Quyen Nguyen, AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

Quyen Nugyen

Hi! I’m Quyen. I am an Iowa voter and have lived in Bogotá, Colombia for over four years. Previously, I also lived abroad in Vietnam and Thailand. I have been a member of Democrats Abroad since 2018 when our country chapter came together in Colombia. I’ve served as chair of DA Colombia since 2019. I was also co-chair of the Global Youth Caucus when it re-formed in 2020—I recently stepped down from the steering committee only because I passed the maximum age limit! I am also proud to be a founding member of the Global AAPI Caucus and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.I am thrilled that we now have this space to build our AAPI community within DA, and to share our culture and common concerns with others across the organization.

Karen Frankenstein, AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

Karen Frankenstein

I joined Democrats Abroad as an active volunteer in 2016. Having lived abroad in Europe and Asia for much of my life, feeling like an American abroad wasn’t really a motivating factor for joining DA - but the shocking election of our 45th President was. And I never really thought much about being Asian American - there weren’t many half-Asian kids running around when I was a child, so my brothers and I called ourselves “hapa”, the Hawaiian word for someone of mixed ancestry - and left it at that. I’m half Chinese and half German-Irish-English-Jewish-Unitarian Chicago Democrat, as we jokingly say.

My family has always been involved in trying to make a difference - in the State Department, Unicef, and as cultural ambassadors, among others. This colored my world view significantly. When the AAPI Caucus started formation work, I wasn’t sure that I would get deeply involved, but I was curious about the idea of an Asian American group, and I thought I might be able to help get it going. Much to my surprise, the issues and commonalities of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders resonated deeply with me. I’m thrilled to be a member of the Steering Committee and I’m looking forward to making a difference!

Ifung Lu, AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

Ifung Lu

Hi! I'm Ifung! I am of Taiwanese-Chinese descent and I vote in Illinois. I joined Democrats Abroad in 2016 when I was living in London. After over a decade spent in the UK, my German-American family and I moved to Cologne, Germany where we live today and where I continue to volunteer for Democrats Abroad.

I am honoured to serve on the AAPI Caucus Steering Committee. I think it is so important, especially for quieter members in our community like me, to speak up and make our voices heard in order for our democracy to thrive. And I am so pleased to be able to work with the talented crew in the Steering Committee to organise and make heard all the voices of our diverse AAPI community.

Sam Wong, Former Global AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

Sam Wong

Last year, a small group of amazing, uplifting, and dedicated individuals came together to form the Democrats Abroad Asian American and Pacific Islander Global Caucus. In the beginning our virtual meetings were filled with conversations about each other, what has it meant to us personally to be a member of the AAPI community, our personal journeys, growth, and reflections.

Our journey also coincided with the outbreak of COVID-19, the beginning of a time of uncertainty and hardship for so many. I too found myself in an unusual situation being trapped outside my country of residence. In the span of 10 months, I had to relocate to 8 different cities, but our meetings were a constant and gave me something to look forward to. It was a place I felt heard, respected, and supported. We all cared about one another’s wellbeing, which carried even more weight in a time when many of us felt isolated and alone. One morning after relocating to San Francisco, I woke up to a text from one of my fellow AAPI steering committee members saying they were sending me a loaf of delicious artisanal sour dough bread. What a way to start my morning!

The AAPI caucus has been like a family to me. I have been offered help and support without asking for it, and it seems fitting that with my next relocation voyage just around the corner, it has been my AAPI family that has recommended information on apartments to rent and advice on what neighborhoods to live in. For any member of Democrats Abroad looking for a caucus that will open them with open arms, support, and empower them, the AAPI caucus is the family you have been looking for.

I will miss you all!

Lots of <3

Sam Wong
Asia-Pacific Deputy Regional Vice Chair
(Former AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member)
Soon to be Democrats Abroad alum

Ada Shen, DA Global AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

Ada Shen

Hi, I’m Ada Shen. I’ve been an active member of Democrats Abroad since 2007 when I organized China for the first Global Presidential Primary, and later became the Obama campaign China field organizer in 2008. I led the DA organizing effort in China, mostly focusing on voter registration and mobilization, until its successful founding as a country committee in 2017.

I now live in Paris, France with my husband and son, and am the 2019-2021 National Chair of DA France. I am very pleased to serve on the AAPI Caucus Steering Committee -- our voices, votes, and visibility are an important contribution to the ongoing conversation on what it means to be American. I believe the AAPI voice and vote can work to forge a better future for all — the urgency of our times demand it.

Anya Leonard, DA Global AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

Anya LeonhardHi, I'm Anya! I moved to Leipzig, Germany from New Orleans in 2016 to attend medical school, where I am now in my second to last year. I have been active in Democrats Abroad since 2019 when the Leipzig precinct was founded. Since then, I've been a founding member of both the AAPI Caucus and Democrats Abroad Saxony, as well as a delegate for Bernie Sanders at the 2020 DNC. I believe the AAPI Caucus gives us a valuable space to explore diasporic Asian-American identity outside of the United States, as well as having hard conversations about accountability, solidarity, and activism. I'm excited to be a part of this team and to foster a community amongst our fellow AAPI Dems Abroad.

Nicholas Gordon, DA Global AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

Nick Gordon joined Democrats Abroad in 2016 after voting in the Global Presidential Primary; since then, he’s become Chair of Democrats Abroad Hong Kong, is one of the founding members of our caucus, a member of the Youth Caucus Steering Committee, and one of the Deputies for the Asia-Pacific Region. But Nick’s been a Democrat Abroad from birth, just being a few months shy of being able to vote for Obama while attending high school in Hong Kong in 2008.

Annie Tanampai, DA Global AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

Annie Tanampai is an active member of Democrats Abroad Belgium. She has been living in Belgium for almost 10 years and in her free time she likes to spend time with her family, hiking, and traveling. She joins the AAPI steering committee because she wants to take action in raising awareness on the AAPI issues and help strengthen the AAPI community around the world. 😊

Powen Shiah, DA Global AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

My name is Powen, and I've been living in Berlin, Germany, since 2014. I've been involved in Democrats Abroad for almost that whole time. I'm currently the Press & Communications coordinator on the Berlin chapter board, and I also serve as one of the representatives for Germany to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA).

I spent most of my formative years in Michigan, but have lived in Pennsylvania, California, North Carolina, and Mississippi as well. In addition to political activities and organizing, I also work with technology startups focusing on marketing and internationalization.

Starting the Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus at Democrats Abroad is important to me because I believe that AAPI communities need a voice in our political system. The best way to focus on the needs, stories, and issues important to us to get organized and make ourselves heard.

Suma Shamanna, DA Global AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

I'm Suma, an Oregon voter. I grew up in Bangalore, India and relocated to the US to pursue my Master's degree in Computer Science. I was introduced to US politics while in school and I actively participated in organizing events and fund raising. With a rich experience of two Master's degrees and decades of work experience, I returned to India. I am on the board of a technology start-up and mentor new businesses. I am a fitness enthusiast, and participate in marathons.

It is an honor to serve as Chairperson of Democrats Abroad India, member of the Global AAPI steering committee, and member of Global IT team.