Miriam Yeung, Executive Director
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 and DC, and chapters in 13 cities, NAPAWF’s current priorities include winning rights for immigrant women, exposing the myths behind sex selective abortion bans, leading community-based participatory research with young AAPI women, and conducting national AAPI opinion polling.
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 and was responsible for raising over $40 million dollars in capital campaign and programming funds over three years. 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 2014 Miriam was honored at the Ms. Foundation’s annual Gloria Awards; A Salute to Women of Vision. 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.
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, 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.
Son Ah Yun, Deputy Director of Programs and Policy
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.
Chuen Yan (Jamie) Lau, Systems and Sustainability Associate
Jamie is the Systems and Sustainability Associate of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF). She joined NAPAWF on the summer of 2013 as a temporary Administrative Assistant shortly after graduating from Baruch College with a BA in biology. While with NAPAWF, she has found a culture of sisterhood, activism, and fierceness – fertile grounds for growth. She decided to stay on with NAPAWF after her temporary period and is proud to be a part of such powerful work.
Stephanie Zhou, Administrative Assistant
Stephanie helps implement the financial, fundraising, and membership development strategy at NAPAWF. She is a native New Yorker and a proud second generation Chinese American.
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 that races all over the United States and internationally.