2023 Silicon Valley Conference and Gala: Seeking Common Ground in Turbulent Times

2023 Silicon Valley Conference and Gala: Seeking Common Ground in Turbulent Times

Buck Gee
Maeley Tom
Kenneth Fong
Ming Hsieh
Deborah Liu
Linda Tsao Yang
Eric S. Yuan
Yu (Ben) Meng
Margaret Wong
Co-Chairs and Planning Committee Members

About the conference

Each year, Committee of 100 hosts an annual Conference and Gala, serving as a prominent event for those seeking insights on the state of Chinese Americans and the current and future condition of the U.S.-China relationship.

Held at the Signia by Hilton San Jose from May 5-6, the 2023 Conference and Gala was dynamic and well-attended, with over 520 guests present.

From around the world, we welcomed distinguished academics, government officials, philanthropists, and leading professionals, all joining us for two days of discussions, keynotes, and networking sessions, and a night of celebration at our Gala.

The Conference and Gala was co-chaired by the following exceptional Committee of 100 members: Buck GeeMaeley TomKenneth Fong, Ming Hsieh, Deborah Liu, Linda Tsao Yang, and Eric Yuan. The Planning Committee Members included Buck Gee, Maeley Tom, Ben Meng, Margaret Wong, Linda Tsao Yang, and Winston Chang.

Please feel free to view and download the PDF versions of the 2023 Conference and Gala programs here:

A special thank you to our members, speakers, sponsors, and attendees for making the 2023 Conference and Gala not only memorable, but also a notable success.

Committee of 100 Members and President Zheng Huang
Committee of 100 Next Generation Leaders, member Cyndie Chang, President Zheng Huang, and Director of Programs Ray Zeng


Friday, May 5: Conference

This year’s theme of “Seeking Common Ground in Turbulent Times” framed the content of our conference, as we sought not only to pinpoint key issues facing Chinese Americans today but also to uncover timely solutions and strategies to directly address these issues.

We kicked off this event on Friday with welcome remarks from our President, Zheng Huang.

Committee of 100 President Zheng Huang


This welcome speech was followed by a keynote from California Assemblymember Evan Low, Chair of the California Asian American & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus. He began by discussing the devastating arson fire in San Jose that burned down the Chinatown on Market Street. He then proposed the idea that politics and state budgets reflect our values, and thus, we must promote the needs of our communities, utilizing politics in order to make our society better. Assemblymember Low additionally discussed his bill to make Lunar New Year a holiday in California, a step that many states have sought to replicate.

California Assemblymember Evan Low


Marguerite Gong Hancock, Vice President of Innovation & Programming and Director of the Exponential Center at the Computer History Museum, then spoke on the subject of Chinese Americans Building Silicon Valley, giving a rich presentation on how Chinese Americans have played a significant role in the development of Silicon Valley, from HP to Yahoo! to Zoom.

Marguerite Gong Hancock


This was followed by a morning session called, “Turbulent Times for Chinese Americans: Setting the Context,” where Dr. Jeremy Wu, Founder of APA Justice, presented the current circumstances of Chinese Americans living in the U.S., laying the groundwork for topics covered throughout the conference.

Dr. Jeremy Wu


Our first panel was “Raising Our Voices: The Model Minority Myth and Anti-Asian Hate,” moderated by Dr. Lanhee Chen, David and Diane Steffy Fellow in American Public Policy Studies at the Hoover Institution. The panel consisted of remarks by Stewart Kwoh, Christine Chen, and Kendall Kosai. Panelists articulated the domestic challenges faced by Chinese Americans and ways to uphold their civil rights in these times of turbulence.

(left to right) Dr. Lanhee Chen, Christine Chen, Kendall Kosai, Stewart Kwoh


The second panel highlighted Committee of 100’s Joint Survey with Columbia University: The State of Chinese Americans Survey. Titled “Disaggregated Data and the Chinese American: Joint Survey Findings with Columbia University,” it began with a presentation led by Dr. Qin Gao, highlighting the survey’s many findings and implications. The panel discussion that followed was moderated by Dr. Gordon Chang, and speakers included Dr. Qin Gao, Ditas Katague, and Brenda Choy.

(left to right) Dr. Gordon Chang, Dr. Qin Gao, Ditas Katague, Brenda Choy


After the second panel and following lunch, Congressman Ted W. Lieu delivered the conference keynote address. His speech centered on advancements within artificial intelligence and their substantial influence on society—particularly underscoring the implications of ChatGPT. In addition, Congressman Lieu discussed the importance of protecting both civil rights and national security in any regulatory regime. Kenneth Fong introduced the Congressman.

Congressman Ted W. Lieu


We then were joined by Handel Lee and Dr. Jay Xu for a discussion of  “Our Place on the Mall: Working Toward a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History & Culture.” This fireside chat focused on the importance of having a museum on the National Mall that represents Asian Pacific Americans, the progress thus far advanced by the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture and by the Friends of the National Asian Pacific American Museum, as well as the roads ahead.

Handel Lee, left, and Dr. Jay Xu


“U.S.-China Policy: Impact on Trade and Economics” was the third panel slated for the day, and this focused how U.S.-China policy impacts the speakers involved and their fields, as well as their suggestions on addressing key concerns. The panel was led by Committee of 100 member Nelson Dong and featured Margaret WongAndy Tang, and Catherine Pan, as speakers. They spoke about how U.S.-China relations impact economics and trade, as well as how these policies impact people on the ground in both countries.

(left to right) Nelson Dong, Margaret Wong, Catherine Pan, Andy Tang


After the third panel, our fourth was moderated by Committee of 100 member X. Rick Niu and focused on the idea that “‘Coopetition’ Is Real Between the U.S. and China.” Panelists included Ernie Thrasher, Murdo Gordon, and Jim Byron. These speakers examined how the two countries have been working on issues, such as climate change, energy revolution, food security, and public health, while also considering what more could be done to address such issues.

(left to right) X. Rick Niu, Jim Byron, Murdo Gordon, Ernie Thrasher


Finally, our last session of the day was “Working Towards a Better Future: A Fresh Look at Old Problems by Young Leaders,” which was a forward-looking and inspiring session led by Cyndie Chang. This discussion comprised a fresh look at old issues from the perspective of Committee of 100’s Next Generation Leaders. NGL presenters addressed what new and innovative solutions exist to achieve the goal of a brighter future for Chinese Americans and how these solutions can be executed and implemented effectively to create positive change.

Friday, May 5: Gala

On Friday, May 5, Committee of 100 hosted a black-tie gala and award ceremony centered around the theme of “Seeking Common Ground in Turbulent Times.” We were honored to have the acclaimed ABC7/KGO-7 TV news anchor and reporter Dion Lim and former Disney ABC-owned KGO-TV news anchor David Louie as our Mistress and Master of Ceremonies, respectively.


The Gala opened with radiant opera performances by Committee of 100 Next Generation Leaders Juliet Petrus, an award-winning and internationally recognized soprano, and Nicholas Phan, a world-recognized and two-time Grammy-nominated tenor.


Subsequent to the opening remarks by Committee of 100 President Zheng Huang and Committee of 100 Chair Gary Locke, the Gala award ceremony was kicked off by Committee of 100 members Kenneth Fong and Ming Hsieh, who presented Circle of Excellence Award for Humanity in Science & Technology. This award was presented jointly to Dr. J. Jean Cui, President and CEO of BlossomHill Therapeutics, and Dr. Peter Li, Chairman of BlossomHill Therapeutics, for their outstanding achievements in clinical science advancements for humankind on an international scale, while utilizing science, technology, and research for such advancements.


We were grateful to have Congresswoman Judy Chu as our keynote speaker of the night. She was introduced by Committee of 100 member H. Roger Wang, and she spoke to our gala attendees about her journey through politics and the key issues facing Chinese Americans today. Her speech was as inspirational as it was thought-provoking.


Our next honoree was Tony Xu, CEO and Co-Founder, DoorDash. Committee of 100 member David Sze served as our presenter for the Spotlight Award for Business Model Innovation that we awarded Tony Xu. This award is granted to a group or individual for work in developing a product or solution that fundamentally changes the traditional business model through technology, business processes, or direct B2B to B2C application, as Tony Xu has achieved with the creation of DoorDash. Jeff Yuan from DoorDash accepted the award on Tony’s behalf.


Next, Committee of 100 member Walter Wang presented the Pinnacle Award for Public Service to Congressman Ted W. Liu, United States Representative for California’s 36th Congressional District and Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. Congressman Ted Lieu embodies the spirit of this award, as it is given to the group or individual that puts the interests of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community at the forefront of their policy and politics, regardless of party.

Congressman Ted W. Lieu, left, and Walter Wang


To conclude the gala, Committee of 100 member Anla Cheng presented the Committee of 100 Chairman’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Arts & Culture to our member, Janet Yang, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The award is given to an exceptional group or individual who has a mission to advance the interests and promotion of minorities in the fields of arts & culture. Janet Yang’s work epitomizes the significance of this award as an Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Hollywood producer, as well as serving as a trailblazer and advocate for the AAPI community.

Janet Yang, left, and Anla Chang

May 6: Conference

After a networking brunch on the morning of May 6, we held a panel called, “Community Outreach with Local FBI: A Roundtable Discussion with Bay Area FBI and Asian American Leaders,” moderated by Buck Gee, Committee of 100 NorCal/NW Regional Chair. The featured speakers were Jeff FieldsReuben ChenDr. Fengmin GongPeter Michelson, and Brian Sun. The conversation centered on addressing two key issues: how to prevent U.S. technology and intellectual property from being stolen and how to mitigate the overly aggressive approach that has been adopted by the government in response.

(left to right) Buck Gee, Jeff Fields, Reuben Chen, Dr. Fengmin Gong, Peter Michelson, Brian Sun


Thank you to our longtime and new supporters as well as distinguished guests for joining us in Silicon Valley this year. We want to extend a special thank you to all of our sponsors for supporting this Conference & Gala.

We hope that you continue to be engaged with Committee of 100. To stay updated, please visit our website and follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, and Instagram.

We look forward to seeing you in 2024 in New York!

Photo credits: Harry Who Photography


May 5, 2023 – May 6, 2023


Signia by Hilton San Jose
170 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113