White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
(Under the Obama Administration)

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) was reinstated by President Barack Obama in 2009. Its purpose is to increase access to federal services and programs for underserved Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.

The Regional Network (RN) was conceived in 2013 for the purposes of connecting available federal resources to the AAPI community. The RN does this by working with a national network of 250 volunteers that consists entirely of career federal employees from approximately 44 agencies across all ten regions. This network conducts technical assistance workshops, information session, listening sessions, and issue specific roundtables.

The RN ultimately is a bidirectional model of effective community outreach for disseminating information as well as taking issues back to decision-makers within federal agencies, thereby creating a lasting impact both within federal agencies and across AAPI communities. 

I was selected to lead the design, launch, and implementation of a strategy that would enable the RN to continue their work beyond 2016. There were two parts to this project—designing the draft and launching the pilot. 

For the first part, I spent approximately four months leading an intensive design research process in order to better understand the origins, current state, and possible next steps for the RN. I conducted interviews, analyzed (qualitative) data, outlined personas, sketched prototypes, and, ultimately, created a framework specifically for the leads of the RN (or RN Leads)—a program called the Regional Network Leads Program (RNLP).

For the second part, I managed the implementation and launch of the pilot. The first year of this program was designed to include findings from initial research but to also include feedback and other ideas as it continued to evolve. An iterative framework was critical to the success of the RNLP as the program would be volunteer-led and entering a transitional period. 

The outcome was the RNLP—a network for the leaders of the RN (or RN Leads) by focusing on their holistic approach to each region/community, an intuitive model that invests in RN Leads, and a framework reliant on peers than on WHIAAPI. 

The concept of the RNLP was introduced spring of 2016, then formalized and announced summer 2016. It was coupled with a toolkit that is specific to the transition year (yr. 2017) in order to best prepare RNLP participants programmatically and administratively.

All of the above was implemented by December 2016.

Learn more here.

Position Designer-in-Residence
Role User Experience Design; Organizational & Systems Design; Research & Analysis; Facilitation; Project Management