Just a few months after vision mapping her path to becoming Mayor of Daly City, CA, during the final convening of the 2016 APAWLI Cohort, Juslyn Manalo was sworn in as the first Filipina Vice Mayor of Daly City, CA on December 12th 2016.


APAWLI sister Dona L. Hanaike, is an alumni from the 1998 fellows class.  One of twelve women selected for this class, she came from Honolulu, Hawaii.  Dona still lives and works in Honolulu, Hawaii but her life journey changed following her fellowship which she gives credit to APAWLI.  In 1998, Dona was an appointed government official working for the City and County of Honolulu.  She had worked in government for close to twenty years serving in various capacities (deputy attorney general, department head for several State and County government bodies) and was at a turning point in her life. The fellows experience helped her recognize the need for change and find the courage to leave government.  Within a few short months following her fellowship, Dona left government to run a small insurance business which she continues to run today.  Dona is owner and president of Ringler Associates Honolulu, which provides specialized insurance services to injured parties as part of an insurance settlement and has developed a respectedreputation among attorneys and insurance companies in Hawaii.   Dona calls this her day job which allows her to “pay the bills.”

Being a sole proprietor, however, allows her to dictate her schedule and hence, pursue her “passions”.  A firm believer in community service, Dona volunteers on projects and works her business around her passions.  Right now, she is the President of the Windward Spouse Abuse Shelter, an emergency shelter for abused women and their children (unfortunately, it is never empty).  Recently, she has also become very active in her church working on team-building projects.

On a personal level, Dona has one daughter, Alexa Zen, who recently followed in her footsteps and graduated from the Univ. of Hawaii School of Law (2010).  Alexa is working at a Honolulu law firm and will be getting married in one month.  As a teen, Alexa participated in an APAWLI teen program held in conjunction with the APAWLI Summit (in 2000?).   Dona is also an avid gardener and quilter which allows her to “de-stress” and work out her “obsessive-compulsive” tendencies!


Educating and registering voters to increase South Asian awareness
The Hindi word “savera” means “dawn.” For Manuela Albuquerque, the word serves as the acronym for the South Asian Voter Education and Registration Alliance she founded as her Leadership Impact Project. For many, SAVERA has brought the dawn of political consciousness. As Berkley’s City Attorney, for the…
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Fellow convenes writer’s groups for Filipina activists Jacqueline R. Agtuca, Esq. used her novel, The Spirits of Mango Grove, as a basis for discussion groups in several cities. The book reflects her experience as a second generation Filipina. Her goal is to promote literature that reflects their struggle for civil rights. Jacqueline is organizing four groups…
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Assistance for relocated Navy families Juliet Arboleda Beezley plans to develop an assistance program for families on the Naval Base 32nd Street and the North Island Air Naval Station in the San Diego area. She intends to help these families through orientation and introduction to their community, and to provide information about available services and the culture of their new home.


Vida Benavides is currently a principal at Dewey Square Group developing third party outreach strategies inclusive of multicultural constituencies and consumers, as well as advising national, state and local leaders on political, policy, communication, constituent outreach and public relations strategies. Previously, she was a consultant focused on developing diverse and alternative outreach approach to multicultural communities specifically, the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Vida co-founded APIAVote, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that encourages and promotes civic participation amongst Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the electoral and public policy processes.

Vida served as a top advisor in three Presidential Campaigns.  As a Policy campaign strategist, she designed the coalition infrastructure and developed strategies for the National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity (NAFVE) for passage of Filipino WWII Veterans Benefit Enhancement legislation which  President Obama signed in 2009.

Vida served as the Director of Public Liaison of the Department of Public Liaison, Voter Education, & Training for Democratic National Committee.  Vida also served as Deputy Director for Political Affairs for the Clinton/Gore Presidential Transition Team and as a Special Assistant for the Political and Constituency Outreach division for Clinton/Gore Campaign.

Vida has served on the board member of numerous organizations and currently serves as the leadership advisor to America’s Opportunity Fund, chaired by former Secretary Norman Mineta. She fosters emerging talent through leadership development involvement and activities such as Asian Voices, Asian Votes, an AAPI Democratic Network, National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies and Small Business AAPAC.

In 2010, Vida received an honor from the Ron Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development at NY Saint John’s Law School. Vida was an Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute Fellow, US-German Marshall Fund Fellow, and is listed as one of 100 Influential Filipina American Women.


Tuyet G. Duong serves as a Senior Advisor for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She leads the Initiative’s public private partnership and immigration work.  She has over 9 years of experience in the government and nonprofit sector on human rights, civil rights, and immigration policy. Previously, she served as a Policy Advisor at the Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties for three years, where she worked on immigration benefits issues, border policy, language access, detention reform, and emergency response issues. Before that, Tuyet was the Senior Staff Attorney for the Immigration and Immigrant Rights Program with the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC).  For two years, she also provided immigration legal assistance for a national ethnic nonprofit, BPSOS, Inc., in Houston, Texas, representing torture survivors and survivors of trafficking and domestic violence. Tuyet previously clerked at the Department of Justice Executive Office of Immigration Review in Los Angeles, California and at the Texas Civil Rights Project. She has also authored pamphlets on language access and disaster and an article on family immigration in the Asian American Policy Review of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.  She holds a J.D. from the University of Texas Law School and also a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Texas. Tuyet is a graduate of the 2011 National APAWLI class.


Nandika will be leading brand and communications strategy for MetLife’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives globally. As the Director of Communications for CSR, she will be responsible for ensuring an integrated communications approach that aligns core principles of the corporation with those of the MetLife Foundation. An experienced communications strategist with over 15 years of experience, Nandika recently moved to MetLife from Citi, where she spent the last 10 years. At Citi, Nandika was the Director for Communications in Citi’s Global Community Relations (GCR) division. There she was responsible for maximizing Citi’s community impact through communications in a variety of media, inc


Aloha! Born and raised in Kapahulu `Oahu, Kylee lives in Papakolea with her husband and two sons. A graduate of Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawaii at Manoa (BEd and MLIS), she currently works at Punahou School as an Archivist and am the Assistant Director of PUEO (Partnerships in Unlimited Educational Opportunties), an innovative and exciting public-private school partnership that inspires and equips middle-school students toward successfully obtaining a higher education experience.  Currently she is the Governing Board Chair for Hakipu`u Learning Center, a Hawaiian-focused charter school and actively participate in “Kukulu Ke Ea A Kanaloa” the restoration of Kaho`olawe. Kylee is a 2012 APAWLI Fellow.


Her most recent appointment was by President Barack Obama in July 2010 to serve as Chair of President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Daphne also served as the Executive Director of Asians & Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California (APIDC) for the last five years. APIDC seeks to give a voice and a face to AAPIs with disabilities.  She fought to break down the stigma in the AAPI community about disabilities and to provide technical assistance to organizations that want to effectively work with AAPIs with disabilities.

Prior to APIDC, Daphne served as the Executive Director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) in San Francisco from 2005-2007. At AIISF, she worked to preserve and restore the Angel Island Immigration Station and to promote the role that it played in shaping America’s past and present.

Daphne is also a former Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), where she focused on increasing political participation of the APIA community and working with API elected officials from school board members to Members of Congress.  Prior to APAICS, she was the Executive Director of OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates,  a non-profit, civil rights organization with more than 10,000 members.

A graduate of Wesleyan University in East Asian Studies and Music, Ms. Kwok is the first Asian American to serve on its Board of Trustees. She is a 2000 National APAWLI Fellow.


Jean  is founder and managing principal of life’s journey, LLC. – a life coaching company supporting individuals who are in transition and seek to reinvent themselves. Since founding the company in 1995, she has successfully supported clients in developing clarity – a deeper level of self-awareness, purpose, and direction. Jean combines her professional training in racial-cultural identity development, ontological coaching, and 15 years’ corporate experience in her work.  Her early years in Taipei, Bangkok and Manila provided the foundational aspects of her multicultural orientation.

Active in her community, Jean has served on the board of the Asian American Federation; as vice chair of The Center for Asian Pacific American Women; and supports many other cultural and educational non-profit organizations.  She is a member of the Golden Circle Council at American Ballet Theatre.  She has lectured on career management strategies, presented at the national summit of The Center for Asian Pacific American Women, the annual convention of National Association of Asian American Professionals, as well as the Asian Diversity Conference and Career Expo. Jean is also a member of the International Coaching Federation.  

Jean received a B.A from Moravian College; an M.A. in International Relations at The Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver; and an M.A and Ed.M. in Psychological Counseling from Columbia University. She was a 2002 Fellow of the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute. She received post-graduate certification training at the College of Executive Coaching; and in Ontological Coaching with Newfield Network Inc.

 In her spare time, Jean enjoys raising orchids, attending the ballet and opera, and sharing a good meal with old friends. She lives with her husband, Lawrence, in New York City.