Our Staff

staff.miriamMiriam Yeung, Executive Director

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Miriam W. Yeung, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), guides the country’s only national, multi-issue, progressive organization dedicated to social justice and human rights for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the US. With offices in NYC, DC and Atlanta, and chapters in 15 cities, NAPAWF is the country’s policy advocacy and leadership platform for AAPI women to win reproductive justice, immigrant rights and economic justice.

Prior to NAPAWF, Miriam held many positions during her 10-year career at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (the Center) in New York City, the last of which was Director of Public Policy & Government Relations where she oversaw policy matters on the local, state and federal level. She started her career at the Center as a Youth Worker responsible for empowering young people to fight bullying and create safer schools.

Miriam is published in diverse publications in print and online and is a sought after speaker and workshop presenter. In 2016 Miriam will receive the Ms. Foundation’s Woman of Vision award. In 2012, Miriam was recognized by the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW) with the Making A Difference for Women award. In 2007, Miriam received special recognition from the New York City Council for her work with the LGBT youth community.

Born in Hong Kong and raised in the projects of Brooklyn, Miriam is a proud queer Asian American immigrant woman activist who is committed to social-justice movement building and raising her two young daughters to be fearless. Miriam holds a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College and a bachelor’s from New York University.

 

Leng Leng

Leng Leng Chancey, Deputy Director of Systems and Sustainability

Leng Leng was born and raised in Singapore and came to the United States to attend college, and received her BA in History and Asian Studies from Washington State University. Her longstanding passions revolves around social justice issues concerning AAPI women and beyond, with “equitable access for all” as her motto. In addition to holding numerous senior management positions in nonprofits such as the United Way of Greater Atlanta and Culture Connect, Inc, Leng Leng is a founding member of NAPAWF’s Atlanta Chapter. She is also a trained facilitator for the Anti-Defamation League and facilitates training around cultural competency and diversity. Her spare time includes social change advocacy via the soulful beats of an all-women Korean folk drumming group, which she co-founded.

 

Sung Yeon USOW headshotSung Yeon Choimorrow, National Field Director

Sung Yeon Choimorrow, as the National Field Director, guides, implements, and evaluates NAPAWF’s multi-city field organizing strategies. Sung Yeon also serves on the senior leadership team of NAPAWF, which guides the overall strategic direction and sustainability of the organization.
Before working at NAPAWF, Sung Yeon was the Director of Organizing at Interfaith Worker Justice leading collaborative work with various partner organizations, unions and faith communities on worker organizing and worker justice public policy. She also provided support to Interfaith Groups and Worker Centers across the country through providing technical assistance. 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 is a first generation immigrant who came to the U.S. 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 a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church(U.S.A.). Sung Yeon is a board member of Korean American Resource and Cultural Center, a Korean American Immigrant Rights organization in Chicago. She lives on the north side of Chicago with her partner, Joseph Morrow and their daughter Ella.

 

Satyam headshot - CopySatyam BarakotiGeorgia Director

Satyam Barakoti is Georgia Director for NAPAWF. She brings over 18 years of experience facilitating community dialogue on bringing diverse groups of interests and people to build coalitions. She has facilitated refugee women’s groups to create local campaigns and be a part of national women’s rights agenda. She has organized immigrant and refugee communities to create a media campaign to respond to the anti-immigrant media coverage and to put stories that highlight strengths that immigrant and refugee communities bring.

She is an entrepreneur who established a non-profit consulting firm that provides fundraising and development services to community based non-profits. She brings years of experience working with women, immigrant and refugee communities, underserved urban and rural communities. Her past experiences include working at Refugee Women’s Network, Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Legal Momentum, Asian and Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVRP) in Washington D.C., Janakpur Women’s Development Center (JWDC) and Women’s Foundation of Nepal.

Her volunteer community involvement have been at facilitator for Men Stopping Violence’s Because We Have Daughters Campaign, Board Member at Raksha, volunteer fundraiser with United 4 safety and lead organizer of college prep. program at the Clarkston Community Center for refugee and immigrant youth.

Satyam has a M.A. in International Development from American University, B.A from University of Maine in Interdisciplinary Studies on Political Science, Sociology and Women Studies and a B.Sc. in Home Science from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in Anantapur in India. Satyam is an immigrant to the United States from Nepal.

 

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Nimra Chowdhry, Reproductive Justice Fellow

Nimra Chowdhry is a Reproductive Justice Fellow through Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ). Nimra graduated in May 2015 from the University of Houston Law Center (UHLC). During law school, Nimra was active in UHLC’s immigration clinic, where she represented asylum seeking clients and co-authored an article on the state of post-decision federal appeals in the United States. Nimra interned at the Harris County Attorney’s Office working primarily on nuisance abatement law and also at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in the Human Trafficking Division. Nimra also interned at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York City during summer 2014 where she worked with staff attorneys on impact litigation issues of state and federal constitutional rights. During her last semester of law school, Nimra was selected as the first Public Policy fellow at the Greater Houston Partnership where she worked on Texas State legislation promoting full-day preschool for qualifying students. Nimra holds a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender studies from the University of Houston where her research focused on the development, and evolution, of identities by bridging the gap between how law and policy perceive the needs of women of color in the United States. She was the vice president of the Public Interest Law Organization at UHLC and co-founder of the UHLC chapter of LSRJ. During law school she was an active member of the steering committee for the Gulf Coast Planned Parenthood Young Leaders. Before law school, Nimra worked at Whole Woman’s Health, a reproductive health clinic in Austin, Texas, where she assisted economically disadvantaged patients in obtaining essential reproductive healthcare. Nimra earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Government and Women’s and Gender Studies from The University of Texas at Austin.

 

Melissa Kwon staff bioMelissa Kwon,  Research Coordinator

Melissa Kwon, PhD,  Research Coordinator of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) leads the organization’s research efforts on AAPI women and girls in the US. She also serves as Faculty for the Minnesota Young Women’s Collaborative (MYWC), which is currently hosted at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Additionally, Melissa is currently Co-Chair of the newly founded Twin Cities Chapter of NAPAWF.

Dr. Kwon has over 12 years of experience conducting health and educational research with the AAPI community and has worked with numerous programs that aim to eliminate health disparities and increase access to higher education for AAPIs. She is Affiliate Faculty in Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus. She has been a researcher and evaluator at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus, University of California at Irvine, University of California at Santa Barbara, and WestEd. She has served as Chair of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Health Coalition (AAPIHC), a coalition of AAPI serving nonprofit community organizations in Minnesota. She has also volunteered her time to local community organizations and has served as the Executive Director of the Midwest Asian American Students Union (MAASU), a Board Member of Neighborhood House, Member of the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership’s (MMEP) Research Collaborative Table, Board Member of United Cambodian Association of Minnesota (UCAM), and Board Member of The Cambodian Family. She is currently located in the Twin Cities Metro Area in Minnesota.

Dr. Kwon earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her M.A. in Education-Research Methodologies and Ph.D. in Education Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education from University of California, Santa Barbara.

 

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Stephanie ZhouCommunications and Development Associate

Stephanie helps implement the strategy for communications and development to articulate NAPAWF’s mission and lift the visibility of AAPI women and girls in the US to our constituents, policy makers, and funders.

Prior to NAPAWF, she worked at Sesame Workshop, creating educational content for elementary schools in China. She has also worked in development for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and has written for Mochi Magazine, an online publication with a mission to empower young, Asian American women.

Stephanie holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Media Culture and Communication from New York University. She is passionate about education, travel, dance, and increasing diversity in media. During her spare time, she trains with a competitive dragon boat team.

 

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Christine PosadasFinance and Operations Associate

Christine Posadas is the Finance and Operations Associate for NAPAWF. She joins NAPAWF in Atlanta after a decade of staying at home with her two children in the suburbs of Augusta, GA. Christine earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of South Carolina, Aiken in 2015. She is a keen observer of people and cultures and is comfortable being uncomfortable–a skill that is useful as she navigates her way through Southern culture. As a second generation Filipina-American and native of the West Coast, Christine looks forward to a future of breaking through racial and gender barriers with meaningful interactions within her community.


Interns

Cindy Li, 2016 Summer Policy Intern

Cindy is an intern at NAPAWF during summer 2016. She joins NAPAWF via Reproductive Rights Activist Service Corps (RRASC) summer internship program. Hailing from China, Cindy is a rising senior double majoring in biochemistry and women, gender and sexuality studies at Washington University in St. Louis. She is a plant biologist in the making and plans to pursue a PhD after graduation, but this summer she wants to take a break from science and explore her activism dimension at NAPAWF.