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The National Association of Asian Pacifics in Politics and Public Affairs (NAAPPPA) is proud to present the 2018 list of the top 40 AAPI political operatives and public affairs professionals under 40. NAAPPPA established this list to highlight the growing number of AAPIs who are beginning to dominate the professional unelected side of politics.  These honorees represent groundbreaking AAPI campaign strategists, lobbyists, legislative staff, and corporate public affairs professionals that work behind the scenes to elect and advance AAPI electeds and the AAPI community.  These elite individuals are breaking the Asian model minority stereotype by excelling in the rough and tumble, rule-bending, bare knuckle world of American politics.


NAAPPPA is a non-partisan non-profit national organization dedicated to promote and develop Asian American and Pacific Islander career advancement and excellence in political consulting, public affairs, and legislative advocacy through networking, innovative training, and professional development programs.  NAAPPPA’s members include legislative staff and professionals specializing in political campaigns, direct mail, polling, communications, opposition research, political compliance, fundraising, public and government affairs, media relations, and legislative advocacy.

Download full list and bio here.


Updated 07.22.18 - 10:01 AM PST - List by alphabetical order:

Saat Alety |R| Legislative Assistant, U.S. Senator Tim Scott.

Vishal Amin |R| Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Executive Office of the President.

Jenny Bach |D| Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Golden State Opportunity Foundation.

Miki Carver |R| Asian Pacific American Press Secretary, Republican National Committee. 

Susan Chan |D| Principal Consultant, California Assembly Budget Committee.

Ivan Cheung |D| Digital Director, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. 

Akash Chougule |R| Director of Policy, Americans for Prosperity.  

Oliver Chu |R| Regulations Analyst, California Department of Social Services.

Larry Chung |D| Senior Vice President, Strategies 360. 

Melissa Fwu |R| Associate Director, White House Office of Public Liaison.

Surya Gunasekara |R| Founder, Section VII Strategies. 

Irene Ho |D| Chief of Staff, California Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Budget.

Kelly Ilagan |R| Acting White House Liaison at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Nick Johns |R| Business Development and Strategic Partnerships Coordinator, International Franchise Association.

Derek Kan |R| Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation. 

Bethany Khan |D| Dir. Of Communications & Digital Strategy, Culinary Union 226.

Phil Kim |D| Associate Director of Community Engagement, Democratic National Committee.  

Nam Le |D| VP & Political Director, UFCW 770.

Gloria Li |D| District Director, CA State Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma.


Sonya Logman |D| Deputy Secretary for Business and Consumer Relations, California Business Consumer Services & Housing Agency. 

Jennifer Louie |R| Advocacy Program Manager, Capitol Impact. 

Adam Ma |D| Community Relations Manager in External Affairs with SoCalGas.

Lauren McCue |R| Senior Publicist, Regnery Publishing. 

Andrew Medina |D| California Policy Manager for Asian Americans Advancing Justice - California. 

Melissa Medina |R| Congressional Affairs Director, Congressional App Challenge.

Lila Nieves-Lee |R| Director of Congressional Affairs, United States Trade Representative. 

Michael Nguyen |D| Partner, Left Coast Strategies. 

Lindsey Nitta |D| Principal, Venture Consulting. 

Devin Osiri |D| Executive Director Los Angeles County Democratic Party. 

Steven Raga |D| Chief of Staff, New York State Assemblymember Brian Barnwell. 

Adi Sathi |R| National Director of Asian Pacific American Engagement at the Republican National Committee. 

Swati Singh |R| Director of Engagement and Special Projects, Republican State Leadership Committee. 

Mark Skidmore |D| CEO & Co-Founder, Assemble. 

Oliver Tan |R| Director of Coalitions, New York Republican Party.  

Alice Tong |D| Political Director for Sen. Tim Kaine.

Tammy Tran |D| Government Affairs Representative, Southern California Edison.

Pranay K. Udutha |R| Policy Advisor to the Senior Counselor to the President of the United States. 

Jennifer Wada |D| Principal, Wada Government Relations.  

David Wang |R| Chairman, Chinese Americans for Trump. 

Trip Yang |D| Democratic Strategist and Senior Advisor to Tish James for New York.

Please send any corrections and recommendations for next year’s NAAPPPA 40 Under 40 List to

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