he worked with National Council of La Raza, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., as Coordinator of Technology Platforms. He also served as the Technology & E-Activism Manager for the Marine Fish Conservation Network which was formed in 1993 to develop a legislative platform to change the focus of the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 from promoting fishing to conserving fish populations and their habitat and ensuring the long term health and productivity of our oceans. He also served as Director of Technology for the Organization of Chinese Americans, a national organization whose stated mission is to advance the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. Mr. McAllister studied Mass Communications at VCU and also attended the Columbia College of Television and Film Production in Los Angeles.