Our team

  • D.A. AbramsChief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at the United States Tennis Association

    Meet D.A. Abrams at the ERG Summit Executive Luncheon on Thursday, Aug. 11.

    D.A. Abrams is the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for the United States Tennis Association. In this role, he focuses on developing and innovating the USTA’s D&I initiatives on both the national and grass-roots levels. He launched the USTA’s first “Cross Cultural Dexterity Training” program, which serves to increase understanding of the impact of exclusionary behavior and the power of culture. He also developed a company-wide scorecard to measure the achievements of the USTA’s D&I objectives. Since his appointment as CDO, the USTA heightened its Supplier Diversity efforts, with the 2015 year end spend with diverse suppliers reaching over 14%.  Mr. Abrams joined NAAAP’s Board of Directors in 2015.

  • Dr. Victor DzauPresident of the National Academy of Medicine

    Victor Joseph Dzau was born in Shanghai to a father who taught chemistry and owned a chemical manufacturing company, but his family lost everything in fleeing the Chinese Communist regime and relocating to Hong Kong.  Along with his parents and two sisters, Dzau struggled in difficult circumstances but learned to adapt.  Eventually, he was able to study medicine in Canada, receiving his M.D. from McGill University.  Dr. Dzau did his medical residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and his cardiology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University in Boston.  In 1990 he became Chairman of Stanford University’s Department of Medicine and returned to Harvard in 1995 as Chairman of its Department of Medicine.  In 2004 Dr. Dzau became Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University, President and CEO of the Duke University Health System, and the James B. Duke Professor of Medicine.  In 2014, he was elected to a six-year term as President of the National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine, based in Washington, D.C.

    Dr. Dzau has made a significant impact on medicine through his seminal research in cardiovascular medicine and genetics and his leadership in health care innovation. His important work on the renin angiotensin system (RAS) paved the way for the contemporary understanding of cardiovascular disease and the development of RAS inhibitors as widely used, lifesaving drugs. In his role as a leader in health, Dr. Dzau has led efforts in health innovation, including the development of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute, the Duke Global Health Institute, the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, and the Duke Institute for Health Innovation. As one of the world’s preeminent health leaders, Dr. Dzau advises governments and universities worldwide. He has served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and as Chair of the NIH Cardiovascular Disease Advisory Committee.

    Since arriving at the National Academies, Dr Dzau has emphasized leadership, innovation, and impact. He has led important initiatives such as the Global Health Risk Framework for the Future, the Human Gene Editing Initiative, Vital Directions for Health and Healthcare, and Grand Challenges in Health and Medicine. His vision is to advance science, medicine, and policy to improve health globally.

    Among his many honors and recognition are the Gustav Nylin Medal from the Swedish Royal College of Medicine, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Heart Association, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Henry Freisen International Prize, and the Public Service Medal from the President of Singapore.  He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.  He has received nine honorary doctorates.

  • Omar IshrakChairman and CEO of Medtronic

    A native of Bangladesh, Omar Ishrak earned a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from King’s College at the University of London.   After earning his doctorate, Dr. Ishrak joined Philips Ultrasound as a research engineer and for 13 years, served in various product development and engineering positions at Philips Ultrasound and leadership positions at Diasonics/Vingmed.  He then joined GE Medical Systems and over 16 years continued to progress through the ranks at GE, including serving as the President and CEO of GE Healthcare Systems, a $12 billion division of GE Healthcare supported by approximately 20,000 employees in 120 countries. 

    In 2011, Dr. Ishrak joined Medtronic as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  Medtronic is the world’s leading medical technology company with more than $28 billion in annual revenue and over 85,000 employees with operations reaching approximately 160 countries worldwide.  The company offers technologies, solutions, and therapies to treat a wide range of medical conditions, including cardiac and vascular diseases, respiratory, neurological and spinal conditions, diabetes, and more.  The Medtronic Mission is to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life for millions of people around the world.  Since joining Medtronic, Dr. Ishrak has focused the company on three core strategies of Therapy Innovation, Economic Value, and Globalization.

    At Medtronic Dr. Ishrak meets regularly with employee resource groups and chairs the diversity council and personally signs off on diversity goals.  “Our business is diverse.  Our customers are diverse,” Dr. Ishrak has stated.  “So we need to have a workplace that reflects the diversity of our customers and business.”

    Dr. Ishrak sits on the Board of Trustees of the Asia Society, and is co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Health and Healthcare Community.  Additionally, he serves as a member of the Minnesota Public Radio Board of Trustees.  Dr. Ishrak ranks among the nation’s top-rated and most-liked CEOs, according to a recent Glassdoor survey of leadership performance.  In 2016, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) announced the induction of Dr. Ishrak to its College of Fellows.

  • Dr. Santa OnoPresident and Vice-Chancellor of University of British Columbia

    Santa Jeremy Ono was born in Vancouver and named after Santaro, a child samurai from a Japanese folk story.  He was raised in Philadelphia and Baltimore, where he attended Towson High School and became an accomplished cellist, studying at the Peabody Conservatory of Music.  Ono graduated with a B.A. in Biological Science from the University of Chicago, earned a Ph.D. in Experimental Medicine from McGill University in Montreal, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.  Dr. Ono went on to hold faculty positions in medicine and biology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, University College London, and Emory University.  As a scholar and researcher, Dr. Ono has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Immunology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology.  His principal and still active research interests focus on the immune system and eye disease.

    In 2006, Dr. Ono served as Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives and Deputy to the Provost at Emory University, becoming Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Academic Affairs in 2008.  In 2010 the University of Cincinnati (UC) recruited Dr. Ono as its Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.  In 2012, he was named as the 28th President of the University of Cincinnati, becoming its first Asian American president and the first Asian American university president in Ohio.  Under his leadership, UC achieved its largest enrollment in school history for three consecutive years and received accolades such as Public University of the Year by the Washington Center.  Dr. Ono also brought greater diversity to the President’s Cabinet, appointed the school’s first full-time Chief Diversity Officer, and increased investments and initiatives in diversity and inclusion.  Dr. Ono returns to Vancouver and the university which once employed his father as a professor, becoming the 15th President and Vice Chancellor of the University of British Columbia, effective August 15, 2016.

    Dr. Ono has received many honors and awards, including an election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an induction into the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars, the American Jewish Committee National Human Relations Award, and the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award from the American Council on Education.  Inside Higher Education also named him America’s most notable university president in 2015, perhaps in part for turning down his raises and donating his bonus for a third year in a row to various scholarships and charities, which in 2015 included a campus LGBTQ center, a local science-technology-focused high school, a program for first-generation college students, and a donation to the family of a Cincinnati Police Officer, Sonny Kim, who was killed in the line of duty.

    He has one of the most widely-followed Twitter and Instagram accounts among higher education leaders and has used his extensive social media presence to address various social issues and spread awareness about mental illness and depression.  Dr. Ono has been an inspiration and partner with NAAAP’s Cincinnati chapter and in 2015 provided a keynote when NAAAP’s National Academy was held in Cincinnati.  NAAAP congratulates Dr. Ono on his NAAAP 100 recognition and looks forward to his continued advancement of the Asian American and Canadian community.

  • Thomas Park Clementengineer, inventor, humanitarian, and author,

    Thomas Park Clement was born in South Korea during the Korean War to a Korean mother and American G.I. father.   Outcast as a biracial child and orphaned, he was later adopted by an American family.  Mr. Clement grew up in Massachusetts and eventually made his way to Indiana, graduating with a B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University and two Electrical Engineering degrees from Purdue University.  He worked at Wavetec, Inc., a communications equipment manufacturer, as its Director of Engineering and then at Vantec, Inc., now Boston Scientific Corporation, as an inventor and product developer in the R&D Department.  In 1988 he founded Mectra Labs, which is a bio-technology company that develops various medical devices from concept to final production, including various laparoscopic surgical instruments and other products used in cancer therapies and cardiovascular, brain, and ENT surgeries.  He has personally observed over 2,000 surgeries in the U.S. and has been invited on humanitarian missions to lecture, train, and share expertise with surgeons.  Mr. Clement holds 42 U.S. patents with additional patents pending.

    In his 40s, Mr. Clement began speaking with and counseling Korean American adoptees (KAA) and their families.  He decided to write about his experiences, which resulted in his 1998 book The Unforgotten War and his 2012 memoir, Dust of the Streets: The Journey of a Biracial Orphan of the Korean War.  His extraordinary life was captured in a 2012 video documentary, Where Are You Going, Thomas? The Journey of a Korean War Orphan (excerpt)

    Since 1955, there have been over 200,000 Korean adoptees, and Mr. Clement has been a role model and mentor to those in the KAA community.  He recently set up special funds to cover the costs of other Korean American Adoptees, Korean war veterans, and Korean families looking to locate birth parents, children, or relatives by submitting DNA tests to Family Tree DNA.  His other humanitarian efforts include helping with Korean American community projects in the U.S., supplying medical equipment on missions to Africa and North Korea, and providing food and support for orphanages.

    Mr. Clement is the recipient of numerous awards including the Association of Korean Adoptees inaugural Role Model Award (1999), the Purdue University Distinguished Alumnus Award (2000), an appointment by the South Korean President to the Advisory Committee on Unification (2002), the HealthTrust Supplier of the Year (2009), the MedAssets Supplier of the Year (2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014), the President’s Call to Service Award (2014), the Korean American Story’s inaugural Trailblazer Award (2015), and now the NAAAP 100 Award.

    In addition to being an inventor, businessman, and humanitarian, Mr. Clement is a trapeze artist, Tae Kwon Do expert, and has played guitar in a rock band.  He has two children and currently lives in Bloomfield, Indiana with his artist wife, Wonsook Kim.

  • JuJu Changjournalist, founder of Korean Am. Comm. Foundation

    Ms. JuJu Chang is currently Co-Anchor of ABC’s Nightline and was the first Korean-American to serve a prominent role on a national U.S morning news television show when she joined Good Morning America in 2009. In addition to covering various stories ranging from women’s health to national politics to global calamities, she has also brought attention to news impacting the Asian community.  Ms. Chang is a founding member of the Korean American Community Foundation and volunteers her time with other organizations.  Born in Seoul, Korea and raised in California, Ms. Chang graduated with honors from Stanford University with a B.A in Political Science and Communications.  She joins her colleagues Sachi Koto and Richard Lui as the third journalist in receiving this award.

    The NAAAP 100 award was presented to Ms. Chang on February 9, 2016 at an event hosted by The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), the nation’s largest leadership honor society, at New Jersey City University.  Ms. Chang’s speech, titled “The Power of Your Story,” was streamed live to Society members on over 500 college campuses and will be made available to NAAAP members.  The speech addressed “facing our own hidden biases,” “quieting the insecurity,” and “finding your voice and telling your story.”

    The NAAAP100 award was presented in February by Betty Lo and D.A Abrams, members of NAAAP’s National Board of Directors. Ms. Lo serves as Vice President of Community Alliances & Consumer Engagement at Nielsen. Mr. Abrams is the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for the United States Tennis Association.

  • Linda AkutagawaPresident, LEAP

    Learn from Linda at Session #103 – Leadership Boot Camp I:   “Risk Taking: Making Changes Happen”  Friday, August 11, 9:30-10:40 AM

    Linda Akutagawa is President and CEO of Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) where she is responsible for LEAP’s strategic direction, sustainability, relationships and collaborations. A beneficiary of LEAP’s leadership programming and a passionate social entrepreneur for over 20 years, Ms. Akutagawa has dedicated herself to continuing the cycle of leadership development and inspiring Asian and Pacific Islanders to aspire to leadership roles in all sectors of society. She is an appointed member of the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Diversity Task Force. Additionally, she is a member of the Southern California Edison Consumer Advisory Panel, a member of the Asian/Asian American Institute Advisory Board at California State University at Los Angeles, and a Board member of Japanese American Community Services (JACS), a community grantmaking organization. Linda received her B.S. in International Business with a minor in Economics from California State University at Los Angeles.

  • Zelekha AmirzadaAttorney, Negotiator, Educator

    Meet Ms. Amirzada in Session #502 – “Salary Negotiation Talk – A Hands-On Workshop,”aWomen in NAAAP (WIN) Workshop on Saturday, Aug. 13, 11:00-12:10 PM.

    Zelekha Amirzada received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UCLA and her Juris Doctorate from University of San Diego Law School. During the last nine years, she’s practiced as a civil litigator in the fields of environmental law and consumer protection class action law (both Plaintiff’s side). After witnessing the unique gender dynamics in the professional world as a female and as a minority, she decided to effect change by starting her own business helping women overcome career paralysis. She believes that her experience in starting out as a timid, young professional woman and growing into strong, knowledgeable, confident career woman over the course of her professional life can inspire other women to do the same as her – to stop living in a state of career fright and paralysis and to start thinking bigger and dreaming wilder in their career goals! Zelekha can be reached at www.tigressnegotiating.com.

  • Koustubh “K.J.” BagchiDirector of AAPI Finance for the Hillary for America campaign

    Meet KJ during Session #201:

    K.J. Bagchi was raised in Northern Nevada and graduated from the University of California Davis with a BS in Biopsychology and law degree from Seattle University School of Law.  He also currently serves on the board of Asian American Action Fund and as a Commissioner on the D.C. Mayor’s Commission of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.

    After graduating from college, K.J. worked on political campaigns, including as Field Director for a winning Congressional campaign, and subsequently as a government consultant with clients including state agencies and local governments. These experiences were pivotal in developing his interest in the intersection between law and policy which led to his decision to attend law school. During law school he was a Board Member for the South Asian Law Student Association and was elected to serve as the Diversity Representative on the Student Bar Association.

    K.J. has provided counsel and policy advice for elected members at the local and federal levels, including Councilmember Jim Graham on the D.C. City Council and Rep. Mike Honda in Congress. In Rep. Honda’s office, his legislative portfolio included immigration, civil rights, and justice, as well as matters related to the Congressman’s role as Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

    He currently serves as the Director of AAPI Finance for the Hillary for America campaign, after serving a year as the Director of AAPI Engagement for the Democratic National Committee. At the DNC, he launched ProgressAAPI, which consisted of a series of trainings, conversations, and programs aimed at furthering the Democratic Party’s commitment to engaging and empowering the AAPI community.

  • Tamara BeattyVoice Consultant on NBC's the Voice

    Explore with Tamara in Session #602 – Speaking and Living from Your Capital V, the Voice Behind Your Voice.  Saturday, Aug. 13, 3:15-4:25 PM

    Tamara is entering her 8th season as a Consultant on the NBC Emmy Award winning reality TV show “The Voice”, has over two decades of experience as a Voice and Performance coach and is highly respected in the industry as an expert in her field.  In addition to being a sought after coach for singers and performers, Tamara also has 12 years experience in the area of educational methodology and instructional design.  In her corporate consulting, Tamara draws on these two seemingly opposite worlds and provides unique insight on how businesses and individuals can use voice and performance techniques to be more effective and authentic with their communication and leadership whether it be presentations, sales, public speaking, or connecting with clients and people in general.  Her over two decades of work coaching multiple voices combined with her consulting work come together to create a compelling message on the power of the physical voice, and the bigger voice behind it that fuels everything we do.  Whether you’re using your voice to communicate with others, express yourself, public speak, do business, or lead a company- it is a powerful instrument, especially when it is optimized, amplified, and freed!  We will be exploring the power of Living and Leading from your “Capital V Voice” (the VOICE behind your voice).