Department of the Interior (DOI) FAPAC Chapter
MISSION: To support the Department of the Interior in addressing issues of interest to the DOI Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community and to foster professional development and networking among its members.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Chapter (FAPAC-DOI) shall be to implement the goals and objectives of the national-level entity Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) as set forth in the FAPAC-DOI bylaws, FAPAC National bylaws, and in accordance with DOI Departmental Policy.
2022 FAPAC-DOI AANHPI Heritage Month Event
On May 24, FAPAC-DOI President Lena Chang led a discussion with DOI leaders Keone J. Nakoa, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Insular and International Affairs, and Jeff O. Carlson, Program Director of Audit Management at the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, about their career paths and FAPAC's AANHPI Heritage Month theme, "Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration." Watch the live recording on YouTube.
Upcoming FAPAC Events
Are you interested in improving your leadership skills or inspiring future AANHPI leaders in DOI? Do you dream of advocating for diversity and inclusivity initiatives within DOI? Consider becoming a part of the FAPAC-DOI board! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to apply or learn more.
Welcome FAPAC-DOI Intern, Isha Kalia!
We are excited to announce that Isha Kalia will be our FAPAC-DOI Intern for the Summer of 2022 while Ashley Chou is pursuing another internship.
Isha Kalia is a rising sophomore at Stanford University studying Public Policy with a focus on Resource, Energy, and Environmental Policy. She is a second-generation Indian immigrant born and raised in Iowa. Her trips to India as a child sparked her interest in environmental justice, sustainable agriculture, and social justice and equity issues. Isha is very excited to be interning for FAPAC-DOI this summer and hopes to use her position to foster greater community within the AANHPI community at the Department of Interior.
Thank you Ashley Chou!
Our FAPAC-DOI Intern, Ashley Chou, joined FAPAC-DOI in November 2020 and we are incredibly grateful for her contributions to building our community, specifically her initiation and development of a monthly newsletter that is full of our stories.
Ashley is a Taiwanese American student living in Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently enrolled at Harvard College as a sophomore, majoring in History of Science with a secondary in Mind, Brain, and Behavior. Her interests include public health, British fiction, and Greco-Roman mythology. She has always striven to stay connected with her heritage, whether by volunteering as a teacher’s assistant at a local Chinese school or participating in an Asian student exchange program.
Learn more about Ashley in our Member Spotlight (p. 3) for June - FAPAC-DOI Newsletter_June 2022.pdf
Congratulations to our very own Lena Chang and Kelly Kim for being awarded the FAPAC 2021 Diversity Excellence Award! This award recognizes their significant contributions to the advancement and promotion of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.
Lena Chang, President
Acting Deputy Assistant Regional Director, External Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mountain-Prairie Region, Interior Regions 5 & 7, working from Southern California.
Why did you join FAPAC-DOI?
FAPAC-DOI came to me at a time in my life and career when I realized that sharing our stories as Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders has tremendous value. My personal goal for diversity and inclusion is to break biases through sharing our stories, creative outreach, and education. My goal as a member of the FAPAC-DOI board is to continue to work with all of you to inspire the desire to engage members of the AANHPI community across the DOI, supporting and amplifying each other as we create ways to build awareness and community both nationally and within our home offices.
More about Lena
Lena was born and raised in southern California and identifies as Korean American with an additionally rich Japanese cultural influence from family members who were born and raised there. Her early background is in special education and wildlife rehabilitation, specializing in birds of prey. Inspired by conservation, she went back to school to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Biology before being hired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2008 as a Fish and Wildlife Biologist. Lena spent nearly 13 years working with State, Federal, and private partners toward conservation of threatened and endangered species in coastal southern California with the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office in Ventura, California. Recently, she transitioned to a position in USFWS Headquarters serving on the FWS COVID-19 Sustained Response Team and then to the Office of Emergency Management & Physical Security, where she works as an Information Coordinator and Biologist in her usual capacity. Lena served as FAPAC-DOI Executive Secretary (now Vice President of Outreach) in FY2019.
Thomas Liu, Leadership Liaison
Deputy Regional Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Pacific Region
Why did you join FAPAC-DOI?
I joined FAPAC-DOI as a founding member when the chapter was created in 2017 to share my experience as an Asian American working at Interior and learn from others. For a few years, I was fairly uninvolved as I had family commitments and being based out of California made it difficult to attend meetings and events. I became the senior liaison in 2019 after understanding how few AAPIs were in leadership positions at Interior and as video conference capabilities made collaboration from the West Coast easier. I'm interested in helping FAPAC thrive as an organization, serving as a resource to help other AANHPIs enter and advance at Interior; yet at the same time, reminding and reinforcing to members that even though we face challenges as AANHPI's (as do other minority groups), that the great thing about America is that our decisions and choices still matter more to career success than the circumstances or conditions we are born into. And I also want to continually emphasize that I believe that America's greatest strength comes from the fact that our country is unique in the world as a melting pot and that fundamentally, we are more alike to our fellow Americans than to anyone else in the world. So while FAPAC is a much needed safe space for us to share and process events, we must not use race to separate us off or wall us off from our fellow Americans.
More about Thomas:
Thomas started his DOI career in 2009 as a Presidential Management Fellow and the Chief of Concessions for Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and transitioned to BOEM in 2011 after a brief stint at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. He completed the White House Office of Management & Budget SES Candidate Development Program in 2016. Prior to government, he worked in finance and held positions as an investment banking analyst, corporate strategy analyst, product manager, and a hedge fund investment analyst. Thomas holds a BS from Stanford, an MBA from Northwestern, and completed the Senior Executive Fellows program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Thomas grew up in Cary, North Carolina. Thomas is proud to be a 2nd generation Taiwanese American and to be in a leadership position where he can provide insight, transformational thinking, give back to America, and make Interior a great place to work.
Janet Cushing, Senior Advisor
Deputy Chief, U.S. Geological Survey, National Climate Adaptation Science Center
Why did you join FAPAC-DOI:
I joined FAPAC-DOI officially last year, after being a non-active participant for a couple years prior. The impetus was the ever increasing racial intolerance and hate crimes that I was seeing across all minorities, but in particular the sharp increase of abusive behavior towards Asian Americans made me realize that I need to be part of the solution.
Anything else about you that you want to share with FAPAC-DOI?
I am grateful to have a community in DOI that provides a safe space to discuss issues pertaining to the AANHPIs as well as meet more people across the different DOI bureaus.
Martin J. Moore III, Vice President of Programs
Compact Grants Manager, Office of Insular Affairs
Honolulu Field Office, Hawaii
Why did you join FAPAC-DOI?
I am relatively new to the federal world but coming in, FAPAC-DOI created a supporting and empowering space for me. As we are all aware, 2020 was a painfully overwhelming year and finding a community of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders on a similar path as myself, it brought a new kind of comfort in a world new to me, and a world that was hurting. Having a tie like AANHPI, it is empowering represent the diversity and inclusion we stand for. In being part of this vibrant community, I only want to continue to engage with our members all across DOI.
More about Martin:
Martin was born in Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands and grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Martin is Palauan-American and he and his family moved to Palau when he turned thirteen. After only really knowing Pennsylvania, moving to Palau opened a new identity he always heard about but had no experience of what it meant being Palauan. Martin went on to attend Xavier High School in Chuuk, Micronesia and then college in the Aloha state of Hawaii where he studied International Relations. Originally, he wanted to study Political Science but after experiencing growing up in both the United States and the Republic of Palau, all he wanted to do was use his experiences to "help people." With his position at Insular Affairs, Martin is able to support and maintain relations between the United States government and four U.S. Territories and three independent, Freely Associated States (the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau). Martin enjoys cooking, eating, going to the beach, and finding new opportunities to live life during this new norm. Be well and Be Safe!
Karen Sinclair, Vice President of Outreach
Fish and Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office
Why did you join FAPAC-DOI?
Ever since I was introduced to FAPAC-DOI, I continue to be inspired by the strong leaders in our community and through the vulnerable stories you all have shared. As someone who is mixed race and adopted at a young age, FAPAC-DOI empowers me to reconnect to my heritage and to look deeper into the often hidden history of AANHPIs. I look forward to learning how my skills can help support the FAPAC-DOI community!
More about Karen:
When not in the office, Karen enjoys teaching her friends about local birds and native plants, training her deaf dog, and encouraging others to document their observations of nature through art.
Vice President of Finance - Vacant Position
We are so grateful for Shuwen Cheung with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for serving as our Vice President of Finance throughout 2021.
Read About Our Community
Interested in telling your story?
We love hearing from our members and are always looking for submissions to our newsletters!
Submissions could include: Member spotlights, personal reflections, family or cultural traditions, photos/stories/recipes, "What Keeps You Going?" (what are you reading, watching, eating, etc).
If you are interested in adding your voice to our newsletters, please send your submission to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to read more stories like these?
“This is Kaio (named after Kaio-ken from Dragon Ball Z, yes).
She is 5 years old. Like me, she is an immigrant from Southeast Asia. She is a rescue street kitten that my husband and I adopted when we worked in Manila, Philippines. At the time, she was a little less than 4 weeks old, but her mother was run over by a car and could not nurse her. She's come a long way, and she is an introverted cat with a fun-loving streak and a warm heart.”
Thao Tran, Office of Wildland Fire, Washington, D.C.
"My “field team” is a flock of
Kaki, Ume, Yuzu, Momo, and Anzu.
"Bella is a rescued Ragdoll cat; I adopted her when she was 9 years old, and she’s 15 now.
Lena Chang, Senior Fish and Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura, CA
“I'd like to introduce you to my dog - Dusty, a Chocolate Lab. Dusty is 5 years old.
He loves to go on walks; however, I must closely monitor him because
he also loves water and given an opportunity, he'll dive in.”
Karen Ridgeway, EEO Specialist and the Special Emphasis Program Manager for Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation & Enforcement, Washington, D.C.
Female Bluetick Coonhound Mix,
5 years old
2 years old(?)
Out of office co-worker
Cody, Male Quarterhorse
19 years old
Cindy K. Lowman, JD, CISSP, CIPP/G, Branch of Financial Policy and Analytics, JAO-PERMA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lakewood, CO
“Our sweet cat is a rescue pet and we adopted him from Anchorage Animal Care and Control in July 2013. The staff named him Mochi, and we kept the name since the thought of our family fur member being named after a Japanese rice cake immensely pleased me. The veterinarian estimated Mochi was 2 when we adopted him, so he's around 9 years old now. Mochi is a tuxedo domestic short-haired cat and he is atypical regarding the perception of a stereotypical cat.
He is very loving and affectionate and friendly to our friends. Mochi loves curling up on our lap or enjoys being next to us. I took a break to sit on the couch and he chose to perch on top of it. He is truly a great teleworking buddy.”
Barbara Green, Equal Opportunity Manager, National Park Service, Anchorage, AK
"George is an 11-year old cockapoo rescue.
Kelly, DOI Office of Human Capital
"My family adopted Sweetie, a red-heeler/terrier mix, when she was 2 years old. About a month into owning her, we learned that she was deaf! Although we were initially afraid that she would not be able to keep up with our adventurous life style, she proved that she was more than capable through her attentiveness, rapid ability to learn new tricks, and her endless ability to trust and go with the flow. 12 years later and we can't imagine life without her!
"I adopted Mushu from a friend who realized that Mushu was not a good fit for her household. Little did I know how sassy this little reptile could be! Unlike most bearded dragons, Mushu is not lazy or mellow, instead she enjoys running full speed around the house, leaping off make-shift agility courses, and teasing the dogs by sprinting at them."
Karen Sinclair, Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
August 2-6, 2021
Authentic conversations and exercises around Cultivating Courage
On August 2-6, 2021, the Diversity Change Agents of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the National Parks Service (NPS), the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the Interior Business Center (IBC), and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) – along with Strategic Partners within EEO, HR, Civil Rights, and Public Affairs partnered to host Ally Engagement & Enrichment Week 2021.
FAPAC-DOI president, Lena Chang, participated in the panel discussion on August 6.
April 16, 2021
The Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, participated in a FAPAC-DOI roundtable to hear our stories and speak against anti-AANHPI racism and discrimination of any kind.
Moderator and Panelists (left to right):
Lena Chang, Office of Emergency Management & Physical Security
Kelly H. Sewell, Office of Human Capital
Thomas Liu, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Tanya H. Joshua, Office of Insular Affairs
Secretary Deb Haaland, U.S. Secretary of the Interior
May 18, 2021
We cohosted an AANHPI Heritage Month Event in partnership with the Department of Energy Bonneville Power Administration
A year after our 2020 event, Dr. Russell M. Jeung, Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University and cofounder of stopaapihate.org returned with an update on Anti-Asian incidents during the pandemic.
May 20, 2020
In our 2020 AAPI Heritage Month event, Dr. Russell M. Jeung, Chair and Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University, presented a keynote based on his work related to race and as the founder of Stop AAPI Hate, a center that tracks hate incidents to develop strategic policy interventions. We also heard from Olivia Adrian, President of FAPAC, and Nikolao Pula, Director of the DOI Office of Insular Affairs.
FAPAC is a 501 (c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the military and Federal and District of Columbia governments.
Copyright ©2022 FAPAC • P.O. Box 23184, Washington, D.C. 20026-3184