AAGEN Newsletter

February 25, 2022

“Mastering others is strength;

mastering yourself is true power.”

Lao Tzu

Letter from the Chair

Dear AAGEN members,

AAGEN SES DP Cohorts are starting up an AAGEN Newsletter so that all members can be updated regularly on AAGEN events and stay connected with our AAGEN members.  For example, we hosted Wellness and Yoga classes virtually!  As an Asian community we need to stick together and support our other Asian affinity groups and assist each other when we can.  With the current situation with attacks on Asians and the Delta variant of Covid-19, we need to support each other, and AAGEN is here to help you stay connected.  I hope you will enjoy our newsletter and join some of our events in the future. I can't wait to see you again!

David Chien,

AAGEN SES DP program Chair

An Update on David Chien

Dr. David Chien has retired from the FAA Office of Policy and Plans as the Deputy Executive Director after 31 years of government employment. He plans on continuing his AAGEN Board duties as Chair of the AAGEN SES DP program, as we have now placed 39 graduates into the SES ranks! During his retirement, he plans on extending his teaching career at Averett University providing online classes for MBA students. Dr. Chien will also pursue a filmmaking school degree as he intends to publish his father's book about his family and growing up in China during WWII and then coming to the U.S., called, "When East Weds West: or Yin Merges with Yang," by Luther C. Chien. The book reviews the Chien family history from King Qian Liu of the 10 Kingdom period, through his grandfather who served under the Empress Dowager as Advisor to Li Hongzhang, Head of the Chinese Navy, who later became Governor of Manchuria, and my grandfather who was Treasurer of China under Yuan Shikai, and then Deputy Treasurer under Chiang Kai-Shek.

Executive Orders and Actions

1.     Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce (EO 14035), June 30, 2021

2.     Strategic Plan to Advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce, November 23, 2021

3.     Advancing Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (EO 14031) May 28, 2021.

4.     Presidential Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, January, 26, 2021

5.     Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (EO 13985), January 20, 2021

AAGEN SES Development Program Updates

In May 2021, AAGEN welcomed the 2021-2022 Senior Executive Service Development Program (SES DP) Class. There are 19 members of this class representing 16 federal agencies across 10 departments and 3 non-federal organizations. This program is funded by AAGEN and federal agencies supplement the program by supporting their future leaders via nominal costs compared to the traditional SES programs and also offer executive details and rotations.

The 2021-2022 class quickly organized themselves with support from Dr. Chien and AAGEN Board Members. There are now five committees working on the following topics: Shadowing and Mentoring; Technology; Events; Communication and Outreach; OPM Certification; Membership and Announcements.

The SES DP Class held a training session on July 22 and focused on several topics: Preview of ECQs and Resume Development (presenter Ellen Law); Coaching (presenter Barbara Jackson). There was an SES Panel on AAGEN SES DP Program “What’s It All About” and Q&A with current SES leaders who shared their lessons learned from being in SES positions. Dr. Chien also asked the group to share their expectations for the SES DP. The next session on July 23 included presentations from OPM on Human Capital Management (OPM Eric Popiel) and Accelerating the Gears of Transformation (OPM - Berwyn Gonzalvo, Elnora Wright, and Makisha Brown). The final session 2021 was held on October 28 and November 5 which focused on ECQs and interviewing skills. The first session in February 17-18 2022 focused on mock interviews.

For more information about the SES DP program, visit: https://www.aagen.org/SESDevelopmentProg


Erika Lang, a member of the 2021-2022 AAGEN SES development program, recently joined the Senior Executive Service.  In October 2021, she became the Assistant Inspector General for Inspections and Evaluations in the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG).  DHS OIG conducts independent audits, investigations, and inspections of DHS programs and operations, and recommends ways for DHS to carry out its responsibilities more effectively and efficiently. Erika has almost 17 years of experience in federal oversight, including at the Department of Justice OIG, the Department of Health and Human Services OIG, and GAO.  She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and University of Southern California Annenberg School.

AAGEN Member Spotlight

Jake Fong, AAGEN Board Member and Membership Chair [and VHA Senior Healthcare Program Manager], has been selected for a special assignment/detail to be the Deputy Chief Operations Officer at the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System for 90 days from September – December, 2021. He was directly involved with medical center operations in the COVID-19 response efforts. He is very excited about this opportunity and looks forward to sharing lessons learned from being involved in the front lines of health care delivery again during this critical time of the pandemic.

AAGEN Scholarship Awardees

Every year, the AAGEN Scholarship Program receives applications from exceptionally talented and motivated students from high schools, colleges and universities, as well as from employees seeking additional specialized education. This year the applicants were extraordinary.  In additional to academic excellence, each candidate had extensive public service experiences – from working in Third World countries, to advocacy for marginalized groups, to service in their communities and organizations. 

Although all the applicants were accomplished, the Scholarship Committee ultimately decided on the students listed below for scholarships.  Each year, AAGEN awards four scholarships.  This year, with so many highly qualified applicants, AAGEN has decided to award six scholarships:  Ms. Hannah Tsai, University of Pennsylvania, International Relations; MAJOR Carl Chen, Trident University International, Business Administration; Ms. Jennifer Li, Harvard Kennedy School, International and Global Affairs; Ms. Rachel Chang, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Public Administration – International Development; Ms. Chelsie Viola, Loyola Law School, Criminal Law; Ms. Emily Lu, Santa Monica College, Political Science

Past Events

Saturday, September 18, 2021

AAGEN SES Development Program Networking Event, Great Falls Hike. A group of more than a dozen members of the class of 2021-2022, Dr. Chien, Dares, and AAGEN Board Members had a brisk several mile hike. The group enjoyed beautiful views and had a chance to learn more about each other and several ended the day with a lunch at a local restaurant in Great Falls, VA. Many thanks to Event Committee for planning a great event!

Leadership Training

OPM Center for Leadership Development

Trainings focus on contemporary leadership challenges through the lens of public service and Constitutional values. The five Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs), comprising 28 competencies, form the foundation of our curriculum. 

The Lab at OPM

The Lab helps build the capacity for civil servants and federal programs to leverage the discipline of design to help uncover opportunities to improve programs and services that they are entrusted to deliver.

American University Executive Education

Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, Senior Executive Fellows Program

Loyola University Maryland Continuing Education and Leadership Development

Partnership for Public Service

University of California at San Diego, Rady School of Management, Elevate Certificates


White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

On May 28, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) establishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, and delivering on the President’s commitment to reinstate and reinvigorate this historic Initiative.

Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities together constitute the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States and make invaluable contributions to our society, our economy, and our culture. Yet for far too long, systemic barriers to equity, justice, and opportunity have put the American dream out of reach for many AA and NHPI communities, and racism, nativism, and xenophobia against AA and NHPI communities continues to threaten safety and dignity of AA and NHPI families.

To ensure that the Federal government is mitigating COVID-19 related anti-Asian bias, advancing health equity for all AA and NHPI communities, and ensuring AA and NHPI communities can equitably recover from these crises, the Initiative will be led out of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Signing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act directly integrates an updated relationship regarding policing and outdated stereotypes. Funding for the Office of Justice Programs, to a sum of $21 million dollars, will be utilized for hate crime prosecution and supporting victims of these crimes. To receive feedback from local communities, the CRS is connecting with religious groups, universities, schools, and communities to distribute services.

The WHIAAPI Community Policy Briefing, May 27, 2021 meeting recording is available here. Updated White House policies can be found on whitehouse.gov

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra officially launched the WHIAANHPI as co-chair on December 9, 2021 and US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai as co-chair. The recording of this announcement is available here. 

The WHIAANHPI new Executive Director is Krystal Ka‘ai relaunched a newsletter to share regular updates events, programs, and initiatives across the federal government. Please feel free to contact them at WHIAANHPI@hhs.gov.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Resources

Visit the website for resources from The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Museum to pay tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success.

Donate to AAGEN through CFC

Through the annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), members of the Federal family demonstrate that our commitment to public service extends far beyond the workplace.  Your generous donations are appreciated. If you’d like to help support AAGEN during this time, make your donation to support AAGEN’s CFC fund! (AAGEN CFC #45979)

Stay Connected with AAGEN!

We need your help to keep our membership lists up to date. Please contact membership@aagen.org to share your preferred contact information so we can continue to share updates with current and former AAGEN members. To renew your membership, visit: https://www.aagen.org/Membership


Contact information

Asian American Government Executives Network
1001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 320
Washington, DC  20036


202-930-2024 (phone)
202-296-9236 (fax)


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