Welcome New NAPABA Leadership

NAPABA is proud to announce the 2023-24 Board of Governors—comprised of officers, directors, regional governors, and at-large board members—who will be sworn in during the 2023 NAPABA Convention in Indianapolis. 

NAPABA’s strength comes from the many volunteers who hold leadership positions across our diverse membership. From our national Board of Governors to our local affiliate leaders. From our substantive committee and affinity network chairs to the chairs of our professional development programs. NAPABA is driven by the expertise, energy, and commitment of our membership.

Congratulations to our newly elected and appointed Board members! And thank you to the countless volunteers for their leadership, service, and dedication to building a stronger AANHPI legal community.

NAPABA is committed to providing opportunities for our members to serve. If you are interested in learning more about how you can make a difference within NAPABA and the larger AANHPI community, please contact Priya Purandare

2023-24 NAPABA Board of Governors

Anna Mercado Clark
Phillips Lytle LLP

Thy Bui
Constangy, Brooks, Smith, & Prophete, LLP

James Lee
Littler Mendelson P.C.

Executive Director
Priya Purandare, Ex officio
Immediate Past President
Sandra Leung
Bristol Myers Squibb

Annette Kwok
Beyond Meat, Inc.

Special Advisor
Dr. Karen Korematsu, Ex officio 
Fred T. Korematsu Institute
Angela Lim
Viz.ai, Inc.
Zarra Elias 
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Inc.
Central Regional Governor
Kristy Gonowon
Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

Central California Regional Governor
Nina Hong
Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP

Eastern California/Nevada Regional Governor
Patrice De Guzman Huber
State of California

Northeast Regional Governor
Dan Brody
Robinson & Cole LLP

Northeast Regional Governor
Andrew Sarrol
NJ Office of the Attorney General 
Northern California Regional Governor
Mari Bandoma Callado
San Francisco City Attorney’s Office

Northwest Regional Governor
Elisa Dozono

Southeast Regional Governor
M. Tae Phillips
Ogletree Deakins

Southern California Regional Governor
Arlene Yang
Center for Employment Opportunities

Southwest Regional Governor
Anthony “Tony” King
Snell & Wilmer
Eugene Kim
Vail Resorts Management Company

Gene Kim
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Kenjiro LeCroix
General Motors Company
Steven Ngo
Rivian Automotive

Avani Patel
Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts

Qiaojing Ella Zheng
Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP

NAPABA Applauds the Nomination of Judge Edward S. Kiel to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

For Immediate Release: 
October 4, 2023 
Contact: Rahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director for Policy 

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden nominated Judge Edward S. Kiel to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Judge Kiel would be the first Korean American to serve in the district if confirmed.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Edward S. Kiel on his nomination to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey,” said Sandra Leung, President of NAPABA. “A 2010 NAPABA Trailblazer awardee, Judge Kiel is an active member of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey and is well qualified to serve on the bench. We urge the Senate to confirm him quickly.”

Judge Edward S. Kiel has been a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey since 2019. Previously, Judge Kiel was a partner at Cole Schotz, P.C., from 2001 to 2019. Before that, he was an associate at Cole Schotz from 1998 to 2001, at Beattie Padovano from 1994 to 1998, and at Jamieson Moore Peskin & Spicer from 1992 to 1994. Judge Kiel served as a law clerk for Presiding Criminal Judge Michael R. Imbriani of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Somerset County, from 1991 to 1992. He received his J.D. from Notre Dame Law School in 1991 and his B.A. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University in 1988.

“We applaud President Biden for nominating his 32nd Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander to the Federal judiciary,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA. “We thank the New Jersey Senators for recommending and supporting his nomination.”


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession.

NAPABA Applauds the Confirmation of Susan Kim DeClercq to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Yesterday [October 4], the United States Senate confirmed Susan Kim DeClercq to serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Judge DeClercq is the first federal judge of East Asian descent in Michigan.

“NAPABA congratulates Susan DeClercq on her confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, a district where nearly half of all AANHPIs in Michigan live,” said Sandra Leung, President of NAPABA. “The first federal judge of East Asian descent in Michigan, Judge DeClercq is an experienced prosecutor with experience in private practice and corporate law. NAPABA is proud to have supported her nomination to the bench.”

Susan K. DeClercq has been Director and Counsel of Special Investigations at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, since 2022. Judge DeClercq previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Civil Division since March 2014. Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in September 2004, Judge DeClercq was an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom in Washington, D.C., and she clerked for Judge Avern Cohn on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Judge DeClercq received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Wayne State University School of Law in 1999 and her B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1995.

“Ms. DeClercq is the 24th Article III judge nominated by President Biden and confirmed by the Senate,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA. “With each confirmation, President Biden sets a new benchmark for future Presidential administrations.”

NAPABA thanks United States Senators Stabenow and Peters of Michigan for recommending and supporting her nomination.

Smashing Good Time: AABANY’s Ping Pong Social at PingPod, presented by Solo and Small Firm Practice, Young Lawyers, and Immigration Law Committees

When it comes to bringing people together for a weekend afternoon of fun, networking, and friendly competition, the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) knows how to serve up an ace. On Saturday, October 7, AABANY’s Solo and Small Firm Practice, Young Lawyers, and Immigration Law Committees organized an exciting Ping Pong social event at PingPod on the Lower East Side, and it was an afternoon filled with excitement, camaraderie, and impressive rallies.

Ping Pong enthusiasts from various legal backgrounds gathered at PingPod, each armed with a paddle and ready to showcase their skills. From beginners to seasoned pros, the event welcomed players of all levels. It was a fantastic opportunity for lawyers from both private and public sectors and recent law school graduates to let off some steam and engage in some friendly competition.

Participants also found themselves forging new connections, discussing legal topics, and even making potential career moves between rallies. Ping Pong truly served as the icebreaker, and the event demonstrated how professional connections can be made in the most unexpected settings.

Thank you to everyone for spending their Saturday afternoon with AABANY. Here’s to more exciting events and unforgettable moments brought by AABANY! Special thanks to Yen-Yi Anderson, Co-Chair of the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee, Ada Wang, Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers Committee, and Susan Song, Co-Chair of the Immigration Law Committee, for their hard work planning and organizing this event.