Year Joined

  • 1990

Awards

  • 2016 PRESIDENT’S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD ( OBAMA WHITE HOUSE ) 
  • 2015 APAPA LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD (ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER AMERICAN PUBLIC AFFAIRS ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 
  • 2014 90TH ANNIVERSARY AWARD CHINESE AMERICAN CITIZENS ALLIANCE 
  • 2006 CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 
  • 1997 FIRST ANNUAL ANGEL ISLAND AWARD, (ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN LEGAL CENTER) 
  • 1985 LILY LEE CHEN GOOD SCOUT HONORED BY SAN GABRIEL VALLEY COUNCIL BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA 
  • 1985 ADL DISTINGUISHED COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE OF B’NAI B’RITH 
  • 1984 CULTURAL EXHIBITION CHINESE WOMEN OF AMERICA 1834-1982 AT CAL STATE LA 
  • 1984 ASIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR, LOS ANGELES COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS 
  • 1984 OUTSTANDING CITIZEN, LOS ANGELES BASIN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY LEAGUE 
  • 1977 TELACU WOMEN’S ACHIEVEMENT AWARD ( THE EAST LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY UNION) 
  • 1973 TEN OUTSTANDING WOMEN OF WORLD BY LA CENTRAL CITY ASSOCIATION 
  • 1971 ORGANIZED THE FIRST CONFERENCE OF CHINESE IN AMERICA-PRESENT&FUTURE, USC 

Projects Invovled in

Boards Joined

  • Public Service:SECRETARY OF DEFENSE APPOINTEE, ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON WOMEN IN THE SERVICES, 1995 
  • SECRETARY OF STATE APPOINTEE, MEMBER OF BOARD OF GOVERNORS, EAST WEST CENTER, 1988 
  • SECRETARY OF COMMERCE APPOINTEE, INDUSTRY POLICY ADVISORY COMMITTEE, 1994 
  • COMMISSIONER, CALIFORNIA STATE WORLD TRADE COMMISSION, 1987 
  • BOARD ADVISOR, CALIFORNIA STATE EXPORT FINANCE OFFICE, 1987 
  • MEMBER, PLATFORM COMMITTEE, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION, 1984 
  • COMMISSIONER, CALIFORNIA STATE MORTGAGE BOND ALLOCATION COMMISSION, 1983 
  • MAYOR/ COUNCIL MEMBER, CITY OF MONTEREY PARK. CALIFORNIA, 1982 
  • MEMBER, CALIFORNIA SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON LONG RANGE PLANNING, 1982 
  • PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTEE, NATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL ON ADULT EDUCATION, 1978 
  • PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTEE, ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF WOMEN, 1976Community Service:FOUNDING BOARD MEMBER, COMMITTEE OF 100 
  • NATIONAL PRESIDENT, ORGANIZATION OF CHINESE-AMERICAN WOMEN 
  • MEMBER, LOS ANGELES COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS 
  • DIRECTOR, FOREIGN TRADE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 
  • FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, CHINESE- AMERICAN POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE 
  • BOARD MEMBER, COMMUNITY RELATIONS CONFERENCE OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 
  • MEMBER, KCET PUBLIC BROADCAST STATION COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD 
  • BOARD MEMBER, UNITED WAY OF GREATER LOS ANGELES 
  • BOARD MEMBER, THE HONG KONG ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 

LILY LEE IN THE NEWS

  • Lily Lee Chen highlighted as first Chinese American female Mayor in the U.S.

    December 22, 2016  |  China QW

  • Lily Lee Chen highlighted as first Chinese American female Mayor in the U.S.

    December 22, 2016  |  China QW

RELATED VIDEO

Lily Lee Chen First ever Chinese-American female mayor in the U.S.

李琬若

Mayor Emeritus

Monterey Park, CA

After a 27 year human services career with Los Angeles County, Lily Lee Chen became the first Chinese-American woman mayor in the United States in 1983. During her term, the city of Monterey Park was one of the seven cities selected by USA Today to receive the All-America Cities Award in 1985. During her career for Los Angeles County, Lily established the county's first Asian American Human Services Program, making the services accessible to the APA population. She was eventually promoted to the position of Families and Children's Services Administrator for LA County. In 1984, the Democratic National Committee appointed Lily to serve as a member of the Platform Committee. The 40-member Task Force on "Peace and Security" elected her as Chairperson. During the 2000 National Democratic Convention, Lily chaired the Asian Pacific Leadership Council. One of Lily's Presidential appointments include the National Council on Adult Education, where she proposed the ESL (English as a Second Language) Program to aid the new immigrant population in participating in the mainstream of American life. Her proposal later became a federal legislation. The Secretary of State appointed Lily as a member of the Board of Governors of the East West Center in Hawaii in 1998 to further the institute's understandings between the U.S. and Asian Pacific countries. While serving on the U.S. Industry Policy Advisory Board and a member of the California State World Trade Commission, she led many trade delegations to Asian Pacific countries. Lily was honored by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith in 1985, receiving the Distinguished Community Service Award for her commitment to encouraging harmony among cultural groups. In 2015, Lily was honored by APAPA with the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing her contributions and services to the community. Lily is a Founding Board Member of Committee of 100 in 1989.

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