Power of Diversity

The 2024 Power of Diversity: Asian 100

New York’s Asian American leaders.

City & State presents the 2024 Power of Diversity: Asian 100

City & State presents the 2024 Power of Diversity: Asian 100 Lev Radin/VIEWpress

As Asian Americans gain greater representation in government, it’s clear that the cohort is not a monolith. Brooklyn Assembly Member Lester Chang, who notched one of the most notable upsets in recent years, is a Republican. At the other end of the ideological spectrum is a fellow first-term Assembly member, Sarahana Shrestha, who also knocked out a longtime incumbent in the Hudson Valley in 2022. And one of the newest members of the New York City Council, Susan Zhuang, may be a Democrat, but she’s making a point of positioning herself right in the middle.

At the same time, Asian Americans winning elected office or assuming other positions of political power increasingly display a more diverse range of backgrounds and family nationalities. Following an early wave of Taiwanese Americans in electoral politics in New York, there have in recent years been a string of breakthrough candidates whose families arrived from other parts of Asia, including Southeast Asia, South Korea or the Philippines. 

City & State’s Power of Diversity: Asian 100 list – researched and written in partnership with journalist Natasha Ishak – features the most influential leaders in government, businesses, advocacy and other sectors who are ensuring that Asian Americans have not just a voice, but many voices.

1. Meera Joshi & Maria Torres-Springer

New York City Deputy Mayors
Meera Joshi & Maria Torres-Springer / Mayoral Photography Unit; NYC HPD

As New York City deputy mayors, Meera Joshi and Maria Torres-Springer are navigating some of the most pressing and high-profile issues facing the city. Joshi, the nation’s former chief trucking regulator, oversees the city’s transportation, infrastructure and construction in her role as deputy mayor for operations. She is overseeing such projects as reimagining the Cross Bronx Expressway to address air pollution and community connectivity issues in the South Bronx and the future of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which the city was just awarded federal funding for planning. Joshi recently joined the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is in the midst of a groundbreaking rollout of congestion pricing. Torres-Springer is in the thick of the debate over the city’s housing future, in her role handling economic development and housing. The deputy mayor for housing, economic development and workforce has been pressing state lawmakers to spur the creation of more housing to address the low vacancy rate. Torres-Springer also co-chairs a new Tenant Protection Cabinet created by Mayor Eric Adams to address tenant issues and coordinate tenant policy across city agencies.

2. Grace Meng

Member of Congress
Grace Meng / U.S. House

It has been over a decade since Rep. Grace Meng emerged from a competitive Democratic primary and went on to become the first Asian American New Yorker in Congress. Over the years, Meng has climbed the ranks and now is vice ranking member of the influential House Appropriations Committee, with a possibility to gain additional power over federal spending should Democrats retake the majority. And while other Asian American politicians have followed her trailblazing path – including in the Assembly, where Meng started out – Meng remains the highest ranking Asian American elected official in the state.

3. John Liu

State Senator
John Liu / State Senate Photography

John Liu is more resilient than most politicians. The former New York City Council member and one-term city comptroller was a top mayoral candidate in 2013, and returned in 2018 with his comeback state Senate election. He now chairs the New York City Education Committee, and the Queens lawmaker has been in spotlight thanks to the debate over whether to renew – or revise – mayoral control of schools in the city. A two-year extension of mayoral control, which was set to expire on June 30, was included in the state budget, along with tweaks that increase state oversight and mandate smaller class sizes.

4. Twyla Carter

Attorney-in-Chief and CEO, The Legal Aid Society
Twyla Carter / Spencer Lee Gallop, LAS

A seasoned defender and former executive at The Bail Project, Twyla Carter enters her second year leading one of New York’s oldest legal services. The Legal Aid Society has tangled with New York City officials on a number of issues: The group released a list of police officers with the highest lawsuit payouts under its Cop Accountability Project and reached a tentative settlement over the city’s disputed right to shelter law. Last fall, The Legal Aid Society expanded with a new unit dedicated to serving New York City Housing Authority tenants.

5. Rohit T. Aggarwala, David Do, Kevin D. Kim & Ashwin Vasan

Commissioners, New York City Department of Environmental Protection; Taxi and Limousine Commission; Department of Small Business Services; Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Rohit T. Aggarwala, David Do, Kevin D. Kim & Ashwin Vasan / NYC DEP; New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission; NYC Department of Small Business Services; DOHMH

Dr. Ashwin Vasan combines high-level medical training with a long-standing interest in public policy, making him a natural choice to serve as health commissioner of the country’s largest city. Vasan, who previously led the national social services nonprofit Fountain House and remains a practicing internist at NewYork-Presbyterian’s Columbia University Irving Medical Center, joined the mayor last fall to launch “HealthyNYC,” an initiative to increase the average lifespan of New Yorkers by targeting major causes of premature death.

Rohit T. Aggarwala is the leading environmental official in the Adams administration. Aggarwala, who leads the Department of Environment Protection and serves as the city’s chief climate officer, is tasked with improving the city’s resilience in a time of increased flooding. The Bloomberg-era architect in the innovative PlaNYC sustainability initiative, Aggarwala’s appointment is a sign of the Adams administration’s ties to the former mayor.

Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim has kept busy, whether it’s increasing contracts and loans to small entrepreneurs, cutting red tape, assisting in the local marijuana rollout or even adopting artificial intelligence tools to assist business owners. He was previously the first Asian American commissioner of the state Liquor Authority.

Taxi & Limousine Commissioner David Do came to New York City from Washington, D.C., where he led the city’s Department of For-Hire Vehicles and the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Since taking the reins two years ago, Do has steered the TLC through several twists and turns, including lifting the cap on for-hire vehicles that are fully electric and the looming congestion pricing rollout.

6. Jeanette M. Moy

Commissioner, State Office of General Services
Jeanette M. Moy / Office of General Services Digital Media Services Center

Making sure the state’s day-to-day operations run as they should may not sound exciting, but it is a critical job that Jeanette M. Moy excels in. Moy runs the state Office of General Services and oversees the government’s operations and billions of dollars in procurement. When the governor needed someone to fix the state’s muddied transition to commercialized cannabis management, she chose Moy to lead the audit. Moy’s agency has also promoted the state’s light-duty electric vehicle fleet as part of the governor’s transition plan toward zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

7. Iwen Chu, Jeremy Cooney & Kevin Thomas

State Senators
Iwen Chu, Jeremy Cooney & Kevin Thomas / State Senate

State Sen. Jeremy Cooney has represented a Rochester-area district since 2021, following an election that made him the first upstate Asian American elected to the state Legislature. He chairs the Committee on Procurement and Contracts as well as the Subcommittee on Cannabis, a key post as the state looks to improve its nascent legal recreational marijuana market. State Sen. Kevin Thomas – who made history in 2018 as the first Indian American elected to the state Senate in New York – serves as chair of the Consumer Protection Committee. He had launched a congressional run on Long Island but ultimately opted against it, and will not be seeking reelection either this year. State Sen. Iwen Chu has blazed a trail too, becoming the first Asian American woman to serve in the state Senate. Elected to represent a southern Brooklyn district in 2022, Chu chairs the Libraries Committee and has fought to keep CUNY schools affordable and prevent cuts to city libraries while delivering more than $30 million to AAPI community-based organizations.

8. Bhairavi Desai

Executive Director, New York Taxi Workers Alliance
Bhairavi Desai / Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Bhairavi Desai is among New York City’s most prominent labor leaders as head of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. The group’s latest priorities involve keeping regulations regarding cameras and partitions inside cab vehicles intact to protect drivers against potential violence and lobbying against Manhattan’s $15 congestion pricing toll. The group’s anti-congestion pricing campaign took a blow following the Traffic Mobility Review Board’s recommendation to provide a discounted congestion fare for taxis and ride-hailing vehicles instead of an exemption.

9. Pat Wang

President and CEO, Healthfirst
Pat Wang / Peter Hurley

Only around 16% of health plan CEOs are women, and Pat Wang is one of them. As head honcho at Healthfirst, the largest nonprofit health insurer in the state, Wang has called for the Medicaid incentive program to receive full state funding – nearly 1.5 million of Healthfirst’s members are enrolled in Medicaid – and launched pilot predictive analytics for the nonprofit’s maternity care program, with the goal of early high-risk detection. Wang serves as deputy chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s board of directors as a public interest representative.

10. Wayne Ho

President and CEO, Chinese-American Planning Council
Wayne Ho / Chinese-American Planning Council

Nonprofit leader Wayne Ho heads the Chinese-American Planning Council, which serves over 80,000 Asian New Yorkers annually through social programs, such as digital literacy courses, English classes and youth summer employment programs. CPC recently marked the grand opening of CPC One, a mixed-use project with affordable housing for over 200 seniors and community members, and a Manhattan community center for expanded services for 15,000 community members. Ho, who chairs the governor’s Not-For-Profit Contracting Advisory Council, also drew a crowd at the organization’s third AAPI reception at the Somos conference last year.

11. Ron Kim, Grace Lee, Zohran Mamdani, Jenifer Rajkumar, Steven Raga & Sarahana Shrestha

Assembly Members
Ron Kim, Grace Lee, Zohran Mamdani, Jenifer Rajkumar, Steven Raga & Sarahana Shrestha / Ron Kim for New York; New York State Assembly; Kara McCurdy; Holly Pretsky; Mary Martha Wiggers; Peter Cavanaugh

The Assembly’s Asian Pacific American Task Force is co-chaired by Zohran Mamdani and Grace Lee, two young New York City lawmakers who are on different points along the ideological spectrum but both rising stars in the Democratic Party. Mamdani, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, was a driver behind a fare-free bus pilot program in New York City, but he was unable to extend or expand it this year. The Queens lawmaker also made headlines for his calls for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war and his push to end the tax-exempt status of Columbia University and New York University.

Lee, a first-term lawmaker from lower Manhattan, helped secure state funding for AAPI community services and for public housing residents who fell behind on rent due to COVID-19. Lee also passed legislation making Lunar New Year a statewide school holiday and has introduced a bill to mandate AAPI education and a Hate Crimes Modernization Act. She is the first Korean American woman elected to the state Legislature.

Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar has been raising her profile as a loyal ally of New York City Mayor Eric Adams, often showing up alongside the mayor and backing his initiatives and proposals. The state Legislature’s first Indian American woman and first Hindu representative, Rajkumar also passed legislation to make Diwali a school holiday in the city and championed a recently passed measure to crack down on illegal cannabis shops.

Assembly Member Ron Kim reached a political peak during the coronavirus pandemic, as he led the charge against then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the deaths of nursing home residents. The Queens progressive is facing a more challenging environment, only narrowly fending off a Republican rival in 2022 and contending with a Democratic primary threat this cycle. He has seemingly made a pivot lately, backing increased funding for law enforcement and recently joining the Flushing Chinese Business Association to support a shoplifting crackdown.

Assembly Member Sarahana Shrestha is another progressive incumbent who’s facing a more moderate challenger this year. A member of the so-called Socialists in Office, the first-term lawmaker from the Hudson Valley is perhaps best known for her environmental activism.

Assembly Steven Raga, who also took office last year, is the state Legislature’s first Filipino American lawmaker. The Queens politician, who previously led the nonprofit Woodside on the Move, has called for stronger press freedoms and state government transparency.

12. Nina Kubota

President and CEO, New York City School Construction Authority
Nina Kubota / NYC SCA

Nina Kubota is the woman behind the expansive developments under the New York City School Construction Authority. Since Mayor Eric Adams took office, Kubota, who built a 20-year career at the SCA, has been aligning the authority’s long-term plans with the mayor’s push to make all public schools fully electric. The SCA recently opened 10 new school buildings across the city, adding over 4,400 new student seats, and purchased a 69,000-square-foot lot in Flushing for $82 million as part of its future construction plans in Queens.

13. Edith Hsu-Chen

Executive Director, New York City Department of City Planning
Edith Hsu-Chen / New York City Department of City Planning

Under Edith Hsu-Chen’s leadership, New York City is continuing its post-pandemic development to support Mayor Eric Adams’ efforts to add 500,000 new homes in the next decade. Among the department’s latest rollouts is the new Green Fast Track for Housing program, which streamlines the environmental review process for small to midsized residential projects, and the agency’s draft zoning plan for Midtown South. The Manhattan rezoning is expected to add 4,000 new homes within a 42-block radius, with 1,000 of those units set to be income-restricted.

14. Jo-Ann Yoo

Executive Director, Asian American Federation
Jo-Ann Yoo / Asian American Federation

Jo-Ann Yoo’s priorities for the Asian American Federation lately have focused largely on public health. That’s unsurprising, given that their recent survey revealed that over 60% of Asian New Yorkers reported feeling isolated or anxious, with a third experiencing increased stress partly attributed to the uptick in anti-Asian hate crimes. In addition to its involvement in campaigns expanding access to mental health services, Yoo’s organization partnered with NYC Health + Hospitals on its doctor public service announcement video series to boost enrollment in the city’s health care services among Asian Americans.

15. Neal Kwatra

Founder and CEO, Metropolitan Public Strategies
Neal Kwatra / Laura Brett

Neal Kwatra has established Metropolitan Public Strategies as a go-to public affairs firm in New York. The well-connected and veteran political operative has been behind a long list of successful issue campaigns, from raising the minimum wage to regulating Airbnb. Kwatra’s firm has also been in the thick of the state’s ambitious offshore wind efforts as an adviser to Ørsted, the world’s largest offshore wind developer. As the process for awarding new casino licenses unfolds over the next year, MPS will play a role shaping the narratives for its clients in the sector.

16. Satish Tripathi

President, University at Buffalo
Satish Tripathi / Douglas Levere

Satish Tripathi has served as president at the University at Buffalo for 13 years, making him a contender for New York’s longest-tenured university president on record. The Western New York school continues to fortify its status as a world-class public research institution under his stewardship. UB garnered $123 million in fundraising during its fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2023, in addition to a generous $40 million alumni donation to its engineering school. What’s more, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced plans to establish an artificial intelligence hub on the university’s campus, which was included in the latest state budget.

17. Shahana Hanif, Shekar Krishnan, Linda Lee, Chi Ossé, Sandra Ung, Julie Won, Susan Zhuang

New York City Council Members
Shahana Hanif, Shekar Krishnan, Linda Lee, Chi Ossé, Sandra Ung, Julie Won, Susan Zhuang / Anna Rathkopf; @nyccouncil; William Alatriste; NYC Council Photography; NYC Council Media Unit; Julie Won for Council Campaign; Provided

Just a few years ago, only two Asian Americans were serving in the New York City Council. Today, that number has swelled to seven.

New York City Council Member Linda Lee, who chairs the Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction Committee, is the brainchild behind the legislative body’s mental health roadmap, which lays out a comprehensive strategy for improving mental health in the city. She fended off several rivals in her reelection bid last year.

City Council Member Sandra Ung also won another term in her Flushing-area district last year. The chair of the Standards and Ethics Committee has been part of the push to make the Lunar New Year an official holiday.

Council Member Shahana Hanif co-chairs the body’s Progressive Caucus, but lost her post leading the Committee on Immigration earlier this year, perhaps due to her vote against the city budget. Hanif, the only Muslim woman in the legislative body, has also been outspoken in support of Gaza. Ossé, who, like Hanif, is part of the Progressive Caucus and a supporter of Palestinian liberation, lost his chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs. Ossé has both Black and Chinese ancestry.

Two other progressives, Shekar Krishnan and Julie Won, retained their committee chairs. Krishnan, who chairs the Parks and Recreation Committee, has sought to protect street vendors, some of whom are Asian American. Won helms the Contracts Committee and navigated a major rezoning debate in her district, eventually backing the $2 billion Innovation QNS project after winning changes.

The newest member of the City Council is Democrat Susan Zhuang, who was elected last fall to represent a new district in southern Brooklyn. The rookie lawmaker joined the Common Sense Caucus, a group made up of Republicans and centrist Democrats.

18. Asim Rehman

Commissioner and Chief Administrative Law Judge, New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings
Asim Rehman / NYC Law Department

The New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings isn’t the city’s most recognizable governmental body, but it’s one of the country’s largest municipal administrative law tribunals. Last year, OATH held some 220,000 hearings and 2,000 trials and issued over 2,000 appeals decisions – even as the office had major budget cuts. Asim Rehman, appointed in 2022, is the first Asian American to lead the office and is one of most senior Muslim Americans in the Adams administration. Rehman also saw the launch of a new division focused on special education.

19. Joseph Bae


Joseph Bae is one of the most influential Asian American executives in finance, which buoys the New York City economy. Bae’s private equity giant KKR has made big gains lately, wrapping up its fourth quarter with a 21% growth in fee-related earnings per share and raising $2.8 billion in the second round of its sustainability forward capital fundraising. In addition to his corporate duties as co-CEO, Bae co-founded the Asian American Foundation and sits on several other advisory boards. He will serve as a new member of Harvard’s governing board starting in July.

20. S. David Wu

President, Baruch College
S. David Wu / Baruch College

Baruch College secured bragging rights as it topped the U.S. News & World Report rankings among regional universities in the area. The City University of New York institution has had tremendous growth under S. David Wu’s stewardship. Baruch will be sharing in a $10 million city investment for CUNY campuses under the CUNY 2x Tech initiative to boost enrollment in tech degrees as part of the city’s Young Adult Career Success plan. The school also launched an initiative to bolster its business programming, the LaGuardia-Baruch Business Academy, which expands on a transfer agreement between its business school and LaGuardia’s Business Administration program.

21. Frank Wu

President, Queens College
Frank Wu / Jim Block

Queens College boasts one of New York City’s most diverse student bodies, where a third of students are immigrants and 100 languages are represented on campus, according to President Frank Wu. The governor has continued to support capital upgrades and investments in the City University of New York system, and CUNY’s Queens College garnered $70,000 in grants awarded by The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation to fund its on-campus food pantry and the Queens College Service Corps. Most excitingly, two music faculty members took home awards at the Grammys, which will surely help boost ongoing efforts to expand its arts programs.

22. Sudha Setty

Dean, CUNY School of Law

A top law educator with a track record of work in social justice, Sudha Setty brings equity-forward sensibilities to the CUNY School of Law, which is known for its highly engaged student body. Since her 2022 appointment as the school’s dean, she has revived the W. Haywood Burns chair – a position that was created to honor the late Black civil rights lawyer but then suspended due to lack of funding – and launched a new social clinic to serve New York’s incoming asylum-seekers and a $1 million pilot program to empower youth, entitled the First Impressions Youth Justice Initiative.

23. Margaret Fung

Co-Founder and Executive Director, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Margaret Fung / Lia Chang

Margaret Fung is a veteran civil rights attorney who heads the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. The group’s trailblazing legal work runs the gamut, but it has been especially focused on defending voting rights as they are being undermined across the U.S. The organization sued the Nassau County Legislature over its redistricting plans, which the fund argued weakened voting blocs for Asian, Black and Latino voters, and filed an appeals claim with coalition partners to expand voting rights to noncitizen New Yorkers in city elections.

24. Sarah Sayeed & Eva Wong

Executive Directors, New York City Mayor Civic Engagement Commission; Office of Community Mental Health
Sarah Sayeed & Eva Wong / Samia El-Moslimany, Photography by Samia; OCMH / Provided

Sarah Sayeed is part of the city’s leadership cohort shoring up New Yorkers’ civic involvement. Sayeed has led the Civic Engagement Commission since it was formed following a 2018 ballot initiative. Some CEC programming suffered delays from the pandemic but have resumed with the launch of a citywide participatory budget to distribute $5 million to select community programs. Sayeed’s CEC team was consolidated under the Mayor’s Office of Engagement in the Adams administration.

When the city opened its Office of Community Mental Health during the coronavirus pandemic, no one was more suited to run it than Eva Wong, whose background as a licensed mental health counselor with 15 years in mental health care management made her a perfect fit. The office works across agencies to carry out mental health initiatives like the Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division, a health-forward emergency response program that the city expanded last year.

25. Peter Tu

Executive Director, Flushing Chinese Business Association
Peter Tu / Provided

As the Flushing Chinese Business Association’s chief executive, Peter Tu has a long track record of elevating the Queens neighborhood’s business interests, the vast majority of which are Chinese- and Korean-owned. But Tu has made it clear that enterprising entrepreneurs from all backgrounds are welcome to set up shop in the neighborhood, noting his nonprofit works with non-Asian entrepreneurs,too: “I want everyone to know that Flushing is a thriving place for anyone who wants to do business,” he told local outlet QNS last fall.

26. Joseph Tsai & Clara Wu Tsai

Co-Owners, Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty
Joseph Tsai / BSE Global

Beyond their multimillion-dollar investments and big business ties in China, Joseph Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai also own several professional sports teams, including the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and the WNBA’s New York Liberty, making them one of New York City’s most visible power couples. Joseph Tsai is also chair of BSE Global, which includes the Nets and its Barclays Center arena, while Clara Wu Tsai is the corporate entity’s vice chair. The couple’s foundation in 2020 launched its Social Justice Fund, which supports economic mobility within communities of color in Brooklyn.

27. Ed Domingo

President and Chief Operating Officer, Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts
Ed Domingo / Justin Grasso

Although MGM Resorts acquired Empire City Casino fairly recently in 2019, Ed Domingo has experience in the casino and entertainment industry dating back to the early aughts. Domingo’s casino is currently the largest tax contributor in Yonkers and among the municipality’s largest private employers. The gambling operator has leveraged that fact with the announcement of its revamp plans for an $850 million entertainment center if awarded one of New York’s downstate commercial gambling licenses. The company unveiled the sleek design rendering for its expansion plans in December.

28. Wellington Chen

Executive Director, Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corp.
Wellington Chen / Chinatown BID Partnership

Wellington Chen is a longtime Chinatown leader who often acts as liaison between its community members and government officials. In his official capacity as executive director of the Chinatown Partnership, Chen helps drive the neighborhood’s economic development and revitalization. New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that $56 million will go toward upgrading Chinatown’s Park Row and Kimlau Square area. The latter was built in honor of the late Lt. Benjamin Ralph Kimlau, a Chinese American pilot who died in World War II.

29. John Park

Executive Director, MinKwon Center for Community Action
John Park / David Hur

Through offices in Flushing, Queens, and New Jersey’s Palisades Park, the MinKwon Center for Community Action offers support to underserved residents in accessing social programs. Beyond its community service, the group is also extremely active in local politics. John Park’s organization has advocated for Local Law 11 to allow noncitizen New Yorkers to vote in municipal elections and is a vocal opponent of the proposed casino project near Citi Field, which the group argues would worsen economic disparities for poverty-stricken residents.

30. Thomas Yu

Executive Director, Asian Americans for Equality
Thomas Yu / Asian Americans for Equality

Thomas Yu’s nearly 30 years of service have established Asian Americans for Equality as one of New York’s most prominent community development organizations serving low-income Asian residents. Under his stewardship, the nonprofit has added more than 400 new low-income housing units and secured $80 million in funding for community reinvestment, including a $6.8 million aid package supporting AAPI groups awarded by the state. The organization’s next major project is developing the Magnolia Gardens transitional housing in Queens’ Flushing area with the $79 million loan it secured in March.

31. Trip Yang

Founder, Trip Yang Strategies
Trip Yang / Mon Yuck Yu

Trip Yang is an established Democratic political strategist in New York and beyond. He has engineered election wins for elected officials like Rep. Dan Goldman and Assembly Members Catalina Cruz, Grace Lee and Sam Berger, and worked on presidential campaigns for Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders. Most recently, he helped boost AAPI turnout in a successful bid to send Tom Suozzi back to Congress. His team has been involved in a number of key races nationally, including the independent expenditure effort on behalf of Maryland Gov. Wes Moore's successful 2022 election. 

Editor’s note: Trip Yang is a member of City & State’s advisory board.

32. Carl Hum

Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Real Estate Board of New York
Carl Hum / REBNY

Carl Hum has served as chief legal officer of the influential Real Estate Board of New York for nearly a decade – handling compliance, legislative, corporate and legal needs – while also serving as a senior vice president. Hum’s expertise came in handy as REBNY went toe-to-toe with trade unions over high-stakes negotiations surrounding an expired tax abatement program for affordable housing, which was revived in the state budget. The trade group is expected to release new guidance for industry members in the aftermath of the National Association of Realtors’ commission lawsuit settlement.

33. Angela Sung Pinsky

Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google New York
Angela Sung Pinsky / Don Pollard

Angela Sung Pinsky’s passion for economic empowerment catapulted her into a career building strong development initiatives. After serving under then-New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s economic development team and as executive director for the Association for a Better New York, Pinsky brings plenty of expertise to Google, leveraging the tech giant’s resources to bolster relations and build a tech career pipeline through initiatives like the $4 million Google NYC Tech Opportunity Fund. The company also partners with the city for the FutureReadyNYC initiative, which serves roughly 7,000 students at 100 city schools.

34. Maf Misbah Uddin

Founder and President, Alliance of South Asian American Labor
Maf Misbah Uddin / Provided

The son of a Bengali political activist and an organizing leader in his own right, Maf Misbah Uddin heads the Alliance of South Asian American Labor headquartered in Queens. The labor group regularly mobilizes its South Asian members on political matters, including organizing rallies against union-busting and providing political endorsements of legislation and candidates. Uddin is also treasurer of District Council 37, the largest public employee union in New York City, and he has served as the president of Accountants, Statisticians and Actuaries Local 1407 since 2000.

35. Shawn Ma

Director of Asian American Affairs, Office of the Governor
Shawn Ma / Qing He Photography

As director of Asian American affairs, Shawn Ma is the governor’s point person with a key constituency in New York. Ma, who cultivates connections between the Hochul administration and constituents in the AAPI community, assumed the role at the start of this year, following a stint as a special assistant in the Hochul administration. He was also director of operations and strategic projects at City Hall in New York City, gaining substantial experience around community engagement and project management. A key colleague and collaborator in the effort is Sibu Nair, the deputy director under Ma.

36. Anil Beephan Jr. & Lester Chang

Assembly Members
Anil Beephan Jr. & Lester Chang / Beephan4NY; Office of Lester Chang

Republican Assembly Member Lester Chang stunned the political establishment in 2022 by toppling incumbent Peter Abbate Jr., a veteran Democrat who had held the Brooklyn seat since 1986. Despite questions surrounding Chang’s residency, Democrats opted against trying to expel the first-term lawmaker. Chang, whose parents emigrated from China, joined fellow Assembly Republicans on a “friendship delegation” trip to the country last year. His colleague, fellow Republican Assembly Member Anil Beephan Jr., has represented parts of Dutchess County since taking office in 2023. Beephan has reached across the aisle to join Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar on a measure cracking down on illegal marijuana shops.

37. Kelsey Louie

CEO, The Door and Broome Street Academy
Kelsey Louie / The Door and Broome Street Academy

According to Kelsey Louie, his dual master’s degrees have come in handy: His business degree helped hone his management skills while his social work degree enhanced his leadership style. As a nonprofit leader, Louie runs The Door and Broome Street Academy, sister organizations representing a combined $40 million budget. Before his tenure at The Door and BSA, Kelsey was the chief executive of GMHC, where he grew supportive housing and mental health services and launched the Terry Brenneis and David Boger Hub initiative for long-term HIV/AIDS survivors.

38. Anita Gundanna & Vanessa Leung

Co-Executive Directors, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families
Anita Gundanna & Vanessa Leung / Lia Chang

Anita Gundanna and Vanessa Leung are the formidable duo leading the Manhattan-based Coalition for Asian American Children and Families. Since joining forces in 2017, the two have led CACF in empowering New York’s Asian communities through social services and policy advocacy. CACF joined other AAPI-serving groups under the Equity Budget Coalition this year calling for the state to allocate $30 million toward AAPI nonprofits. The group’s progressive work has attracted donations from billionaire Mackenzie Scott, who contributed to dozens of AAPI-serving groups as part of her charity pledge.

39. Henry Chen

Founder and President, Somos Community Care
Henry Chen / Somos Community Care

Over 2,600 doctors provide essential health care services to underserved New York communities under the politically connected Somos Community Care network. Dr. Henry Chen is the health care network’s co-founder and president and has treated New York City’s residents for over two decades, with many of his patients coming from elderly Asian communities in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Aside from offering primary health care services, Somos brings joy to the communities it serves through festive holiday events, such as its annual Thanksgiving turkey drive and toy drive.

40. Chhaya Chhoum

Executive Director, Southeast Asian Freedom Network
Chhaya Chhoum / Vanessa Le

Chhaya Chhoum is an acclaimed advocate uplifting Southeast Asian refugees. She previously led the Bronx-based Mekong NYC, a nonprofit she founded to support incoming refugees from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and connect them to New York City’s social services. Mekong NYC has lobbied for progressive social justice legislation and led grassroots campaigns against the incarceration and deportation of refugees. After a decade at Mekong, Chhoum transitioned over to the Southeast Asian Freedom Network, a national network of local groups mobilizing refugees within the Southeast Asian diaspora.

41. Hae-Lin Choi

State Legislative and Political Director, CWA District 1
Hae-Lin Choi / Verena Nägel

Communications Workers of America District 1 has a track record as a political mobilizing force, with Hae-Lin Choi steering the union’s priorities in the Northeast region. Her union endorsed Tim Kennedy’s successful congressional bid in a special election last month and is backing one of its own – CWA Local 1123 President Chris Ryan – in an upstate state Senate race. CWA remains active in Albany, supporting fairer contract negotiations for its members and sister unions. CWA District 1 closed out last year with a health care worker strategy session in Buffalo.

42. Bhav Tibrewal

Political Director, Hotel and Gaming Trades Council

An estimated 75% of hotels in New York City employ union members of the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council, making it among the most influential labor groups in the city. Leading its political activities is Bhav Tibrewal, who directs which campaigns receive the union’s coveted endorsement and canvassing support – as recently elected Rep. Tom Suozzi did – and which policies are worth throwing the union’s political weight behind. The group is cited as the main reason behind New York’s stalled iGaming bill, which Tibrewal said would hurt casino jobs and workers.

43. Vijay Dandapani

President and CEO, Hotel Association of New York City
Vijay Dandapani / Stephen Cardone, NY Headshots

After four years of instability, New York’s hotel sector looks on track to return to pre-pandemic levels. According to Vijay Dandapani, the rate of occupied hotel rooms is still 6 percentage points lower than before, but that is still good progress for an industry that was previously decimated. The city’s new restrictions on short-term rentals are predicted to bring a bounty of business for hotels this year. The Hotel Association of New York City renewed its agreement with the government to house incoming migrant families through a $77 million emergency contract.

44. Jeremy Kohomban

President and CEO, The Children’s Village
Jeremy Kohomban / The Children’s Village

Amid the threat of budget cuts, ensuring New York’s most vulnerable groups remain supported is more important than ever. Thanks to the Just Pay campaign backed by the nonprofit Children’s Village, social workers contracted with New York City will receive a 9% wage bump over three years, making social work more sustainable in the long run. Jeremy Kohomban, who is Sri Lankan, heads The Children’s Village and the Harlem Dowling children’s charity, both organizations providing crucial support and services for the 7,000 youths in New York’s foster care system.

45. Nayan Parikh

Founder and President, Ashnu International
Nayan Parikh / PNP Studio

Nayan Parikh is widely known as an effective executive in New York’s construction business, having built a successful construction management firm while acting as a champion for small minority-owned businesses. Outside of Ashnu International’s offices, Parikh heads the New York tristate chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors, which provides local members with technical and advocacy support and networking opportunities. Parikh was honored with a Hall of Fame award from NAMC for his contributions to the real estate construction sector.

46. David Imamura

Member, Westchester County Board of Legislators
David Imamura / Aiko Austin

David Imamura is a lawyer by trade, but he is better known for his political achievements. Imamura rose to prominence last year when he became the first Asian American elected to the Westchester County Board of Legislators. He has since raised awareness of unclaimed funds in Westchester and pushed to recognize Diwali, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr as school holidays. The former chair of the state Independent Redistricting Commission and Abrams Fensterman associate also filed a lawsuit seeking to compel Mount Pleasant to create a town council district for the Hispanic community.

47. Leah Gonzalez

Political Director, New York State Public Employees Federation
Leah Gonzalez / New York State Public Employees Federation

Leah Gonzalez spearheads the political agenda of the New York State Public Employees Federation, a major labor union that represents over 50,000 state employees. Last summer, PEF secured new three-year contracts with Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration for the state’s public workforce, which granted its union members a 3% annual raise and up to 12 weeks of fully paid parental leave. Gonzalez’s union also launched campaigns to change the state law regarding workplace abuse after members alleged toxic work environments at some state agencies.

48. Tina Kim

Deputy Comptroller for State Government Accountability, State Comptroller’s Office
Tina Kim / Office of the New York State Comptroller

No government functions well without checks and balances, which is what Tina Kim has been providing for years in New York. In 2014, Kim was appointed as deputy comptroller for state government accountability, a role in which she roots out waste – such as the billions of dollars she flagged in pandemic-era unemployment benefit fraud and overpayments – and improves operations by auditing state and city agencies and public authorities. An advocate for AAPI representation in government, Kim also is a member of the Council of Korean Americans.

49. John Albert

Partner, Bolton-St. Johns
John Albert / Sippakorn Ponpayong

As a partner at Bolton-St. Johns, attorney John Albert holds seniority at one of New York’s top three earning lobbying firms, with his firm raking in nearly $16 million in statewide compensation in 2022. Albert, who grew up in Queens, built a reputation through his work with nonprofit clients by successfully advancing important legislation, such as the state’s anti-stalking law as well as expanding New York City’s after-school programs. He also manages corporate clients, which includes clean energy companies trying to expand operations in New York.

50. John Wang

Founder and President, Asian American Business Development Center
John Wang / Matt Cohen

John Wang’s work elevating Asian and other minority-owned businesses has made him an influential leader in New York’s business sector. Since its founding in 1994, the Asian American Business Development Center has helped entrepreneurs and businesses thrive through public and private grants – and highlights them through its annual Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Awards. This year, the organization launched a $250,000 grant initiative supported by Bank of America as part of Project Rebuild to support Asian American small businesses. Wang also serves on the Empire State Development board.

51. Richard Kim

Editor-in-Chief, The City
Richard Kim / Ben Fractenberg, The City

Richard Kim is editor-in-chief at The City, a community-focused digital publication that has snagged prestigious awards in its five years of existence. Kim’s team has broken big stories and produced critical coverage of the city’s handling of migrant arrivals and budget shortfalls, making the publication a key watchdog of the Adams administration. The nonprofit news site regularly publishes handy explainers for residents on housing matters and public services, and it runs a robust data-driven projects reporting arm.

52. Julie Trivedi

Counsel to the Commissioner, New York City Police Department

With the New York City Police Department in the spotlight amid efforts to crack down on crime and improve public safety, a key behind-the-scenes adviser is Julie Trivedi, who’s an invaluable asset to NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban. Trivedi began as an assistant district attorney for Queens, serving as deputy bureau chief for narcotics investigations and as chief of a violent criminal enterprises unit. She later moved on to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office in a similar role. The first Asian American in her current role, she now dispenses legal advice as counsel to the city’s police commissioner.

53. Ali Najmi

Attorney, Law Office of Ali Najmi
Ali Najmi / Abe Urquilla

Legal reform and civic protections are tenets of Ali Najmi’s work. A former legislative director for the New York City Council, Najmi has built a law practice around cases involving New York’s most vulnerable residents. His firm has also focused on election law and voting rights: He has gone toe-to-toe with the state Board of Elections and sued the Brooklyn Democratic Party. Najmi has helped diversify the judiciary in Queens and served as a representative of the Leave It Blank campaign during New York’s presidential primary. He’s also president of the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean Bar Association of Queens.

54. Julie Shiroishi

Executive Director, Eleanor’s Legacy

Like many women across the country, Julie Shiroishi felt called to action after the 2016 elections. A former publishing executive, she immersed herself in politics, door-knocking and strategizing on local campaigns before she was chosen as chief of staff to Assembly Member Jonathan Jacobson. Later, she was appointed to chair the Dutchess County Democratic Committee. Shiroishi now helms Eleanor’s Legacy, a statewide organization that recruits pro-choice Democratic women for elected office. Her group is backing a slate of women candidates running to unseat Republican state Senate incumbents this year.

55. Jihoon Kim

CEO, InUnity Alliance
Jihoon Kim / Provided

Jihoon Kim joined InUnity Alliance at a critical time when the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is reporting record numbers of opioid-fueled overdoses. Before landing at InUnity Alliance, formerly the Coalition for Behavioral Health, Kim was Gov. Kathy Hochul’s deputy secretary for human services and mental hygiene. While working for the state, 13 state agencies were under his command – with a combined budget totaling $30 billion to combat the opioid crisis through harm reduction-focused programming, as well as investing in child care and poverty reduction. Kim also served as co-chair of the state Child Poverty Reduction Advisory Council.

56. Tanuja Mohapatra

Senior Adviser to the Superintendent, State Department of Financial Services

After a spell in corporate litigation, Tanuja Mohapatra switched to public service in the Assembly, where she advised and developed language for bills on health care, insurance, social services and other crucial policy matters as a counselor. She later joined the state Department of Financial Services as legislative director, and she is now senior adviser to Superintendent Adrienne Harris. The department recently urged insurance companies to maintain compliance with state anti-discrimination laws when using artificial intelligence in their operations as racial bias concerns with AI have emerged across sectors.

57. Justin Chae

Co-Founder and CEO, Olympus Public Affairs/Meridian Strategies
Justin Chae / Olympus Public Affairs

Justin Chae is among this year’s youngest honorees but he is a seasoned strategist in New York’s political circles. His firm consulted on the two most watched races last year: Yusef Salaam’s Democratic primary victory, which bagged the political newcomer a New York City Council seat in November, and Sam Berger’s election to the Assembly, leveraging the firm’s ties to the city’s unions. The key to successful campaigns? Chae said it came down to securing lots of airtime for clients and consistent messaging through fully integrated social campaigns.

58. Saima Anjam

Senior Vice President, The Parkside Group
Saima Anjam / Wade Dansby

Saima Anjam is a policy virtuoso who cares deeply about New York’s most overlooked communities. In her career, Anjam, a proud Muslim, has expanded access to New York’s legal and health services and lobbied for critical social equity legislation. She helped pass legislation for better work protections and fairer wages and to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. Prior to The Parkside Group, Anjam held leadership positions at the New York Immigration Coalition and the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

59. Soohyung Kim

Chair, Bally’s Corp.

If you are among the Whitestone Bridge commuters who welcome the name change to the Trump Links golf course, you can thank Bally’s boss Soohyung Kim. During the ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, officials lauded Bally’s new shuttle operations, which offer East Bronxites free transit to the Throggs Neck ferry stop. The efforts are part of Bally’s plans to win a downstate casino license, though the company is dealing with a delayed bidding process and opposition from the district’s new City Council member.

60. Christine Liu

Council Member, North Hempstead

Christine Liu is a first-year council member and the first Asian American elected to North Hempstead’s legislature. Liu, who grew up in Queens, became an active community leader in Nassau County, where she organized attractive public cultural events. The former lawyer served as vice president of Nassau County’s inaugural Asian American Advisory Council and was later appointed to North Hempstead’s own Asian American Advisory Board. She partnered with local law enforcement to organize self-defense classes and distributed hot meals and personal protective equipment to first responders during the pandemic.

61. Sanjay Mody

Partner, Windels Marx
Sanjay Mody / Dick Duane Studio

An expert in the connective tissue between government, infrastructure and finance law, Sanjay Mody helped create Windels Marx’s infrastructure development and finance group, which he now chairs. He has advised on numerous big-ticket projects in New York, most notably the World Trade Center complex redevelopment. Mody expanded his legal work last year as general counsel to The Sentry, an international nongovernmental organization that works to combat dirty money influence in conflict areas, which counts celebrity philanthropist George Clooney among its advisory board members.

62. Sharon Lee

Partner, Ichor Strategies

Sharon Lee made her mark as a public servant with stints as a staffer in the New York City Council and the New York City Comptroller’s Office. She then became the first Asian American to hold a boroughwide public office as acting Queens borough president, a role she inherited when Melinda Katz was elected district attorney. The temporary role turned into a one-year job for Lee after the coronavirus pandemic hit. Lee is now a partner at consulting firm Ichor Strategies, where she applies her political know-how and government ties to serve the firm’s clients.

63. Anna Mercado Clark

Partner, Phillips Lytle
Anna Mercado Clark / KC Kratt Photography

Anna Mercado Clark has amassed an impressive collection of leadership roles at Phillips Lytle by leveraging her expertise in tech and data. In addition to leading the data privacy and cybersecurity team, Clark co-leads the firm’s cryptocurrency and blockchain practice and, most recently, was appointed to serve as its first chief information and security officer. The attorney has occupied leadership roles outside of the firm as well, serving as the inaugural vice president of the Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York.

64. Lisa Hofflich

Senior Vice President, Actum

Lisa Hofflich’s professional journey spans a myriad of sectors, from local news to Congress, all connected by her public policy work. Hofflich was a legislative adviser for members of the Assembly, where she developed public policy proposals on reproductive rights, child welfare and gender equity. She moved on to become senior adviser and regional director to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and guided federal policy on essential matters like health care, education and agriculture. Previously, she also worked as an investigative news producer at outlets like CNBC and WNBC.

65. Lila Benayoun

Chief Operating Officer, MetroPlusHealth
Lila Benayoun / MetroPlusHealth

Lila Benayoun’s two decades of experience in health information management saw her rise to chief operating officer at MetroPlusHealth from her previous deputy role. As chief operating officer, Benayoun ensures the day-to-day operations run like clockwork and guides the public health plan provider’s member renewal and retention strategies growth. According to the state comptroller, enrollment in MetroPlusHealth coverage reached an all-time high at over 670,000 members due to a 31% increase during the pandemic’s peak between 2020 and 2022.

66. Eric Wei

Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer, NYC Health + Hospitals
Eric Wei / NYC Health + Hospitals

Dr. Eric Wei’s job requires him to oversee quality maintenance of the medical care provided under the country’s largest municipal health care system, which includes 11 major hospitals spread across the five boroughs. But his responsibilities extend beyond the care of its patients; Wei oversaw $35 million in donations dedicated to supporting staff for things like child care and isolation costs during the coronavirus pandemic’s peak. NYC Health + Hospitals recently launched an interactive anonymized mental health screening program for its staff in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

67. Jina Krause-Vilmar

President and CEO, Upwardly Global
Jina Krause-Vilmar / Paul Woo

New York immigrants make up 43% of the city’s workforce and generate a third of its economic output. Organizations like Jina Krause-Vilmar’s Upwardly Global help newcomers access work opportunities through professional skills development programs, which include a partnership with the state Office of New Americans and New York City’s Workforce1 to facilitate the work placement for hundreds of skilled immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees. The Texas transplant’s prior posts involved empowering refugee women for professional advancement with global nongovernmental organizations like the International Rescue Committee and Women for Women International.

68. Sheila Lirio Marcelo

Co-Founder and CEO, Ohai.ai

Fewer than 1% of public companies have been helmed by female founders. Among those rare executives is Sheila Lirio Marcelo, a Filipino American tech entrepreneur who took her online home care service Care.com public a decade ago – the first Asian American woman founder to do so. Marcelo’s latest venture, Ohai.ai, builds on her consumer focus on the domestic household market by simplifying household laundry lists using AI. She also serves on the board of the Asian American Foundation.

69. Paul Mak

President and CEO, Brooklyn Chinese-American Association
Paul Mak / Brooklyn Chinese-American Association

Brooklyn’s Sunset Park is home to a thriving Chinese community, thanks in large part to Paul Mak’s veteran leadership. Mak heads the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association, which he founded in the late 1980s to serve Brooklyn’s growing Chinese enclave in Sunset Park – where Asian residents now make up over a quarter of the local population. BCAA hosts the neighborhood’s annual Lunar New Year parade and runs a local community hub, day care center and several senior citizen centers where residents can access a plethora of social services.

70. Raymond Tsang

Acting President, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association
Raymond Tsang / Provided

A born-and-bred New Yorker, Raymond Tsang is a veteran community leader in Manhattan’s Chinatown. He has led the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association following pandemic disruptions and internal matters among the CCBA’s coalition members, which count 60 community associations under its purview. His position helming the umbrella group has him routinely rubbing shoulders with New York City’s elected officials. Tsang was instrumental in securing the construction of the Sun Yat-sen statue at the iconic Columbus Park in 2011, now one of Chinatown’s most recognizable landmarks.

71. Jeehae Fischer

Executive Director, Korean American Family Service Center
Jeehae Fischer / KAFSC

One in five AAPI-identifying women in the U.S. reported experiencing sexual violence in their lifetime, according to federal data. Advocating for Asian immigrant women who are survivors of domestic and sexual violence is a core mission of the Korean American Family Service Center, which has been under Jeehae Fischer’s leadership since 2019. The nonprofit supports abuse victims through legal services, housing and skills advancement courses. The group held its 26th annual Silent March in solidarity with gender-based violence survivors in October.

72. Tejash Sanchala

Executive Director, Westchester County Human Rights Commission
Tejash Sanchala / Arjun Rao

Tejash Sanchala spends his days safeguarding basic protections for marginalized groups in his role leading the Westchester County Human Rights Commission. The commission serves just under a million New Yorkers living in Westchester County north of the Bronx. With hate crimes on the rise, Westchester last year launched a dedicated hotline for reporting hate crimes, which Sanchala touted as a critical countermeasure against increasing hate incidents. The award-winning civil rights attorney serves on the Westchester County Bar Association’s board of directors.

73. Olivia Foster

Senior Associate, Corporate and Legislation, Kasirer
Olivia Foster / Sophie Secor

Olivia Foster’s interest in politics and law has been evident since her time interning at Emily’s List, one of the country’s largest political action committees dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to public office. Foster has since had stints at lobbying firm Emergent Strategies and the New York City Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, where she led the onboarding process for agencies on processes such as HHS Prequalification and PASSPort, the city’s digital procurement platform. At Kasirer, Foster serves clients by orchestrating effective grassroots campaign strategies and legislative lobbying.

74. Ansen Tang

President, United Chinese Association of Brooklyn

As an immigrant kid from Hong Kong who grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, Ansen Tang has dedicated himself to connecting its Chinese American residents to social services. Tang joined the nonprofit United Chinese Association of Brooklyn nearly 20 years ago as its digital literacy instructor before becoming its leader and expanding its reach to other parts of Brooklyn in Dyker Heights and Sheepshead Bay. Beyond running senior centers and social programs like SNAP assistance and translation services, the group has robust youth outreach programs via its annual youth summer camps and Lion Dance troupe.

75. Shin-Jung Hong

Senior Vice President, Nicholas & Lence Communications
Shin-Jung Hong / Jill Singer Graphics

Shin-Jung Hong, or “SJ” as she is better known, is someone who gets things done. Hong is part of the core leadership at public relations power firm Nicholas & Lence Communications based near Manhattan’s Bryant Park. In her role, she acts as right-hand woman to the firm’s CEO Cristyne Nicholas and oversees its PR team’s award-winning marketing campaigns. The firm’s clients vary across sectors and include New York major entertainment entities like Times Square Alliance, Inside Broadway and the John Gore Organization.

76. Annetta Seecharran

Executive Director, Chhaya Community Development Corp.
Annetta Seecharran / Fabio Italiano

Annetta Seecharran is a longtime community leader dutifully serving New York’s South Asian and Indo-Caribbean residents. Her organization, Chhaya Community Development Corp., provides direct social services to low-income clients and empowers South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities through advocacy support on housing, immigration affairs and civic engagement. Chhaya was among 19 Queens organizations selected as recipients of a $4 million grant to provide health care services. Another $1.5 million in federal funding was awarded to the nonprofit to support its community operations in Jackson Heights and Richmond Hill.

77. Eugena Oh

New York Regional Director, The Asian American Foundation
Eugena Oh / Janice Yim

The Asian American Foundation was built on a mission to close the investment gap toward Asian American communities. Eugena Oh’s responsibility as the New York regional director is ensuring TAAF’s contributions reach AAPI organizations so they can benefit and grow. Previously, Oh was president and CEO of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation, a national nonprofit that aims to reduce racial inequality through youth empowerment, where she developed an internal grants program and grew its annual budget to $5 million.

78. Joseph D. Eng Jr.

Counsel, King & Spalding
Joseph D. Eng Jr. / Peter Chin

Joseph D. Eng Jr. is the go-to counsel at King & Spalding when it comes to patent-related litigation with a primary focus on trial and global disputes and intellectual property. The attorney has represented Fortune 100 clients in patent infringement lawsuits in the country’s federal district courts and in front of the U.S. International Trade Commission. Eng was part of the legal team behind German firm BASF’s $85 million antitrust lawsuit. He is president of the Asian American Bar Association of New York.

79. Lawrence S. Han

Partner, Rivkin Radler
Lawrence S. Han / Rivkin Radler

Lawrence S. Han is a legal jack of all trades, making him an invaluable asset at Rivkin Radler. As a partner at the national law firm, Han covers multiple practice areas representing individual clients in lawsuits on fraud and malpractice, as well as corporate clients in product liability and mass tort litigation. He also has extensive experience working on legal cases that span international borders, involving entities in the U.S., South Korea and New Zealand. Han is president of the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York.

80. Kaushal Challa

CEO, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center
Kaushal Challa / Provided

The 1971 Chinatown Health Fair preceded what would become the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, which Kaushal Challa has run as its chief executive since just before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The health care center offers health care services for low-income and uninsured patients. seven days per week. In 2023, the health care center celebrated a new Flushing office – one of the largest community health care sites in the city – bringing primary care and dental care services to underserved residents. The new office is expected to reach more than 25,000 patients in the area.

81. Jessie Lee

Managing Director, Renaissance Economic Development Corp.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, community financial lenders like Renaissance were the first to step up and provide funding relief to New York’s independent businesses. Renaissance Managing Director Jessie Lee guides the group’s operations offering independent enterprises low-interest business loans, training programs and counseling. Many of REDC’s clients come from the city’s Asian enclaves in Chinatown, Flushing and Sunset Park, where small family-owned businesses are abundant. This year, the organization expanded services to Long Island, the Hudson Valley and northern New Jersey.

82. Kavita Mehra

Executive Director, Sakhi for South Asian Survivors
Kavita Mehra / The New York Stock Exchange

Kavita Mehra’s 15-year career spans various nonprofit sectors from youth empowerment to workers’ rights. As Sakhi’s executive director, Mehra leads the nonprofit’s inclusive mission to serve South Asian survivors of gender-based violence regardless of gender and sexual orientation through resources like housing, trauma-informed mental health programs and a food justice program. The organization has more than tripled its original services capacity under Mehra’s tenure with operations in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. Mehra was instrumental in launching the national coalition South Asian SOAR, where she is a board member.

83. Shahabuddeen Ally

President, Asian American Judges Association of New York

If you ask Shahabuddeen Ally about his career trajectory, he will tell you his family predicted it and named him after a famous Guyanese Supreme Court judge. As fate would have it, Ally now serves as New York’s acting Supreme Court justice and supervising judge. The ex-prosecutor began his judgeship in the Bronx’s Criminal Court before moving to New York’s Civil Court. His work expanding access to legal support for low-income New Yorkers led him to be selected as co-chair of the Permanent Commission on Access to Justice earlier this year.

84. Jason Wu

Attorney-in-Charge, Harlem Community Law Office, The Legal Aid Society
Jason Wu / Spencer Gallop

Jason Wu’s passion for social justice led him to The Legal Aid Society. Since starting as a staff attorney, Wu has become the attorney-in-charge of the firm’s Harlem Community Law Office where the public defender leads operations serving low-income residents. The office offers legal advice on matters like small-business compliance and housing cooperatives, and launched a monthly virtual clinic where community members can access one-on-one sessions remotely. Wu also co-chairs GAPIMNY, a nonprofit outfit empowering AAPI-identifying queer individuals.

85. Bess Chiu

Deputy General Counsel and Chief of Staff, State University of New York
Bess Chiu / Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

Bess Chiu is a rising star in public service. She cut her teeth working in the New York City government, first at the city’s children’s welfare agency and then with the mayor’s legal counsel team under then-Mayor Bill de Blasio. At City Hall, Chiu took the lead on the city’s pandemic-era response, drafting COVID-19 emergency legislation and pushing efforts to combat the increased violence against Asian New Yorkers. At SUNY, she guides the school system’s legal responses on key matters, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision on race-conscious admissions.

Hostos Community College: Congratulations to Shiang-Kwei Wang for being recognized in the Asian Power 100

86. Shiang-Kwei Wang

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Hostos Community College
Shiang-Kwei Wang / City University of New York

A provost’s role is expansive – from strategic planning to managing grants – but Shiang-Kwei Wang’s top priority is ensuring student success. Wang’s Taiwanese family valued education above all, which molded her appreciation for academics. Previously, Wang managed a $25 million budget as a vice president at City Colleges of Chicago’s Harold Washington College. She was associate dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Education at the New York Institute of Technology. At CUNY’s Hostos Community College since 2022, she has developed and implemented a five-year plan to guide academic growth and support the South Bronx community.

87. Ali Rashid

Founder and President, American Pakistani Advocacy Group
Ali Rashid / APAG

Ali Rashid’s leadership at the American Pakistani Advocacy Group elevates New York’s Pakistani communities and underserved New Yorkers. In addition to the group’s regular mutual aid efforts, APAG is a staunch advocate of several social equity policies under discussion in the city and state-level legislatures. Rashid’s group has lobbied for a working families tax credit to increase allocations for children and workers, greater investments to the state’s housing access voucher program and expanded access to health care for immigrant New Yorkers.

88. Potri Ranka Manis

Founder and Artistic Director, Kinding Sindaw
Potri Ranka Manis / Sofia Mareque

The arts can be a powerful advocacy tool. Potri Ranka Manis, who hails from the Southern Philippines, founded the nonprofit dance company Kinding Sindaw as a platform for Indigenous cultural empowerment and advocacy within New York’s broader Filipino community. Her troupe makes appearances at New York’s Filipino heritage events. Beyond her arts activism, Manis serves on the Queens Community Board 3 – which covers the neighborhoods of East Elmhurst, North Corona and Jackson Heights – and she is the only Filipino member on the New York City Mayor’s Asian Affairs Advisory Council.

89. Steven Tin

Director, Better Chinatown USA

When Steven Tin first organized Chinatown’s Lunar New Year celebrations 26 years ago, it was meant to revitalize the neighborhood’s economy. He also wanted local families to enjoy celebrations without needing to trek to Atlantic City, at the time the only place with Lunar New Year festivities. This year, Tin’s Better Chinatown USA kicked off celebrations with 1 million firecrackers to mark the Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival, which regularly draws spectators en masse. A custom dragon-shaped firecracker panel was displayed to honor the Year of the Dragon.

90. Yanki Tshering

Founder and Executive Director, Accompany Capital

As a former refugee, Yanki Tshering understands the importance of economic empowerment for New York’s immigrants. After arriving in New York City, she founded Accompany Capital – then the Business Center for New Americans – a federally certified community development financial institution that provides strategic financial support to underserved business entrepreneurs. The organization offers resources like financial literacy programs, home-buying programs, business workshops and specialized savings and microlending tailored for refugees and asylum-seekers. Tshering, who is Tibetan, is a National Advisory Committee member for the global relief agency International Rescue Committee.

91. Grace Choi

Founder and CEO, Karis Consulting Group
Grace Choi / Tony Ning

If anyone can be counted as a political insider, it is Grace Choi. The ex-Atlantan served as director of AAPI Outreach on Stacey Abrams’ bid for Georgia’s governorship and, after moving to New York, as policy director to the New York City mayor. Her firm Karis Consulting Group works with Asian American candidates running for elected office and with public-serving entities that empower Asian communities. Choi also leads the Coalition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Churches’ New York chapter and co-founded the progressive political action committee Korean Americans for Organizing Fund.

92. Mon Yuck Yu

Director of Policy, Brooklyn Borough President’s Office
Mon Yuck Yu / Peter Ou Photography

Mon Yuck Yu’s foray into health care was spurred by her immigrant family’s challenges in accessing affordable and culturally sensitive health services. To bridge this gap, Yu took her health policy training and social service experience and co-founded the Academy of Medical and Public Health Services, a nonprofit that operates health services for immigrant patients in New York. Yu served as AMPHS’ executive vice president and chief of staff for 14 years before stepping back. She now shapes Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso’s agenda as his policy director.

93. Sasha Neha Ahuja

Campaign Director, New Yorkers for Equal Rights

As access to reproductive health care is being restricted in the U.S., Sasha Neha Ahuja is fighting to enshrine protections in New York. Ahuja brings years of expertise as a leading reproductive justice advocate at entities like Planned Parenthood and the New York City Commission on Gender Equity to her current role as campaign director for New Yorkers for Equal Rights. The coalition aims to get voters to approve New York’s Equal Rights Amendment, which would expand protections under the state’s constitution and prohibit discrimination based on national origin, age, disability and sex.

94. Manako Tamura

Assistant Vice President of Digital Marketing and CX Manager, Ponce Bank
Manako Tamura / Webflow

A trained designer and seasoned operations analyst, Manako Tamura leads the small but mighty innovation team at Ponce Bank, a Bronx-based, minority-owned community bank that serves low-to-moderate-income residents. Under Tamura’s guidance, Ponce’s online banking services were revamped and modernized to enhance the bank’s customer experience. Her team also partnered with design agency CRTKL to create the Ponce Bank Lab, a “pop-up” concierge experience that functioned as an innovations lab to gather real-time insights from clients and staff to design a better banking experience.

95. Kamal Bherwani

Member, Board of Directors, Voyatek
Kamal Bherwani / Sabita Bherwani

Kamal Bherwani’s expertise in tech-based operations has led him to occupy numerous executive leadership roles. Before Voyatek (previously GCOM), he served in New York City government, including as its first chief information officer, and led Inversora Agroindustrial Global’s digital strategies as chief tech officer. As CEO at Voyatek, he expanded its operations to 31 states outside of New York and oversaw the tech giant’s multimillion-dollar mergers and acquisitions. Bherwani was succeeded by Lisa Mascolo as CEO and remains on the tech firm’s board of directors.

96. Karen Kim

Senior Counsel, QBE North America
Karen Kim / Manuel Zavaleta, Style Engineers

Attorney Karen Kim has lent her legal prowess to nonprofits and corporate firms alike. Kim, who recently served as president of the Asian American Bar Association of New York, was the legal counsel for nonprofits like the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and represented clients at New York law firms such as Menaker & Herrmann, later acquired by Offit Kurman, and Lee Anav Chung White Kim Ruger & Richter. Now Kim is at QBE North America, a subsidiary of QBE Insurance Group.

97. Tanbir Chowdhury

President, They See Blue NY
Tanbir Chowdhury / Perception Photos

At the youthful age of 22, Tanbir Chowdhury is part of New York’s growing cohort of Gen Z political activists and the youngest honoree on this list. Chowdhury was involved in activating South Asian voters in the 3rd Congressional District special election to secure Tom Suozzi’s victory and formerly served as a district director to New York City Council Member Eric Dinowitz of the Bronx. As president of the recently relaunched They See Blue New York chapter, Chowdhury is tasked with mobilizing South Asian New Yorkers in swing districts and turning the districts blue.

98. Kenneth Shieh

Chief Strategy Officer, JCCA
Kenneth Shieh / Kimberly Shieh

Kenneth Shieh is the person who keeps the wheels churning at JCCA, which provides quality mental health and welfare services for 17,000 New York children and families. As JCCA’s chief strategist, Shieh’s responsibilities include directing the nonprofit’s strategic planning and integrating efficient programming and analytical functions to ensure smooth operations. Previously, Shieh occupied the same role at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center and served in similar leadership positions at White Plains Hospital and NYU Langone.

99. Edward Lai

Senior Vice President of Business Development, Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare
Edward Lai / Provided

As the Rev. Edward Lai tells it, he grew up a wild child. Originally from Hong Kong, his family sent him to a military boarding school in Texas, where he was introduced to volunteer community work. His first experience with Texas’ southern flood relief inspired him to devote himself to community service and he later became a youth minister. In New York, he previously ran the shelter program at the New York Asian Women’s Center (now Womankind) and served as corporate director of Asian initiatives for The Allure Group recovery centers.

100. Hailie Kim

Director of Community Organizing, Cypress Hills Local Development Corp.
Hailie Kim / Hayes Peter Mauro

Hailie Kim is a community activist based in Sunnyside, Queens. Her organizing work includes orchestrating the Queens Hate Free Zone campaign in response to the wave of anti-Asian hate crimes during the pandemic and spearheading anti-displacement campaigns for residents at risk of eviction. In her role at the Cypress Hills Local Development Corp., Kim continues to lead grassroots campaigns on housing, transit and education justice for clients. Kim previously ran for the City Council in District 26.