Former National President and Executive Director, Organization of Chinese Americans
After receiving his Ph.D. degree in Georgia and 5 years of post-doctoral training in New York, Michael continued his professional career as a biomedical scientist at the National Institutes of Health for the next 35 years. Over the years, his research was cited in his mentors’ Nobel Prize lectures. In 2006, he retired as a Program Director with the responsibilities of nurturing cutting-edge research in cardiovascular field.
In addition to his biomedical career, Michael has served actively in leadership positions of several non-profit organizations nationally and locally over the years. Most recently, Michael chaired the 1882 Project (2011-13) which was spearheaded by a steering committee consisting of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, Committee of 100, Japanese American Citizens League, National Council of Chinese Americans and Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), with pro bono legal support from Covington & Burling LLP. The project successfully secured the passage of Congressional Resolutions, in the Senate and in the House, expressing regrets for the injustice of the Chinese Exclusion Laws, first enacted in 1882, and reaffirming Congress’ commitment to protecting the civil rights of all persons.
For more than two decades, Michael has assumed various leadership roles within OCA, including serving as the National Executive Director (2006-08), as the first Chair of the Building Campaign (2003-04) and as the National President (1995-98). By establishing an Internship Fund, he expanded OCA’s highly popular internship program. In 1996, under his leadership, OCA spearheaded a National Voter Registration Campaign, co-sponsored by 18 National Asian Pacific American organizations. This campaign ultimately evolved into a separate organization which is now the APIA Vote.
Locally, Michael served as the Chair of the Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs in Maryland (1998-2002) and also served as a member of the Board of Trustees Montgomery College for 12 years and as its chair (2009-11). Currently, he is a member of the Leadership Council of the Center for History of New America at University of Maryland, Montgomery College Life Sciences Park Foundation Board and the Board of Directors of KID Museum.
His wife, Ellen, recently retired as the General Manager of a hotel in Bethesda for more than 20 years where Michael was a Managing Partner of this Hotel Partnership. Their son, Christopher, is an aerospace engineer working at Boeing in Seattle with their two grandsons and their daughter, Jennifer, is a research and practicing physician in Portland, Oregon.