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Eight HHS Employees Chosen to Participate in the 2014 FAPAC Challenge Team Program
By Vanee Komolprasert, Federal Asian Pacific American Council, FDA
The Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) is the sponsor of the Challenge Teams Program, with participation from the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Program complements efforts by WHIAAPI and federal agencies to foster career development and advancement for AAPIs in the federal government, per Executive Order 13515, signed by President Obama in 2009, to increase participation of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in federal programs.

This is a cost-neutral, innovative, and experiential training-based program targeted at developing skills for emerging federal leaders. Moreover, participants are given the opportunity to work on critical tasks, without having to leave their agencies on detail assignments or temporary duties.

The participants, working in virtual teams of six, will examine the complex challenges facing the federal government in addressing the needs of the AAPI community, particularly in capacity building, language access, data disaggregation, and workforce diversity. Teams will be expected to provide regular updates to FAPAC and WHIAAPI about ongoing progress, and will be working on a weekly basis to scope and implement a product for delivery within six months. Additionally, the participants will be asked to spend approximately 10-20 hours per month (between 3-5 hours per week) on projects.

Over 180 federal employees from federal agencies submitted applications to the 2014 FAPAC Challenge Team Program, 50 percent of who were HHS employees. Many of them became aware of the FAPAC and its CTP for the first time. The selection of participants is competitive and is based on key criteria with respect to the activities, accomplishments, and leadership potential. Among the 24 selected participants, eight are HHS employees: Yinan Peng (CDC, Atlanta, Georgia), Jamie Weng (HRSA, Rockville, Maryland), Emily Chou (OIG/HHS, Seattle, Washington), Jason Kwong (OIG/HHS, New York, New York), Eileen Nguyen and Chandni Patel (both from NIH, Bethesda, Maryland), Deepali Doddi (OCR/HHS, Chicago, Illinois), and Yen Hoang (FDA, Silver Spring, Maryland). The kick-off event for the CTP was held on October 14, 2014 at the Office of WHIAAPI, located at the Department of Education in Washington, DC.

D&I at HHS/Fall 2014