Honorable Anh “Joseph” Cao
Anh “Joseph” Cao, 43, is a successful lawyer, an accomplished civic leader and a devoted family man, married to Hieu “ Kate” Haong, a practicing pharmacist. The couple lives with their two daughters, Sophia and Betsy, in the New Orleans East community of Venetian Isles. They are active members of Mary Queen of Vietnam church.
Joseph was born in 1967 Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), where he spent his early childhood during the most turbulent years of the Vietnam War. He still vividly remembers the frightening bomb blasts near his elementary school. As the war drew to a close, Joseph’s dad, an officer with the South Vietnamese Army, was taken prisoner by the Communists. In 1975, Joseph, just 8 years old, escaped to America with two sisters, leaving his mom and five other siblings in Saigon. Joseph was not to see his parents again for 16 years.
Moving in with an uncle in Indiana, Joseph learned English, thrived in school and went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Baylor University in Texas before joining the Society of Jesus in Grand Coteau, Louisiana to study becoming a Jesuit priest. During his first two years as a seminarian, Joseph was sent to various parts of the world to minister to the poor and indigent.
He first arrived in New Orleans in 1992. He left for a year to earn a Master’s degree in philosophy at New York’s Fordham University before returning to the Crescent City to teach philosophy and ethics at Loyola University.
As Joseph prepared for the priesthood, his faith was strong, but his confidence in the government’s ability to care for those in need weakened by the day. In 1996, following a period of discernment, Joseph ended his six-year quest for the priesthood in a personal crusade for social justice.
Moving to the Washington, D.C. area, he taught high school and became an advocate for refugees—future Americans who embody a can-do spirit and strong work ethic.
In pursuit of justice for all, Joseph moved back to New Orleans and attained a law degree in 2000 from Loyola Law School. He became the in-house legal counsel for Boat People SOS, an organization helping poor Vietnamese and other minorities.
In 2002, Archbishop Alfred Hughes hand-picked the promising young Vietnamese-American attorney and former seminarian to become a member of the National Advisory Council of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, addressing women’s rights in the Church, social justice and child abuse; and, after Katrina struck in 2005, the Church’s response to the Hurricane, which destroyed both his house and law office. Joseph Cao and his family moved temporarily to Westwego to begin rebuilding. Like so many others, he battled insurance companies and government bureaucracy to restore his home and business, but while dealing with his own misfortunes, he continued to help others. He led a successful effort on behalf of New Orleans East residents to stop plans for a landfill that would have devastated their community. He helped lead the fight to get electricity and telecommunications restored for returning residents. Outraged by the government foot-dragging and red tape that he saw holding back recovery efforts, Joseph dedicated himself to the effort to build Greater New Orleans.
In 2007, Joseph Cao ran unsuccessfully as an independent for the state House of Representatives, but carried Orleans Parish.
He was elected to serve on the board of the Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corporation, which is responsible for vital programs such as charter schools, medical clinics and retirement centers. He was appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal to help ensure fair voting as a member of the Board of Elections for Orleans Parish. He was elected to lead the Louisiana Republican Party at both the parish and state levels and, later, a delegate to the Republican National Convention.
Joseph Cao has lived through war and disaster, never surrendering his determination to make things better. A teacher of ethics, held in the highest esteem for his dogged pursuit of truth and justice, he was elected on December 8th, 2008 to serve as Representative of Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District.
On January 6th, 2009, Cao was sworn in as the first Vietnamese-American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Congressman Cao served on three House committees: Transportation & Infrastructure; Homeland Security; and Oversight and Government Reform. He was the Deputy Ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee.
Congressman Cao was a member of several caucuses including the Human Rights Caucus, the Asian Pacific American Caucus, the African Partnership for Economic Growth Caucus, and the Caucus on Vietnam, for which he serves as Co-Chairman. Congressman Cao is a founding member of the American Engagement Caucus and was an Executive Committee member of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. He continues to serve the interests of the people of Louisiana and the many Vietnamese communities across America.
Representative Judy Chu
Dr. Judy Chu was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for California’s 32nd District in July 2009. She immediately got to work representing the interests of her constituents, voting on several environmental bills and working through the night on her first day in office, during a marathon debate on important healthcare reform legislation as part of her first assignment on the House Education and Labor Committee, where she serves on the Subcommittees on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education and Healthy Families and Communities.
Susan Jin Davis
Susan Jin Davis, VP Strategic Services – Communications & Data Services, has over 20 years of experience in the communications industry. In her current position, Ms. Jin Davis oversees strategic partnerships related to Comcast’s voice and high-speed Internet services including carrier management, emergency services, and online safety and security. Under her leadership, Comcast now provides the most comprehensive suite of online security and safety products of any major Internet Service Provider in the country.
Ms. Jin Davis also leads Comcast’s Internet Essentials product that offers an affordable high-speed Internet service to low income households, the largest broadband adoption program in the country. She is also responsible for developing new business opportunities that support and enhance the Company’s high-speed Internet and voice services. In addition, she is responsible for implementing regulatory and legal requirements and creating policies to support the Company’s online and voice business objectives.
In 2011, Ms. Jin Davis negotiated a historic Memorandum of Understanding between Comcast and the Asian American community as part of the Company’s merger with NBC Universal that creates ground-breaking commitments in the areas of programming, supplier and employment diversity, and community investment. She serves on Comcast’s Internal Diversity Council and is a Company liaison to the Comcast and NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council. She is an executive sponsor of Asian Pacific Americans at Comcast, a Company affinity group.
Prior to Comcast, Ms. Jin Davis was Vice President of Investor Relations and External Affairs for Covad Communications Company, a Silicon Valley broadband company, where she was responsible for the Company’s relationships with the investment community, regulatory and government affairs, and carrier relations. Prior to Covad, she worked at MCI Communications Company under the Chief Policy Counsel on MCI’s advocacy before the Federal Communications Commission and state regulatory commissions. Ms. Jin Davis also served as an Assistant Consumer Advocate for the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.
She received the 2010 Paragon Award of the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Cable and completed CTAM’s Executive Management Program at the Harvard Business School. Ms. Jin Davis was a fellow in the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute of the Women in Cable Telecommunications. Ms. Jin Davis has been named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Minorities in Cable” by CableWorld and received a NAMIC Luminary Award. She is actively involved in Comcast’s diversity efforts, particularly as it relates to the Company’s relationship with the Asian American community. Ms. Jin Davis is a director of the Boards of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc., the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, and the Juvenile Law Center. She is on the Advisory Board of NAMIC’s Philadelphia Chapter and is a member of the Business Advisory Council for the Organization for Chinese Americans. Ms Jin Davis also serves on the Outreach Advisory Board of the Pennsylvania State University.
Ms. Jin Davis is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College (B.A. Political Science) and The Dickinson School of Law, Pennsylvania State University (J.D).
Assemblyman Paul Fong
Representative Mike Honda
Since 2001, Mike Honda has represented the 15th Congressional District of California in the U.S. House of Representatives. His district includes Silicon Valley, the birthplace of technology innovation and the leading region for the development of the technologies of tomorrow. Mike has been a public servant for decades and is lauded for his work on education, transportation, civil rights, national service, the environment, and high-tech issues.
Mike was born in California, but spent his early childhood with family in an internment camp in Colorado during World War II. His family returned to California in 1953, becoming strawberry sharecroppers in San José’s Blossom Valley. In 1965, Mike answered President John F. Kennedy’s call for volunteer service, enrolled in the Peace Corps for two years in El Salvador and returned with a passion for teaching and fluent in Spanish.
Mike earned Bachelor’s degrees in Biological Sciences and Spanish, and a Master’s degree in Education from San José State University. In his career as an educator, Mike was a science teacher, served as a principal at two public schools, and conducted educational research at Stanford University.
In 1971, Mike was appointed by then-Mayor Norm Mineta to San Jose’s Planning Commission. In 1981, Mike won his first election, gaining a seat on the San José Unified School Board. In 1990, Mike was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, where he led efforts to acquire and preserve open space in the county.
Mike served in the California State Assembly from 1996 to 2000. In 2000, Mike was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and serves on the Appropriations Committee, with postings on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, Commerce, Justice, and Science, and Legislative Branch Subcommittees. As an appropriator, Mike focuses on directing funding to critical areas such as: access to affordable healthcare; worker training; port and border security; law enforcement and the safety of our neighborhoods; health care for our veterans; recovery from natural disasters, particularly Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ike.
Mike is serving his seventh year as Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, coordinating with his colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucuses to champion the causes of under-represented communities by promoting social justice, racial tolerance, and civil rights.
In 2007, he was named House Democratic Senior Whip by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC). Senior Whips are a select group of Members and Democratic Caucus opinion leaders tasked with strategic planning about how issues impact targeted Members or groups, and will help develop strategies to ensure legislative success.
Mike is widowed and has two grown children. His wife, Jeanne, was a teacher at Baldwin Elementary School in San José before her untimely passing in 2004. His son, Mark, is an aerospace engineer and Michelle, his daughter, is a public health educator with three young boys.
David L. Kim
Mayor Edwin Lee
Mayor Evan Low
S. Floyd Mori
S. Floyd Mori is the President and CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS). Previously, Mori served as the National Executive Director/CEO of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). He was chair of the National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) and has been on the Executive Council of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCR). He served four years as National President and four years as a National Vice President of the JACL.
Mori was elected in 1972 to the city council for Pleasanton, California, where he served as Mayor ProTem and later as Mayor. He was also elected to the California State Assembly and served for six years as an Assemblyman. He was the Director of the Office of International Trade in California and worked extensively with Asian American groups and organizations. He has been an International business consultant and president of Mori-Silva International for many years. Mori has been a consultant in government relations and served as the Utah Trade Representative to Japan. He has been part owner of a golf business and is an avid golfer, having served as president of the board of Alpine Country Club in Utah. He served on the Utah Governor’s Asian Advisory Board and Small Business Administration Advisory Committee. He is currently a member of the Diversity Council for Comcast NBCU and is on the board of the Independent Voters Project.
He has received a number of awards including an Outstanding Citizen Achievement Award from OCA, the Community Leadership Award from APAICS, and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette Award from the Government of Japan. He has volunteered with political groups, youth sports, inner city projects, and church work.
Honorable Norman Y. Mineta
Secretary Norman Y. Mineta’s career in public service has been both distinguished and unique. He served in Congress for over twenty years and was appointed to the Cabinet of both Democratic and Republican presidents.
For almost thirty years, Mineta represented San Jose, California – the heart of Silicon Valley – first on the City Council, then as Mayor, and then from 1975 to 1995 as a Member of Congress. Throughout that time, Mineta was an advocate of the burgeoning technology industry. He worked to encourage new industries and spur job growth, and he supported the development of the infrastructure to accommodate the industry and its tremendous growth.
Mineta served as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Public Works Committee from 1992 to 1994, after having chaired the Subcommittee on Aviation and the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation. He was the primary author of the groundbreaking ISTEA legislation – the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991.
In 2000, Mineta was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the United States Secretary of Commerce. Secretary Mineta was the first Asian American to ever be appointed to a President’s Cabinet. At the Department of Commerce, Mineta was known for his work on technology issues, for achieving international cooperation and intergovernmental coordination on complex fisheries issues, and streamlining the patent and trademark process.
Mineta was appointed Secretary of Transportation by President George W. Bush in 2001, where he served until he joined Hill & Knowlton in July 2006. Following the horrific terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Mineta guided the creation of the Transportation Security Administration – an agency with more than 65,000 employees – the largest mobilization of a new federal agency since World War II.
Mineta was also a Vice President of Lockheed Martin where he oversaw the first successful implementation of the EZ-Pass system in New York State.
Recognized for his leadership, Mineta has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom – our nation’s highest civilian honour – and the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, which is awarded for significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States.
While in Congress, he was the co-founder of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and Chair of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission in 1997.
He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. Secretary Mineta is married to Danealia (Deni) Mineta and has two sons, David K. Mineta and Stuart S. Mineta, and two step-sons, Robert M. Brantner and Mark Brantner.
Jim J. Park
Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos