Sonal Shah, Peter Rouse and Chris Lu are Asian Americans Named to Advise and Staff Obama-Biden Transition Team

Posted by AC Team on Wednesday, 12 November 2008.

Sonal Shah, Peter Rouse and Chris Lu are three of the Asian Americans who have been named by President-elect Obama to advise and staff his Transition Team.

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) APIAVote this week congratulates President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden, and commends the naming of Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) to the Obama-Biden Transition Team, namely former APIAVote board member Sonal Shah of the Google Foundation.

"We are extremely proud of Sonal and other Asian Americans who have been named thus far on the Transition Team," said APIAVote Executive Director Vida Benavides. "With her background as an economist, Sonal's appointment is indicative of the talent and expertise needed to guide us through these hard economic and financial crises."

"Sonal's appointment should only be just the beginning. We have high hopes for the incoming Obama-Biden Administration and Congress, and intend to work closely with both so that they continue to be more inclusive of Asian AAPIs throughout the transition process and into appointments and hiring of staff," said APIAVote board member Doua Thor.

"Having a diverse staff which includes AAPIs at all levels will help ensure that AAPI issues and concerns are sufficiently addressed in the policy agendas of President-elect Obama and the new Congress," said APIAVote board co-chair EunSook Lee.

"We further encourage the Obama-Biden Transition Team to recruit and seek diverse candidates that also reflect President-elect Obama's experiences," said APIAVote board co-chair Noe Kalipi.

Sonal Shah is among three of Asian American descent who have been named by President-elect Obama to advise and staff his Transition Team. Below is a full list of Asian Americans as of this release.

Sonal Shah (Indian American), named to Transition Advisory Board; (Former APIAVote Board Member, Google Foundation director, Global Economic Development)
Peter Rouse (of Japanese American descent), named to Co-Chair Transition Team; (President-elect Obama's Chief of Staff (Senate))
Chris Lu (Chinese American), named as Transition Executive Director; (President-elect Obama's Legislative Director (Senate))

APIAVote's presence to turn out the vote in key states like Nevada, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan, and Washington was instrumental in turning out the AAPI vote on November 4. APIAVote worked to get out and protect the AAPI vote with over 30 partner organizations and coalition partners in Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, Louisiana, Georgia, and Florida. National polling shows that among AAPIs, 62% voted for President-elect Barack Obama, and 35% voted for Senator John McCain. APIAVote awaits further details about the AAPI vote, and will provide updates as they are made available.

"We want to especially thank Obama AAPI Vote Director Charmaine Manansala and AAPI Vote Deputy Director Betsy Kim, as well as McCain AAPI Outreach Directors, Peter Su and Kishan Putta, for their instrumental roles in each of these campaigns," said Benavides. "We encourage national parties and campaigns to continue to strengthen and expand their AAPI outreach. The National Asian American Survey showed that only 27% of undecided AAPI voters were contacted by the campaigns, meaning that campaigns have more work to do to engage AAPI communities."

Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) is a national non-partisan, nonprofit organization that encourages and promotes civic participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the electoral and public policy processes at the national, state and local levels. APIAVote does not endorse parties or candidates. For more information, please visit www.apiavote.org.