Press Release: NAPABA Congratulates Jessie K. Liu and Jennifer Yue Barber on Their Nominations

For Immediate Release I January 7, 2020

WASHINGTON — Yesterday, President Trump announced the nominations of Jessie K. Liu to be Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Crimes and Jennifer Yue Barber to be Representative of the United States of America on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador.

“We congratulate Jessie K. Liu on her nomination to serve as the Under Secretary of the Treasury. Ms. Liu is an experienced and respected attorney with a record of leadership as U.S. Attorney. She is well qualified to oversee the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence,” said Bonnie Lee Wolf, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “We congratulate Jennifer Yue Barber on her nomination to serve as Representative of the United States of America on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Ms. Barber has a strong record of encouraging and creating economic opportunity and is well qualified to serve as Ambassador. We are encouraged to see Asian Pacific American women like Ms. Liu and Ms. Barber continue to break barriers and serve as role models.”

A litigator with over 20 years of experience, Liu is presently the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. She previously served as Deputy General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia and in several senior positions in the U.S. Department of Justice, including as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division, counsel to the Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Chief of Staff for the National Security Division. She was a partner at the law firms Morrison & Foerster LLP and Jenner & Block LLP. Liu clerked for then-Chief Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Houston, Texas. She received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard University and her J.D. from Yale Law School. A longtime member of the Asian Pacific American legal community, Liu served as a co-chair of the 2012 NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C. She is also a recipient of the NAPABA Best Under 40 Award.  

Barber is a member of the law firm Frost Brown Todd LLC focusing on state and local tax, economic incentives, and government affairs. She was appointed by the Governor of Kentucky to serve on the University of Kentucky’s Board of Trustees. Barber is also a member of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Tax Working Group and Litigation Committee and a member of the American Bar Association and Kentucky Bar Association, where she leads and serves on multiple committees. She is also a member of the local advisory board for United States Bank, the nation’s fifth largest commercial bank. She served on the Kentucky State Fair Board, which has over $450 million in annual economic impact to Kentucky. Barber earned her B.S. from the University of Kentucky and her J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law. She clerked in the Office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Kentucky. Barber is a member of the NAPABA Partners Committee.

Barber is also nominated to be an Alternate U.S. Representative to the United Nations General Assembly.

NAPABA commends President Trump for announcing the nomination of Jessie K. Liu and Jennifer Yue Barber.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

Congratulations to Hon. E. Grace Park on Her Induction to NYC Civil Court

On December 19, 2019, many were on hand to celebrate E. Grace Park being sworn in as a judge in the Manhattan 4th Municipal Court District of the Civil Court of the City of New York.

Judge Park was born in Seoul, Korea where she lived through the second grade when she immigrated to the United States to join her mother in Chicago, Illinois. Thereafter, Judge Park moved to Boston, Massachusetts for her high school years.  She attended Dartmouth College, where she received her B.A. magna cum laude in Government & Asian Studies. Judge Park holds two Master’s degrees: the first in Regional Studies – East Asia from Harvard University and the second in Public Administration from Columbia University.  Judge Park received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1999, where she served as Senior Editor of the Journal of Constitutional Law as well as President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.  After graduating from law school, Ms. Park clerked for the Hon. Jacob Mishler in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, followed by five years in private practice.  Judge Park then embarked on a career in public service with the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice, representing children in Family Court.

Congratulations, Judge Park, for your hard fought election and well deserved induction ceremony. AABANY wishes you the best of luck in your new career on the bench.

Congratulations to My Chi To on Being Appointed to Lead the Insurance Division of New York State Department of Financial Services

AABANY congratulates My Chi To on her appointment as Executive Deputy Superintendent of the Insurance Division at the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). In this role, she will oversee more than 1,400 insurance companies with $4.7 trillion in assets. My Chi To is an AABANY member and was a Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, in the Restructuring Group and Global Insurance Practice.

According to the DFS Press Release which announced her appointment in November, 

My Chi was awarded the Kathryn R. Heidt Memorial Award by the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association. She also received the Best Lawyers Under 40 Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. An advocate for women in law and business, she is a member of the Steering Committee of the U.S. 30% Club, a group of business leaders focused on improving the representation of women at all levels of U.S. organizations, including corporate boards. My Chi will join New York state’s Committee for the Advancement of Women in Leadership in Financial Services, which was announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in September.

She received an M.Phil. in Politics from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She received an LL.L. and LL.B. in Civil Law and Common Law from the University of Ottawa and was a law clerk to the Hon. Claire L’Heureux-Dubé of the Supreme Court of Canada, the highest court of Canada.

Read the full press release here: Press Release – November 20, 2019: Financial Services Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell Names My Chi To As Executive Deputy Superintendent of Insurance

The New York Law Journal reported that My Chi is expected to start full-time at DFS at the start of 2020.

Please join AABANY in congratulating My Chi and wishing her success on this important appointment.

Margaret Ling Receives Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Defense of Legal Rights & Exemplary Community Service

On the evening of December 3, 2019, Margaret Ling, AABANY Development Director and Co-Chair of the AABANY Real Estate Committee, was the proud recipient of the Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Defense of Legal Rights & Exemplary Community Service. The award was given to Margaret by the Brooklyn Real Estate Board at their Annual Holiday Party & Community Recognition Awards Presentation. Margaret is a Member of the Advisory Board of Directors.

Margaret is pictured below with her award and with her colleagues Ashvini Persaud, Senior Business Banker of Capital One (left) and Sara Golan, Associate Broker, Nest Seekers International: The Serhant Team (right).

Join us in congratulating Margaret on this well-deserved honor and recognition.

Congratulations to James R. Cho and Linda S. Lin on Being Honored with the 2019 CUP Law Catalysts Award

AABANY is proud to announce that last week James R. Cho, Immediate Past President and Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of NY, and Linda S. Lin, Past President 2011 and Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at QBE North America, were presented with the 2019 CUP Law Catalysts award at the Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) 10th Annual Lawyers Forum and Law Catalyst Recognition Ceremony. The ceremony was held at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP on November 12, 2019.

The CUP Law Catalyst award honors and celebrates the accomplishments of diverse legal professionals who are achieving extraordinary professional success while making significant and impactful contributions to their community.

James and Linda’s dedication to promoting diversity in the legal profession, their leadership as Past Presidents at AABANY, and service to the overall Asian American community make them highly deserving and outstanding recipients of this recognition.

This is not the first time that AABANY members have been honored with the CUP Law Catalysts award. Below is a list of ABBANY members previously recognized by the Council of Urban Professionals:

November 2018
Alice Hsu, AABANY Member

November 2016
Steve Chung, Past AABANY Board Member
Sonia Low, Past AABANY Board Member

October 2015
Austin So, Past In-House Counsel Committee Co-Chair

October 2014
Jean Lee, Past AABANY President 2012

October 2013
Dwight Yoo, Past AABANY President 2017

October 2012
Vincent Chang, Past AABANY President 2007

Please join us in congratulating James, Linda, and all the other AABANY members that have received this tremendous honor.

Also, please join us in congratulating the other 2019 CUP Catalysts in Law:

Adam Banks, Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Tia Breakley, Managing Director & Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Compliance Officer – The Infrastructure Group, The Blackstone Group
Sarah Dodds-Brown, EVP & Managing Counsel, American Express
Stuart Downing, Partner, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
Chinyere Ezie, Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights
George Fatheree III, Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
Karen Hsu Kelley, Partner, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Jessica Lee, Partner, Loeb & Loeb LLP
Clarence A. Nesbitt, General Counsel, National Basketball Players Association 
Marianela Peralta, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Allegis Global Solutions, Inc. 
Pamela Rosado, Senior VP and Chief Counsel-Litigation, MetLife
Kimberly Spoerri, Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Camelia Valdes, Prosecutor, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office

Congratulations to Akin Gump on Receiving NAPABA’s Law Firm Diversity Award

We congratulate Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, on being presented NAPABA’s Law Firm Diversity Award at the NAPABA Convention in Austin, Texas on Saturday, November 9, 2019. AABANY is pleased to count Akin Gump as a Silver Sponsor.

This award honors law firms that actively and consistently recruit, retain, and promote APA lawyers to equity partnership and firm leadership. One such lawyer is Alice Hsu, an AABANY member and Partner at Akin Gump.

Alice was interviewed in the acceptance video and stated that over the last few years Akin Gump has spent a lot of time working with pro bono clients and “brought together cross-racial, cross-ethnic coalitions to support challenging the travel ban, the census citizenship question, and DACA rescission. “

Please join us in congratulating Akin Gump on this well deserved honor.

Congratulations to Karen King on Receiving NAPABA’s Pro Bono Award

We congratulate Karen King, AABANY Member and Counsel at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, on being presented NAPABA’s Pro Bono Award during the Gala at the NAPABA Convention in Austin, Texas on Saturday, November 9, 2019. 

This award recognizes an attorney for outstanding achievement in Pro Bono service that involves impact litigation to advance or protect civil rights and provides direct legal services to individuals in furtherance of the administration of justice.

One of the pro bono cases that Karen was recognized for lasted for over 10 years and involved bias and discrimination in the promotion practices of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority against Asian American Police Officers. Karen found her work on the case to be very important for Asian Americans and rewarding for herself. In her video accepting the award, Karen remarked that young lawyers need to look for and seize opportunities to advance their careers “… and pro bono is an excellent way to do that.”

We are extremely excited and pleased that Karen received this prestigious honor. Please join us in congratulating her.

We commend Paul, Weiss on emphasizing, supporting, and encouraging their lawyers to engage in Pro Bono work and for being a Gold Sponsor.

AABANY at NAPABA Gala Dinner

Congratulations to NAPABA on a successful National Convention in Austin, Texas. Affiliates from around the country gathered to celebrate with NAPABA at its 31st Anniverary Gala Dinner held on Saturday night, Nov. 9, in the Grand Ballroom of the JW Marriott in Austin. Comedian Sheng Wang hosted the evening, and the Keynote Speaker was Chef Kristen Kish, owner of Arlo Grey, in conversation with restaurant critic Soleil Ho. Congratulations also to all the honorees who were presented with awards at the Gala:

  • Military and Veteran Service Award – Capt Lia Mitoko Reynolds
  • APA Owned Law Firm Award – Willenken LLP
  • Law Firm Diversity Award – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
  • Pro Bono Award – Karen King
  • Women’s Leadership Award – Debbie Shon
  • Presidents Award – Dale Ho

AABANY was honored to be presented with the Affiliate of the Year Award. Read more about that here.

AABANY members could be found filling a few tables at the Gala Dinner … but where was Executive Director Yang Chen? He was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. That did not stop Membership Director Beatrice Leong from creating a cardboard version of our ED to attend the Gala and then join the AABANY group photo at the NAPABA Convention. Thank you, Beatrice!

AABANY Presented with Affiliate of the Year Award at NAPABA Convention

On Saturday, November 9, 2019, AABANY was honored to be presented with NAPABA’s Affiliate of the Year award at NAPABA’s National Convention in Austin, Texas. AABANY was selected to receive this award for its best practices and accomplishments in our community.

President Brian Song accepted this honor at the Dinner Gala, but he did not do so alone. He called upon Board members, Past Presidents, and founders, including Rocky Chin, Hon. Marilyn Go (Ret.), and Sylvia Chin to join him on stage to accept the award together on behalf of everyone at AABANY.

For three decades now, AABANY has been working tirelessly to support Asian Americans in the legal profession in New York. It means a great deal for the hard work of AABANY’s Board Members and Committee Chairs, the dedication of our members, and AABANY’s commitment to the overall Asian American Community to be recognized.

We congratulate and thank our entire AABANY family and our sponsors for supporting our mission and bringing AABANY to this Point. As Executive Director Yang Chen said in the video played before the award was presented, “this award is for everyone at AABANY.” 2019 marks the second time that AABANY received the Affiliate of the Year Award. AABANY first received this honor in 2008.

Congratulations to Karen Yau

On Thursday, Oct. 17, at the 40th anniversary gala for Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) Brooklyn Community Services, held at Affable Eatery in Brooklyn, Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair Karen Yau was honored for her work in support of the community. Many AABANY members and leaders came out to celebrate with Karen, including Pro Bono Committee Co-Chairs Pauline Yeung-Ha and Asako Aiba, Government Service and Public Interest Committee Co-Chair Kevin Hsi, AABANY Director of Technology and Professional Development Committee Co-Chair Francis Chin and Executive Director Yang Chen. Karen’s family, including her parents, were also in attendance.

AABANY also congratulates the other honorees at the gala dinner:

  • Dr. Gabriel Rincon, DDS
    Board of Trustees Chairman, The Family Health Centers at NYU Langone
  • Elizabeth Culkin, Principal, PS 176K
  • Hewett Chiu, Executive Director, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
    President and CEO, Academy of Medical and Public Health Services

Karen, in her acceptance speech, accepted the award on behalf of the Pro Bono Clinic, which has grown in number of clients served and number of volunteers participating, and which started serving clients in Brooklyn last month, in September. The next Brooklyn Pro Bono Clinic will take place on November 21. Please help us spread the word. More details here: https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1291193 If you are able to volunteer there, contact Asako Aiba at asako.aiba@aabany.org.