Department of the Interior (DOI) FAPAC Chapter

Established 2017

Chapter Information and Events

MISSION: To support the Department of the Interior in addressing issues of interest to the DOI Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) 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 National bylaws and in accordance with DOI Departmental Policy.


Next Chapter Meeting: September 22, 2021 

9-10am Hawaii (HST), 12-1pm Pacific (PT), 3-4pm Eastern (ET) 
During our next chapter meeting, we will be introducing the post-election board and Special guests from the Department of the Interior's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Team (DEIA)! 

For more information, email: fapac@ios.doi.gov


Upcoming events


Member Highlights




Welcome FAPAC-DOI Intern, Ashley Chou!


About Ashley

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. As such, she is very excited to be working with FAPAC-DOI!




Congratulations Lena Chang and Kelly Sewell! 

Congratulations to our very own Lena Chang and Kelly Sewell for being awarded the FAPAC 2021 Diversity Excellence Award! This award recognizes their significant contributions to the advancement and promotion of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Lena and Kelly were recognized for their "Remarkable contributions towards diversity and inclusion through collaboration against all odds." Because of their outstanding efforts, Lena and Kelly were awarded the Vanguard Award on May 2021 by the DOI Connections Team! 


Meet the Board

Lena Chang, President


Current position and where you work:

Information Coordinator, FWS COVID-19 Sustained Response Team, US. Fish & Wildlife Service Office of Emergency Management & Physical Security, Headquarters, working remotely from the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, Ventura, 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 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 AAPI 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 for Headquarters serving on the FWS COVID-19 Sustained Response Team and the Office of Emergency Management & Physical Security and will continue to be based in southern California. Lena served as FAPAC-DOI Executive Secretary (now Vice President of Outreach) in FY2019.



Thomas Liu, Leadership Liaison


Current position and where you work:

Deputy Regional Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Pacific Region

Camarillo, California 


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 AAPIs enter and advance at Interior; yet at the same time, reminding and reinforcing to members that even though we face challenges as AAPI'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. [Note: I was sure if I was supposed to write this in 1st person or in 3rd. I can do it in 1st person if needed. Its sorta easier to write in 3rd person when writing about your career though.


Janet Cushing, Senior Advisor


Current position and where you work:

Deputy Chief,  U.S. Geological Survey, National Climate Adaptation Science Center, Reston, Virginia


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.






Shuwen Cheung, Vice President of Finance


Current position and where you work: 

Accountant, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration, Falls Church, Virginia 


Why did you join FAPAC-DOI? 

There has been a lot of positive attention on diversity, inclusion, and related issues in my work environment in the past few years, especially from senior management. I'd like to get involved to learn and contribute more to the movement and put more attention toward dealing with unconscious bias in the workplace. I am interested to join the FAPAC-DOI Board to encourage the movement toward a more diversified and inclusive work environment. 


More about Shuwen:

Shuwen was born and raised in Taiwan. Her early background is in International Trade, specializing in Cost Accounting. Inspired by exploring more opportunities, she went back to school to earn a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Economics before being hired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2008. In her current position, Shuwen is proud to be involved with the WSFR group working through partnerships to conserve and manage fish and wildlife and their habitats for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations.



Karen Sinclair, Vice President of Outreach


Current position and where you work:

Fish and Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office

Ventura, California


Why did you join FAPAC-DOI?

Due to being mixed race and adopted at a young age, I strive to reconnect to my heritage through trying new recipes, learning about the history of Asian Americans, and engaging in conversations about race. I look forward to becoming more actively involved with 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.



Read About Our Community 



Interested in telling your story?

We love hearing from our members and are always looking for submissions to our newsletters! Topics include: Member Highlights (share your story), recipes, photographs, summer stories, or "What keeps you going?" (what are you watching, eating, reading, etc.?). 

If you are interested in adding your voice to our newsletters, please send your submission to ashley_chou@college.harvard.edu and karen_sinclair@fws.gov. 

Want to read more stories like these? 


Check out DOI's Connections! 


Stephen Carlisle and his team put together this beautiful edition of Connections for this year's AANHPI Heritage Month, which features numerous FAPAC-DOI members! 



FAPAC-DOI "Co-Workers"


 “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
sikie chicken crosses.
From left to right:

 Kaki, Ume, Yuzu, Momo, and Anzu.
They are very productive!"



"Bella is a rescued Ragdoll cat; I adopted her when she was 9 years old, and she’s 15 now.
She’s incredibly affectionate and talkative…loves joining me on conference calls!
Bella is diabetic and relies on insulin and a special diet; with management, she’s as as healthy and as happy as can be."

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.


Biscuit  

Female Bluetick Coonhound Mix, 

5 years old

 Mr. Krabs

Male(?) Goldfish

2 years old(?)

Out of office co-worker
that we visit frequently: 

CodyMale 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.
He’s a grumpy old man who’s a great office mate and sleeps all day while I’m working.
When he's not asleep, George loves a good squeaky toy, head scratches, and playing fetch."

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

Past Events


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.  

Have you taken the DOI Annual Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Pledge?




April 16, 2021

The Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, participated in a FAPAC-DOI roundtable to hear our stories and speak against anti-AAPI 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
and DOI bureaus: BLM, BOR, OSMRE, and USFWS.

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.

May 7, 2019

Our 2019 AAPI Heritage Month Celebration with special guest, Executive Director Holly Ham of the White House Initiative on AAPIs, was highlighted in This Week at Interior and In HR Quarterly.


FAPAC is a 501 (c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing the civilian and military Asian Pacific American (APA) employees in the Federal and District of Columbia governments.
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