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The National Association of Asian Pacifics in Politics and Public Affairs (NAAPPPA) is proud to present the 2021 list of the top 40 AAPI political operatives and public affairs professionals under 40 primarily sponsored this year by SoCal Gas with additional support from Amanda Gualderama, Health Net, Omni Government Relations, Reyes Coca Cola, Turo, and Bill Wong LLC.


NAAPPPA established this bipartisan list to highlight emerging AAPIs in the professional unelected side of politics.  These honorees are trailblazing AAPI campaign strategists, lobbyists, legislative staff, and corporate public affairs professionals that work behind the scenes in the halls of power.  They’re breaking the 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.


2021 NAAPPPA 40 Under 40 List (For full bios, click this link)


  • Disha Banik | Senior Legislative Assistant, U.S. Congressman and House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries.


  • Victor Cao | Senior Vice President, Local Public Affairs at the California Apartment Association.


  • Frank Chi | Co-founder, Chi Donahoe.


  • Sung Yeon Choimorrow | Executive Director, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.


  • Rachit Choksi | Director for Oversight, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Commerce.


  • Dirissy Doan | Government Affairs Director, Orange County REALTORS®.


  • Shubhangi Domokos | Chief of Staff, California State Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez.


  • Jessica Duong | Chief of Staff, California State Assemblymember Phil Ting.


  • Miles Fernandez | Director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat, Department of Energy.


  • Edward Han | Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney's Office, Central District of California.


  • Tony Hoang | Executive Director-designate of Equality California & Silver State Equality.


  • Ellen Hou Green | Legislative Director, California Assemblymember Marc Berman.


  • Judith Kang | Public Relations & Political Consultant, Pacific Coast Strategies, LLC.


  • Jen Kim | Managing Director, Made to Save.


  • Bryan King | Chief of Staff, California State Senator Josh Becker.


  • Arvind Krishnan | Manager of Fundraising, Targeted Victory.


  • Rebecca Lee | Senior Manager of Government Affairs, NRG Energy.


  • Laura Misumi | Executive Director, Rising Voices, a Project of Tides Advocacy.


  • Ali Navid | Chief of Staff, California Assemblymember Phillip Chen.


  • Linh Nguyen | Executive Director, RUN AAPI.


  • Nancy Dung Nguyen | Co-Director, Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance and Executive Director and co-founder of VietLead.


  • Steven A. Nguyen | District Director, California Assemblymember Phillip Chen.


  • Maria Oyama Leininger | Regional Political Director, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.


  • Monica Patel | Senior Digital Strategist, Gambit Strategies.


  • Danya Rafiqi | Campaigns Director, Virginia House Democrats.


  • Melanie Ramil | Executive Director, Emerge California.


  • Elena Santamaria | Policy Advisor, NextGen Policy.


  • Drake Sapigao | Coordinator, Strategic Communications, Western States Petroleum Association.


  • James Servino | Director, Digital Fundraising and Mobilization, Human Rights Campaign.


  • Mohan Seshadri | Co-Executive Director, Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance.


  • Bryan Singh | Chief of Staff, California Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi.


  • Voleck Taing | Legislative Director, California State Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi.


  • Jenny Tan | Public Information Officer, Yolo County California.


  • Eddie Duy Truong | Principal, DT Strategies LLC.


  • Taemin Um | Principal, WinPower Strategies.


  • Gabe Uy | Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, The White House.


  • Shu-Yen Wei | Regional State and Local Director, EMILY's List.


  • Aisha Yaqoob Mahmood | Executive Director, Asian American Advocacy Fund.


  • Judy Yee | Legislative Director, California Assemblymember Luz Rivas.


  • Beverly Yu | State Government Affairs Director, UDW/AFSCME Local 3930.

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