Becca Asaki, New York Organizer
Marién Casillas-Pabellón, National Field Director
Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director
Jaclyn Dean, Public Policy Manager
Kimya Forouzan, Legal Fellow
Liz Haas, Development Associate
Nish John, Finance and Operations Associate
Zareen Kamal, Chicago Organizer
Seri Lee, Chicago Organizer
Jane Liu, Legal Director
Ferdinand Macatangay, Digital Engagement Strategist
Olivia Pearl, New York City Junior Organizer
Suraiya Sharker, Georgia Organizer
Phoebe Suva, Policy Associate
Vivien Tsou, Associate Director of Organizing
Jennifer Wang, Deputy Director of Programs
Allison Zidek, Senior Manager of Finance, Operations, and HR
New York Organizer
Becca Asaki is a Yonsei (fourth generation) Japanese American with years of experience organizing on issues ranging from housing, health, and gender justice in poor and working class communities of color. Before joining NAPAWF, she was the Communications and Development Coordinator for CASA (Community Action for Safety Apartments), a member-led grassroots tenants rights organization fighting for safe and affordable housing in the Southwest Bronx. There she built out a grassroots fundraising program and supported the communications of groundbreaking campaigns including the first successful campaign in the country to establish a right for tenants to have an attorney in housing court. Previously, she was as an AIDS Campaign Coordinator and organizer for the Home Based Care Alliance for the Huairou Commission, a global network of women-led grassroots organizations where she developed a framework for leadership development and coordinated global peer learning academies on organizing and leading campaigns on women’s unpaid care work. She serves on the NY Day of Remembrance Committee, and is dedicated to advancing women’s empowerment, community organizing and social justice.
Sung Yeon Choimorrow
Sung Yeon is a first generation immigrant working mom who is passionate about building power to create change so her daughter can live in a more just world than the one she inherited.
Sung Yeon initially came to NAPAWF as it’s National Field Director with a vision to build infrastructure for building a robust base of community leaders who are most affected by the policy issues that NAPAWF works on, namely immigrant rights, economic justice, and reproductive right and health, using the reproductive justice framework.
Sung Yeon has continued to lead NAPAWF with the vision of building power with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls as she took on the role of Executive Director at NAPAWF.
Under Sung Yeon’s leadership, NAPAWF has gone from one organizer (her!) to now a team of nine on the organizing team. Sung Yeon deeply believes that policies should be made by the people for the people and when people are equipped with tools to build power and create change, we will get the job done.
Before working at NAPAWF, Sung Yeon was the Director of Organizing at Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) leading collaborative work with community organizations, unions and faith communities on worker organizing and worker justice public policy. Prior to IWJ, Sung Yeon was a Community Organizer at Asian American Institute where she helped organize the pan-Asian American community in Chicago to work together on presidential and mayoral elections, immigration reform, the state budget, and redistricting.
Sung Yeon was born in South Korea and spent her childhood in Singapore and India. Sung Yeon came to the U.S. at the age of 18 to study Political Science and Urban Studies at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL and earned an M.Div from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. Sung Yeon is an Ordained Minister in the Presbyterian Church(U.S.A.). Sung Yeon is a board member of the Hana Center, a Chicago based organization that builds power with Korean Americans, immigrants, and multi-racial communities for just policies that impact immigrant families.
Jaclyn was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and is the proud daughter of Taiwanese immigrants. She earned her BA in Political Science and Sociology with a minor in Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities from Rice University. She worked as a campaign staffer on a state representative campaign in Houston through Annie’s List, which helps elect progressive, pro-choice women to office in Texas. She then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, where she ran after-school programs focused on leadership and life skills with adolescent girls in her village. Jaclyn holds a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government specializing in gender, human rights, and international and global affairs. During graduate school, she helped lead the Gender Policy Union and volunteered with the Everywoman Everywhere Coalition, a global grassroots movement that aims to end violence against women. She also interned with the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), where she tracked US foreign policy on sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide.
If/When/How Reproductive Justice Legal Fellow
Kimya Forouzan is the If/When/How Reproductive Justice Legal Fellow with NAPAWF for the 2019-2020 fellowship year. Prior to beginning her fellowship with NAPAWF, Kimya graduated with a JD and MPH from Temple University in Philadelphia. During law school, Kimya interned with a number of public interest-focused organizations, including the National Women’s Law Center, the National Institute for Reproductive Health, the Center for Public Health Law Research, the Temple University Legal Aid Clinic, and the Office of Councilwoman Helen Gym. During this time, Kimya also served as national board vice president for If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, president of Temple’s National Lawyers’ Guild chapter, founding member of the Middle Eastern and North African Law Students Association, and an inaugural member of Temple Law’s Dean’s Working Group on Diversity and Inclusion. Outside of her professional work, Kimya has been a long-time volunteer Farsi language interpreter, assisting immigrants, refugees, and asylees in obtaining legal and social services.
Liz is a multiracial Asian American of Taiwanese/Chinese and German descent hailing from the suburbs of Chicago. They are committed to an intersectional feminist vision for the world and believe that working to build what Grace Lee Boggs called “critical connections” is essential to realizing that vision. Before joining NAPAWF, Liz served as the AmeriCorps VISTA Resource Development Associate at KAN-WIN, a domestic violence and sexual assault services agency serving the Asian American community, where they managed the organization’s fundraising activities. Liz studied history at Smith College with a focus in comparative colonialism, and in their senior year, they contributed to the creation of a timeline of the history of domestic workers’ organizing for the Matahari Women Workers’ Center and the National Domestic Workers Alliance. At Smith, Liz was also involved with the Social Justice and Equity Committee, building awareness within student communities about systemic oppression, and the student organization Pan-Asians in Action, working with other members to organize the college’s first Asian American feminism summit. Liz is a core member of Invisible to Invincible (i2i), building community among LGBTQ API people in the Chicago area.
Finance and Operations Associate
Nish John, originally of Freeport, Illinois, studied International Relations with a concentration in Human Rights at The University of Iowa. Prior to NAPAWF, she spent her time working as a Development Coordinator & Grant Writer at Mount Ararat Community Activity Center (MACAC) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Nish was an intern at the University of Iowa’s Center for Human Rights where she helped plan Refugee Relief Month and organized a reusable feminine hygiene product initiative that was then sent to Europe. She also spent her undergraduate years serving time as a member of Amnesty International’s Iowa Chapter, Students for Human Rights, Indian Student Alliance and as a cultural committee member for her school’s Campus Activities Board.
Seri is a queer non-binary femme and child of the Korean diaspora. Born and raised in Chicago, they grew up in a working-class immigrant family, and their experiences of racial, gender, and class oppression have directly shaped their understanding of their self, community, and world.
A junior at Northwestern University, Seri is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Global History and Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies. On campus, they organize with the Latinx Asian American Collective (LAAC), fighting to departmentalize Northwestern's ethnic studies programs and taking action against an institution that has historically devalued and tokenized its students and faculty of color. Last year, Seri started Students Organizing for Labor Rights (SOLR), Northwestern’s chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops. SOLR builds student-labor solidarity and organizes student leadership within the international labor movement, and in the spring, they successfully ran and won their first campus worker justice campaign. As co-president of Asian Pacific American Coalition (APAC), Seri also builds community and power for AAPI students on campus. In addition to student organizing, they are an advocate for the AAPI and LGBTQIA+ communities through their previous involvement with student government.
They get out of bed every morning because they deeply love the people. Fundamentally, they believe in collective liberation and the power of the people.
Jane Liu leads NAPAWF’s legal advocacy and litigation strategies in the areas of reproductive rights and health, immigrant rights, and economic justice. Prior to joining NAPAWF, Jane was a partner at Terris, Pravlik & Millian, LLP, a public interest law firm in Washington, DC, where she spent eight years litigating public interest, civil rights, and employment discrimination cases. Her work consisted primarily of litigation of class actions in state and federal courts, including class actions on behalf of Medicaid recipients and children with disabilities. She also represented individual Medicaid beneficiaries, primarily children with special needs, at administrative hearings to challenge denials of Medicaid benefits. Jane has worked on numerous appeals and has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She began her career as a public defender in Boston, representing indigent defendants charged with serious felonies.
Jane is a second generation Asian American and the daughter of Japanese and Taiwanese immigrants. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and received an A.B. in Sociology from Princeton University. She is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Massachusetts and before the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Digital Engagement Strategist
Ferdinand Macatangay is passionate about using technology with advocacy to make the world a better place. At NAPAWF, he uses his digital skills to amplify the voices of women of color fighting for reproductive rights and racial justice. Ferdinand manages NAPAWF’s online presence, including this new website.
The grandson of Filipino immigrants, Ferdinand was born and raised in southern Indiana, and graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Graphics Technology. While in school, Ferdinand used his digital design skills to support causes he believed in, such as helping establish a campus immigrant allies club and interning with Planned Parenthood in Indiana.
Outside of work, he enjoys playing guitar, video games, and spending way too much time on Twitter.
Suraiya is a student activist, and has participated in Atlanta based movements centering around conflicts such as gentrification, voter suppression, and reproductive rights. She also actively participates in local progressive Political Campaigns in hopes of raising Georgian voter turnout. In her previous job as a Student Assistant at the Georgia State Multicultural Center, Suraiya researched ways to create a more inclusive and inviting spaces for members of Gender and Sexual minority communities within the university system.
Suraiya is currently an organizer and member of NAPAWF Georgia. The daughter of immigrant parents, she is a proud first generation Bangladeshi American. She is a student at Georgia State University majoring in Political Science with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Suraiya aspires to go to law school one day in the near future and become a Human Rights or Immigration Lawyer.
Phoebe is a queer, transracial adoptee who grew up in Portland, ME. She is passionate about building space within the Asian American community for other transracial adoptees. Phoebe graduated from St. Lawrence University with a B.A. in Government, and a minor in gender and sexuality studies. She previously worked on policy protections for LGBTQIA communities with the Human Rights Campaign as an intern. Phoebe furthered her national advocacy experience as an intern in Senator Gillibrand’s office, followed by a summer with the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress where she researched economic justice policies at the local, state, and federal levels.
Prior to NAPAWF, Phoebe worked at End Rape on Campus (EROC) as a policy fellow focusing on campus, state, and federal policies that impact student survivors. In her role, she was crucial to building EROC’s policy department. During her time at EROC, she helped create and launch the Hands Off IX campaign in response to the Department of Education’s proposed changes to Title IX. She currently serves as a mentor for the Women’s March Youth Empower Cohort.
Deputy Director of Programs
Jennifer Wang comes to her role as Deputy Director of Programs for the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) with a deep and longstanding commitment to the reproductive justice lens. Jennifer serves on the senior leadership team of NAPAWF, which steers the overall strategic direction and sustainability of the organization and is responsible for overseeing the policy, legal, and communications teams and improving cross-team collaboration with NAPAWF’s overarching strategies front of mind.
Jennifer has nearly a decade of experience in government affairs with particular expertise in regulatory affairs and negotiated rulemaking. She was previously at the helm of the DC Office for The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), where she led the organization's government relations efforts to make college more affordable for low-income students and to stop waste, fraud, and abuse in the student lending industry. Prior to TICAS, Jennifer was the Policy Director at Young Invincibles, leading the organization's policy team on higher education, health care, and jobs. She came to Young Invincibles as the Policy and Advocacy Manager, building the start-up nonprofit's government relations strategies and systems from the ground up. Before Young Invincibles, Jennifer began her career at NARAL Pro-Choice America as a policy associate, cutting her teeth in legislative affairs for federal and state reproductive health policy, and developing expertise on contraceptive access and preventive health services under the Affordable Care Act.
Jennifer was born in Los Angeles to Taiwanese American immigrants. She has degrees in psychology and women's studies from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law.
Senior Manager of Finance, Operations, and HR
Prior to joining NAPAWF, Allison spent 8-years as the Accounting and HR Manager for Interfaith Worker Justice, a national economic justice non-profit headquartered in Chicago. Before her move into the non-profit sector, Allison had a long career as Accounting Manager and IT Director for a retail organization in Chicago. She has a BA in Accounting from Bradley University and an MBA from DePaul University.
Allison has responsibility for a variety of financial, operations and human relations functions at NAPAWF including accounting, payroll and personnel benefits. Allison was born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago and continues to live in Skokie with her daughter. Outside of NAPAWF, she spends time volunteering on the Vestry and Finance Committee for her church and with many local school and community organizations.