Committee of 100 Comments on the U.S. Department of Commerce Settlement with Former Researcher Sherry Chen
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Committee of 100 Comments on the U.S. Department of Commerce Settlement with Former Researcher Sherry Chen

12th November 2022

New York, NY (November 12, 2022) — Committee of 100, a non-profit organization of prominent Chinese Americans, today issued the following statement surrounding the unjust termination and prosecution of Ms. Sherry Chen.

Ms. Chen was a researcher who was wrongfully accused in 2014 of spying for China and terminated from her role at the U.S. Department of Commerce. On November 10, 2022, the lawyers for Ms. Chen announced that she reached a historic $1.8 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Commerce for her wrongful prosecution and subsequent termination from the National Weather Service.

Committee of 100 has been outspoken about the case about Ms. Chen dating back to 2014, calling for congressional inquiries around her wrongful termination, and supporting Ms. Chen through its Legal Defense and Education Fund.

“For nearly a decade, Sherry Chen has fought for justice, for her career and for clearing her good name and today justice has prevailed,” said Gary Locke, Chair of Committee of 100 and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce. “The unfounded charges against Sherry Chen should have never happened in the first place. I commend Secretary Raimondo for doing the right thing in restoring Sherry’s good name and reputation and for not fighting a judge’s determination that Sherry did nothing wrong.  Committee of 100 is proud to stand in the corner of Sherry Chen and all the other Chinese American researchers and scientists across the U.S. that are being looked at suspiciously because of their race and not on any substantial facts or findings.”

“America is harmed, not helped, when scientists of Chinese or Asian descent are falsely accused of wrongdoing without adequate evidence or protection,” said Zhengyu Huang, President of Committee of 100. “Even when acquitted, many lose their financial safety and careers – just like what Sherry Chen has experienced.  We are extremely pleased for Sherry and her family for the vindication, but there is still much work to be done in support of other scientists of Chinese or Asian descent who are wrongfully accused.”

In a study co-led by Committee of 100 and Andrew Chongseh Kim, an attorney with Greenberg Traurig, LLP, analysis from 1996 to 2020 of 276 individual defendants in 190 cases shows those with Chinese and Asian names are punished more severely and arrested at a higher rate than Western defendants.

Also in 2021, Committee of 100 and the University of Arizona released survey results of nearly 2,000 scientists and researchers that found 42% of scientists of Chinese descent felt racially profiled by the U.S. government, while only 8% of scientists of non-Chinese descent felt so.

About Committee of 100

Committee of 100 is a non-profit U.S. leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, healthcare, and the arts focused on public policy engagement, civic engagement, and philanthropy. For over 30 years, Committee of 100 has served as the preeminent organization committed to the dual missions of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life and constructive relations between the United States and Greater China. Visit or follow Committee of 100 on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Instagram for more information.

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Charles Zinkowski

Sr. Director of Marketing & Communications

Committee of 100

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