Ada Shen, Former 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.

Cory Lemke, DA Global AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member & Former Co-Chair


안녕하세요? My name is Cory Lemke, and I am a voter from Tucson, Arizona. I have been living in Seoul, South Korea for the past seven years. I currently serve as the Vice Chairperson of Democrats Abroad Republic of Korea. 

I was born in Jeonju, South Korea and was adopted to the United States at six months. I have an older sister, older brother, and younger sister. Both my older brother and younger sister are also adopted from Korea. Despite this, we grew up in a primarily White community in northern Iowa. During middle school, my family moved cross country, and it was at this time that I became more conscious of my race and ethnicity. Tucson, Arizona is much more racially mixed than northern Iowa, and I became another person of color in Tucson’s diverse tapestry of people. 

As a young political science major at Arizona State University in the late 2000s and early 2010s, I witnessed the Democratic transformation in Arizona politics firsthand. In 2008, our state amended its constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. I saw the controversial, anti-immigrant SB1070 pass the state legislature in 2010. In 2011, Gabrielle Giffords was shot at a grocery store just down the street from my home. But our state is undergoing enormous change. With the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell vs. Hodges, we saw marriage equality in the state in 2015. Three years later in 2018, the state elected the first openly bisexual member of the United States Senate, Kyrsten Sinema. Now, at the outset of the 2020 election, Arizona is poised to elect another Democratic Senator in Mark Kelly and give Joe Biden its eleven electoral votes. 

In 2014, I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to reunite with my biological family. The experience of having family on both sides of the Pacific is something many AAPI people can relate with, and it has shown me firsthand the issues our communities face - immigration and citizenship, protection of small business, and equality of educational opportunity. It is for these reasons I am enthusiastic to serve our community and ensure the AAPI voice is heard in Democrats Abroad and beyond.

Emily Lines, Chair DA Global AAPI Caucus

Hi, Everyone! I’m Emily and I am an Indiana voter and have been living in Berlin, Germany for the past nine years. Currently, I am the Vice Chair of the Berlin Chapter and the Events and Fundraising Coordinator for DA Germany, as well as a DPCA Voting Representative.

Originally born in Daegu (then known as Taegu), South Korea, I was adopted at the age of three months. My parents were from Missouri, but I grew up in Kentucky and Indiana, surrounded by a majority white community. My first experience with meeting someone from Korea was in third grade when a new student arrived at our school. My teacher paired us up and asked that I help her get settled and show her around school. As thrilled as I was to meet someone from Korea, I suspect our pairing was because of our shared background/attributes. Either way, I am still grateful that I was able to become best friends with this new student. I will never forget sleeping over at her house and eating traditional Korean food for the first time.

My family was always open about the fact that I was adopted. It wasn’t until high school when I had the chance to visit Korea. Once we were there, I was amazed at how different I felt. Being in the majority for the first time in my life was great. Having grown up in a majority white community, I would forget how Korean I actually looked, so I did not feel like I actually belonged in South Korea. I quickly realized that I did look more Korean than I thought, since classmates did not notice me in the crowds, everyone assumed I spoke Korean, and I think many thought I was the tour guide for my classmates.

After returning from the trip, my interest in Korea grew dramatically. I took several courses about Korea my senior year of college and since then, I have spent more time reflecting on what it means to be Korean, specifically a Korean adoptee. Living in Germany has added another layer to understanding my identity since many people question my Americanness when they ask where I am from. That question is typically followed up with, “But, really, where are you from?” By being a member of this caucus, I am very excited to have the chance to learn more about the culture, history, and importance of this growing sector of the U.S. population. It is also wonderful to meet other AAPI members of Democrats Abroad and recognize how diverse we are as a community. As one of the Co-Chairs, it is an honor to be able to represent one of these many diverse faces.