WASHINGTON - The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), which represents the interests of over 40,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys and 62 local APA bar associations, has installed its Board of Governors for the 2010-2011 bar year.
NAPABA's newly elected Officers, Regional Governors, and At-Large Members were sworn into office at NAPABA's Anniversary Gala and Celebration Dinner during NAPABA's 22nd Annual Convention in Los Angeles, CA. The dinner was hosted by actress Tamlyn Tomita (The Joy Luck Club), who was a lively Mistress of Ceremonies, and the swearing-in was preceded by an inspiring speech by the Honorable L. Tammy Duckworth, Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs. The Board of Governors were sworn into office by the Honorable Denny Chin, Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
The NAPABA Board of Governors is comprised of the Executive Committee, which consists of nine elected Officers, the Regional Governors, who each represent one of the nine NAPABA regions across the United States, and four At-Large Members. Brief biographies of the incoming Officers are included below, and more information can be found at www.napaba.org.
President: Paul O. Hirose is Of Counsel with Perkins Coie LLP, where he represents corporate clients in commercial litigation as well as business and transactional matters. Mr. Hirose serves as Marketing Counsel for Isuzu North America Corporation where he is responsible for business and consumer litigation, motor vehicle franchise and marketing, advertising, employment, and intellectual property matters. Before attending law school, Mr. Hirose was a licensed Certified Public Accountant in California and worked at Deloitte Haskins & Sells as a Senior Tax Consultant. Mr. Hirose served for several years as Treasurer of NAPABA and is a member of NAPABA's Leadership Advisory Council.
President Elect: Nemish M. Patel is the Division Chief of the Diversity Management and Operations Support Division of the Office of Civil Rights and Liberties for the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he manages the team that provides advice, training, and technical support for all TSA components to ensure compliance with civil rights and EEO laws and regulations. He also leads the agency's diversity-related efforts and coordinates diversity management with the Office of Human Capital. Previously, Mr. Patel was a member of the Labor and Employment Practice Group of an AmLaw 100 law firm where he specialized in diversity/risk assessment. He began his career as an Honor's Program Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, and he later served as a senior trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section. Mr. Patel's leadership includes serving as Vice Chair of the DC Commission on Human Rights, Member of the ABA President's Commission to Advance Diversity in the Legal Profession, Board Member of the NAPABA Law Foundation, and Co-Chair of the NAPABA Diversity Task Force. Mr. Patel was previously selected as one of NAPABA's Best Lawyers Under 40.
Vice-President for Finance & Development: Linda Lu is a Senior Attorney with the Corporate Litigation Division of the Law and Regulations Department of Allstate Insurance Company. Ms. Lu manages nationwide and statewide class action litigation challenging Allstate's policies, practice, and procedures, and is also a member of the Allstate Law Department Diversity Committee. Before joining Allstate, Ms. Lu was an attorney at Lowis & Gellen in Chicago. This will be her second term as NAPABA's VP of Finance and Development. Ms. Lu was previously a recipient of NAPABA's Best Lawyer Under 40 award. Currently, she is a Board Member of the Chinese American Bar Association and an appointed member of the District 34 Local School Council.
Vice-President for Programs and Operations: Emily T. Kuo is Associate General Counsel of M. D. Anderson Services Corporation, a nonprofit supporting organization to The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, focusing on health and corporate law. Following two terms as VP of Membership, Ms. Kuo will be serving a second term as VP of Programs and Operations for NAPABA. She also serves on the Council of the State Bar of Texas Asian Pacific Interest Section, the Board of Trustees of the Asian American Bar Foundation of Houston, and was the 2007 President of the Asian American Bar Association of Houston. Ms. Kuo was selected as one of NAPABA's 2007 Best Lawyers Under 40 and, from 2007-2009, was named a Texas Super Lawyer - Rising Star by Texas Monthly magazine. Ms. Kuo serves on the boards of directors for the Society for the Performing Arts and Houston Early Music.
Vice-President for Membership: Sumbal Mahmud currently serve as Counsel to the Minnesota Stroke Institute and manages a private client base in the U.S. and abroad. She is a consultant and frequently lectures and teaches seminars internationally.
Vice-President for Communications: Bryce K. Kunimoto is a partner in the litigation practice group of the Las Vegas office of Holland & Hart LLP. His practice focuses on commercial litigation cases involving contract disputes, banking law, trade secrets, partnership disputes, NASD/FINRA broker-dealer disputes, and construction law. He has represented large national banks, gaming companies, developers, hotels/casinos and technology companies. Mr. Kunimoto is a former NAPABA Regional Governor and was the Co-Founder and Co-President of the Asian Bar Association of Las Vegas.
Secretary: Bijal Vakil is the executive partner in charge of White & Case's Silicon Valley office and a member of its intellectual property practice. He represents entities of all sizes, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to Silicon Valley start-ups, in IP litigation, strategic counseling, and technology licensing matters. He represents clients in numerous district courts, the International Trade Commission, and before the Federal Circuit. Mr. Vakil is active in community organizations and devotes his time to pro bono matters and is a recipient of the Minority Bar Association's Unity Award and was named as one of NAPABA's 2010 Best Lawyers Under 40.
Treasurer: Camilla M. Eng serves as General Counsel to JM Eagle, where she leads the law department of the world's largest plastic pipe manufacturer and advises on corporate strategy and implementation. Prior to her current role, she served as a Deputy City Attorney for the Renewable Energy Group at the Department of Water and Power in Los Angeles, CA.
Central Region: Lawrence "LG" Almeda
Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, Ann Arbor, MI
Jeffrey Hsi, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, Boston, MA
Jin Hwang, Verizon Wireless, Morristown, NJ
Northwest Region: Michele Wong
Microsoft Corporation Law and Corporate, Redmond, WA
Southeast Region: Bill Simonitsch
K&L Gates LLP, Miami, FL
Southwest Region: George Chen
Bryan Cave LLP, Phoenix, AZ
Central California Region: Cyndie Chang
Duane Morris LLP, Los Angeles, CA
Southern California Region: Tirzah Lowe
Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, Irvine, CA
Eastern California Region: Danette "Dee" C. Brown
CA Department of Insurance, Sacramento, CA
Northern California Region: Kiran Jain
Office of the City Attorney, Oakland, CA
At-Large Board Members
At-Large Board Members
Andrew T. Hahn, Sr.
Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, New York, NY
Christopher C. Javillonar
Bryan Cave, Kansas City, MO
Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks & Lincenberg, Los Angeles, CA
Andrew A. Vu
SAP Business Objects, Palo Alto, CA
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 62 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal profession.