Meet The Center's Immediate Past Executive Director: Courtney Chappell


Courtney Chappell has over 15 years of experience supporting the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and advancing social justice. Most recently, as Deputy Director at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Courtney created a regional interagency working group that brought the federal government to the farthest corners of the country, linking local AAPI communities with federal services and programs, and becoming one of the Initiative's strongest legacies.

Courtney has spent most of her career in the public interest sector, advocating for women of color and vulnerable populations on a variety of issues through community organizing, coalition building, training programs, and policy advocacy. She served as the Deputy Director at the DC Employment Justice Center where she worked in coalition to help the District to pass comprehensive unemployment insurance legislation and a "ban the box" bill that prohibited discrimination against workers with criminal records. Courtney also served as the first Policy & Programs Director at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, where she spearheaded the organization’s reproductive justice program and developed a multi-pronged action agenda that included lobbying, grassroots organizing, and public education. Courtney was also an associate at James & Hoffman, P.C., where she represented unions and individual employees in all matters relating to labor and employment law.    

Courtney graduated magna cum laude from the American University Washington College of Law, where she was a staff member of the American University Law Review.  She has served on the boards of the Third Wave Foundation, the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project, and the DC Chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.  She is a recipient of a New Voices Fellowship and a Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship. Courtney currently lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and two daughters.

Courtney can be reached at