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The fast-growing number of politicians of Asian/Asian Pacific American descent are being elected to properly represent and understand the needs of their respective communities. Click on the below "links" to discover more information on these talented trailblazers.


  • U.S. SENATOR DANIEL KAHIKINA AKAKA OF HAWAII - a Democrat, has served in the United States Senate since 1990 to complete the term of the late Senator Spark M. Matsunaga. He was elected to his current term in November 1994 with over 70 percent of the popular vote--the largest margin of victory in the Senate that year. Senator Akaka is the first U.S. Senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry and is the only Chinese American member of the Senate.
  • WILMA CHAN - is California Assembly’s first Majority Leader
  • ELAINE CHAO - in 2000, was appointed to President Bush's cabinet. She was president and chief executive officer of United Way of America (UWA) in August 1996 to serve as a distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation, a prominent policy research institute in Washington, DC. She is currently married to Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky.
  • NGUYEN MINH CHAU - aspires to be in the Maryland House of Delegates. She is a fourth-term elected Council member for the town of Garrett Park, and a representative of the Maryland Municipal League (MML) and the Garrett Park Elementary School.
  • SATVEER CHAUDHARY - is the third South Asian American elected legislator in United States history. He's also Minnesota's first Asian Pacific American to hold elected office and one of only two South Asian Americans currently in office nationwide.
  • EDWARD CHEN - First Asian American on San Francisco Federal Bench.
  • ANNA CHAN CHENAULT - Was co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee's Finance Committee (1966-1983) and twice chairman of the National Republican Heritage Groups Council. Informal tasks were performed with U.S. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan. President Kennedy named her the chairman of the Chinese Refugees Relief Committee, making her the first person of Chinese ancestry to be named to the White House staff.
  • ALAN CHEUNG - He is the first Asian to break through the "glass ceiling" in Montgomery County politics and state government. He's a member of Montgomery County Board of Education.
  • RUSSELL CHEW - L.A. native was selected in 2003 by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta to be the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As the COO, Russell Chew oversees the operational and financial performance of the U.S. air traffic control system and the FAA’s research and acquisition programs.
  • JOHN CHIANG - John Chiang is California State Controller. He chaired the state Board of Equalization, a post that steeps him in tax and financial policy. Intuit, the owner of the software program TurboTax, vehemently opposed John Chiang's efforts to make free software available from the state for those who want to pay their taxes online.
  • MARTHA CHOE - a member of the Seattle City Council, Director of Economic Development for Washington state and a past Chair of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
  • VIET DINH - is the highest-ranking Vietnamese American official in the Bush Administration, working as assistant attorney general overseeing the Office of Legal Policy
  • MARCH FONG EU - prominent California politician who has broken many barriers for Asian Americans and women in politics.
  • HIRAM FONG - elected as Hawaii's first senator in 1959. A Republican, Fong went on to serve Hawaii for three terms until retiring in 1977. He had served in Hawaii's territorial legislature from 1938 to 1954, including four years as vice-speaker of the House of Representatives, and six years as speaker. He was vice-president of the Hawaii State Constitutional Convention held in 1950, and was a longtime, ardent supporter of Hawaiian statehood.
  • MATT FONG - son of former California Secretary of State March Fong Eu (Democrat) is a Republican.
  • S.I. HAYAKAWA - Dr. Samuel Ichiye (S. I.) Hayakawa became the first American of Asian descent to be elected to the U.S. Senate from a mainland state. Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa was born in Vancouver, Canada on July 18, 1906 of Japanese immigrant parents. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1955. After leaving the Senate he once again became a galvanizing force for both major parties by introducing a constitutional amendment to require the use of English in all public discourses.
  • DANIEL INOUYE - elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1959 as Hawaii's first Congressman, and then to the U.S. Senate in 1962 till 2002 was a distinguished war veteran.
  • PAUL JIN - Korean American is the chairman of the National Federation of Asian Pacific American Republicans and appointed as director of the Planning and Policy Analysis Bureau of the Peace Corps, the third highest position in the organization and deputy secretary level. He has been an active campaign manager for Republican presidential candidates for decades, including Ronald Reagan, George Bush, George W. Bush and Bob Dole.
  • BOBBY JINDAL - Baton Rouge, La., native Bobby Jindal, a whiz kid takes the reins of Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals and appointed in February 1998 to serve as the Executive Director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare in Washington, D.C. Jindal was named President of Louisiana's largest College System. In 2004, he became the 2nd Indian American elected to Congress.
  • A.G. KAWAMURA - California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed the third-generation Orange County native and farmer-owner of Orange County Produce as his agriculture secretary. This child of parents that were interned had served on two U.S. Department of Agriculture committees, chairman of the Western Growers Assn., an Irvine-based industry group for farmers and shippers; president of the Orange County Farm Bureau; member of the California Strawberry Commission, California Farm Bureau Federation's Labor and Fruit and Vegetable committees.
  • HAROLD HONGJU KOH - Harold Hongju Koh was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor on November 13, 1998. A Korean-American, he was nominated by President Clinton on September 10, 1998 and confirmed by the Senate on October 21, 1998.
  • FLORA GIL KRISILOFF - This elected Southern California official was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Taiwan as one of five children. Her mother, who was Chinese, was a nurse and her father, who was Chinese and Costa Rican, was a manager in the civilian air service.
  • TONY LAM - the first Vietnamese American to hold an elected office
  • BILL LANN LEE - Commissioner of Human Rights
  • SUSAN C. LEE - first APA women to serve in Maryland’s state legislature.
  • MICHAEL LIU - Assistant Secretary at HUD
  • GARY LOCKE - became Washington's 21st governor on Nov. 5, 1996, making him the first Chinese-American governor in U.S. history - making the state's public school the best in the nation. He (of immigrant parents) decided to not run for a third term in 2003. He led reforms to streamline regulatory processes, reduce the cost of development, managed the county jail system, toughened laws against violent offenders and burglars, prosecuted criminals for murder, robbery, assault and other violent crimes.
  • PATSY MINK - she was the first Asian American and woman of color to be elected to Congress.
  • ROBERT T. MATSUI (D) CALIFORNIA - Elected to Congress in 1978, Robert T. Matsui has gained a national and international reputation as an effective, strategic leader on far-reaching and complex public policy issues including international trade, social security, tax policy, public health and free and fair trade initiatives. He has also served two decades on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Congressman Matsui has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Anti Defamation League for his work mentioned above and with children.
  • NORMAN MINETA - this prominet APA politician become our community's first Cabinet member. Click for more details.
  • RUBY G. MOY - In 1997, eight Commissioners on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights unanimously approved the President's nominee Ruby G. Moy to be Staff Director of the Commission. Dutes include to investigate complaints civil rights infringement in all forms, collect information, to appraise Federal laws/policies to the violations, serve as a clearinghouse for info, submit reports to the President/Congress and issue PSA's to discourage equal protection of the laws.
  • BICH NGOC NGUYEN - Acting Director of Bi-Lingual Education
  • LAN NGUYEN - 1st Vietnamese American elected to a school board
  • WILLIAM OUCHI -Hawaii-born native, who comes from a family of teachers who felt stifled by out-of-touch bureaucrats, was a pivotal figure in the future of California public education and reform by bringing entrepreneurial methods to California’s 8,000 schools with Education Secretary Richard Riordan - a friend for a quarter century. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tapped Ouchi to write an initial draft of his education platform during his gubernatorial campaign. Dr. Ouchi was an advisor to the Joint Senate-Assembly Committee on Preparing California for the 21st Century, a past member of the Consumer Advisory Committee of the S.E.C., and chair of the Riordan Programs, which serve minority high school and college students in Southern California. He lives in Santa Monica, California.
  • H.K. PARK - was the Special Assistant to the Defense Department's Chief of Staff from 1999 to 2001, Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Civil Support, Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and currently a Senior Associate at the Cohen Group.
  • DANG PHAM - Executive Director of San Francisco’s Immigrant Rights Commission
  • PAUL SHIN - the first Korean- American to be elected a state senator
  • DAHLIP SINGH SAUND - In 1952 became the first Asian American and the only Asian Indian to have ever been elected to Congress from a mainland state. His poignant and immortal quote "There is no room in the United States of America for second-class citizenship" applies even more today!
  • KIP TOKUDA - US Representative from Washington State.
  • VAN TRAN - 1st Vietnamese American legislator in California that represents the largest Vietnamese population in the U.S. and (as a Republican) a minority among Asian representatives. Tran, Assemblywoman Shirley Horton (R-Chula Vista), whose mother is Japanese, and Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi (R-Lodi) have asked to become members of the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, a move that the Democratic membership is mulling over in 2005.
  • ROBERT UNDERWOOD - He was Guam's representative for five terms.
  • HUBERT VO - Hubert Vo made his bid for the Texas State Legislature in 2004 as a Democrat by challenging a powerful Republican incumbent (Talmadge Heflin) who had been weakened by a bizarre scandal and won by 16 votes. Hubert Vo has the distinction of becoming the first Vietnamese American elected to the Texas Legislature.
  • MARTHA WONG - She was the first Asian-American school principal in Houston, the first Asian-American to be elected to the Houston City Council and the first Asian-American woman to be elected to the Texas Legislature - a state that has the fourth-largest population of Asians within the United States.
  • DAVID WU - US Representative from Oregon
  • LELAND YEE - In November 1996, Leland Yee was elected to the Board of Supervisor. Before he elected to the Board of Supervisors, Yee served eight years as a member of the San Francisco Board of Education. He served as the Vice President and President of the Board.

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