Staff & Commissioners

Cirian's Photo

Cirian Villavicencio, ChairCirian Villavicencio is an Associate Professor of Political Science at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. Active in politics, Villavicencio worked for the late Congressman Tom Lantos (12th-CA) and served as a graduate intern for the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus in the State Capitol. He worked on several statewide and national political campaigns and served on the Sacramento County Democratic Central Committee. He was elected as a state delegate to the California Democratic State Conventions in 2009 and 2010 and was elected twice as a delegate for the Democratic National Convention in 2008 and in 2012. Villavicencio also served as a citizen member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee (EEOAC) for Sacramento County. Villavicencio is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Wyoming specializing in the area of Adult Post-Secondary Education & Administration

MaiKa Yang, Vice ChairMs. Yang was born in Laos and at the age of six, immigrated with her family to the United States, making Fresno her home. Ms. Yang received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis which she studied community and regional development with an emphasis on community groups, organization and management. She received her Master of Arts degree in leadership studies from Fresno Pacific University. She has also participated in leadership and advocacy training with the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), California Asian Pacific Islander Policy Summit, and is a graduate of The Women’s Policy Institute, a program of The Women’s Foundation of California. She is a graduate of the Rockwood Leadership Institute’s California Leaders of Color program. Ms. Yang serves as a community relations consultant and advocate. Previously, she served as the executive director of Stone Soup Fresno, a nonprofit organization serving Southeast Asian refugee families in Fresno, California. She has over fifteen years of experience in nonprofit leadership, community building, development, and management. Compassion drives Ms. Yang to advocate on critical issues that impact Fresno’s Southeast Asian community such as educating elected officials about culturally appropriate health care, education, language access services, citizenship and civic participation. She is also committed to working with young people to develop and advance emerging leaders and advocates for California’s Central Valley region. Ms. Yang currently serves the community in the following capacities: board director of the Central California Asian Pacific Women (CCAPW) and scholarship committee co-chair, advisory committee member of the ABC news affiliate ABC 30-KFSN in Fresno, and a commissioner on the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs.


Rajan Gill, Secretary

Rajan Gill is a Historian and Professor at Yuba College. Gills academic career began at at the University of California, Davis where he served as vice-president to the History Honors Society. Gill completed his Masters in History at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he researched the Indian Diaspora in California. Gill specifically focuses on the Punjabi-Sikh diaspora in the United States, and how the groups perceived American Identity. He also has an interest in immigration and labor history. Gill is also a California farmer, producing peaches, prunes, walnuts, and almonds throughout the state.


Catherine ‘Ofa Mann, Treasurer

As founder and president of TOFA of Sacramento, Ms. ‘Ofa Mann spearheads the effort to support the growing numbers of Pacific Islanders in the greater Sacramento area. Her leadership roles include numerous community nonprofits as well as the Sacramento City Unified School District. She is the first Pacific Islander named to a California commission. In 2010, the California State Assembly presented Ms. ‘Ofa Mann with the API Heritage Award for Excellence in Public Service.


Steven Ma

Mr. Ma founded ThinkTank Learning in 2002, growing it into a multi-service education firm providing academic tutoring, test prep, and college consulting services with offices in the Bay Area and China. Actively involved in education issues and advocacy, Mr. Ma served as chair of the International Leadership Foundation. In 2011, he and ThinkTank Learning received special recognition at the 7th Annual Greater China Economic Excellence Awards ceremony held in 2012 in Beijing.


Tamiko Wong

Tamiko Wong is the Executive Director of the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. She has recently completed the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute (APAWLI) fellowship program and is currently serving on 4 boards and the California Commission on Asian & Pacific Islander American Affairs. Wong is a Chinese and Japanese American who was born and raised in San Francisco. She earned her B.A. from UC Berkeley, with a major in American Studies focusing on law, politics, and public policy, and minors in Asian American Studies and Education.

Karthick Ramakrishnan

Karthick Ramakrishnan is associate dean of the UC Riverside School of Public Policy, and professor of public policy and political science. He is also a Board Member of The California Endowment and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center. He received his Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University, and has held fellowships at the Russell Sage Foundation, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)

Ramakrishnan directs the National Asian American Survey and is founder of, which features demographic data and policy research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He has published many articles and 6 books, including most recently, Framing Immigrants (Russell Sage, 2016) and The New Immigration Federalism (Cambridge, 2015).

In addition, Ramakrishnan is founding editor of the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics (JREP), an official section journal of the American Political Science Association, director of the UC-wide program on AAPI Policy, and an appointee to the California Commission on APIA Affairs (2014-2017). He has written dozens of opeds and appeared in over 1,000 news stories, many in major news outlets. More information on his projects and academic writings can be found at


EunSook Lee

EunSook Lee is currently a consultant whose clients include the Asian American and Pacific Islander Civic Engagement Fund and Korean American Women In Need. For seven years, Lee served as the executive director of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, which promotes Korean American participation in American society.

Christina Wu

Christina Wu

Christina Wu is the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants and she was raised in San Diego. She
spent over a decade working in Massachusetts politics and government for U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Obama for America 2008 and U.S. Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III. Christina is currently a Project Coordinator at Sharp Health Plan. Christina is a graduate of Boston University and resides in San Diego. She is a co-founder of the Asian-American Women’s Political Initiative (AAWPI), which is a non-profit organization that trains, engages and empowers Asian-American women in politics and government. Christina also serves on the board of the Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society, whose mission is to promote culture, martial arts and youth mentorship throughout San Diego.

Johng Song

Past Commissioners

The current commissioners wish to pay homage to past appointed commissioners who have served since the Commission began operations in 2004.

  • Noel Alumit
  • Nitasha Sawhney
  • Diane Ujiiye
  • Kim-Yen Huynh
  • Mimi Song
  • Andrew Wong
  • Tana Lepule
  • Blong Xiong
  • Akemi Arakaki
  • Luisa Blue
  • Tami Bui
  • Fritz Friedman
  • Francisco Hsieh
  • Norman Hui (Founding Chair)
  • David Kim
  • Ann Nguyen
  • Paul Osaki
  • Courtni Pugh
  • Albert Seto
  • Philip Ting
  • Alexis Wong
  • Bill Wong
  • Charles Woo
  • Kirin A. Macapugay
  • Dianne Yamashiro-Omi
  • Jeffrey S. Kim
  • Judy Ki
  • Phong La
  • Chiem-Seng Yaangh