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Federal Leadership Track | Featured Speakers
This training will provide federal employees with an opportunity to learn about some of the issues facing APA government employees.  Attendees are also invited to return on Friday for the B3: Emerging APA Professional and Employee Resource Groups Track, which will take a look at more general professional development concerns.

Recent Executive Orders Affecting the APA Communities

Sharon Wong is the Deputy Director for Coordination & Policy in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)'s Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI), the office that leads and manages the government-wide diversity and inclusion effort. Prior to this, she served for over 10 years as the Diversity & Inclusion Officer at NASA/GSFC, where she led the diversity and inclusion efforts to effect inclusion and full utilization of the diverse workforce, resulting in a #2 (out of 226) ranking for Diversity in the Best Places to Work in Government over the last 2 years. With over 25 years at NASA, her work experiences include 15 years as a Lead Software Integration and Test Engineer, and in Strategic Planning and Outreach at NASA/HQ.

Ms. Wong is a past Chair (and a lifetime member) of AAGEN, an organization of APA senior executives in government; the National Secretary for the OCA, a national social justice and civil rights advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of APAs; a Past President of the Greater Washington, DC chapter of OCA; and a Past President of the Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC). Ms. Wong was a Commissioner on the State of Maryland Commission for Women, and is a lifetime member of Federally Employed Women (FEW) and Blacks in Government (BIG). Ms. Wong is also the Diversity Co-Chair for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Board of Governors.

Ms. Wong has received the NASA/KSC Equal Opportunity Award, the Astronaut Silver Snoopy Award, and an Outstanding Leadership Award from NASA/GSFC. She received her B.S. in Physics from Wheeling College in West Virginia and her M.S. in Engineering Systems Analysis from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. She also has a Diversity Management Certificate from Cornell University.


Veronica Villalobos was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in October 2010. She currently holds the position of Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). In that capacity, she manages OPM’s government-wide diversity effort to develop, drive and monitor strategies and initiatives designed to create a more diverse and inclusive Federal workforce. Prior to her current position, Ms. Villalobos was employed at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission) as one of the agency’s first Honor Program Attorneys. In 2008, she served as the Chair of the Federal Hispanic Work Group, which was charged by the EEOC Chair with examining the Hispanic community’s systemic concerns about federal sector employment and executive development.

Ms. Villalobos was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She graduated from Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Psychology. After graduation, she received the Telecommunications Fellowship with the Congressional  Hispanic Caucus Institute, through which she gained hands-on experience at the non-profit Public Technology, Inc. From 1997 to 2000, she attended American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C., where she earned her law degree. Ms. Villalobos is a member of the Maryland and Michigan Bars.

Audrey Buehring serves as Deputy Director for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. At the Initiative, Audrey serves as a liaison between the federal agencies and the Initiative by coordinating the Initiative’s Interagency Working Group. Additionally, she leads the effort to build and promote sustainable Asian American and Pacific Islander communities via federal programs.

Audrey came to the Initiative as a Presidential Management Fellow from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Before entering the public sector, she earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Auburn University and worked as an engineering program manager for General Motors OnStar. After taking OnStar from conception to production on several vehicle lines, Audrey returned to school to obtain an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Florida and a J.D. from the University of Denver

AAPI Affinity Groups: Creation and Collaboration

Elaine C. Wong currently serves as the Senior Program Manager within the Operations, Analysis and Consultative Services Branch of the Office of Civil Rights and Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement (OCRL/OTE) at the Transportation Security Administration under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  Ms. Wong provides programmatic oversight for EEO and civil rights programs for all TSA field offices and airport locations west of the Mississippi including the Pacific Rim.   She serves as a technical and policy advisor and subject matter expert to executive leadership and field management on the requisite laws, practices, and policies affecting equal employment opportunity, diversity management and inclusion, and the implementation of an agency-wide model EEO program. Additionally, she ensures agency compliance with Federal laws, DHS and TSA management directives and Findings of Discrimination against the Agency by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Ms. Wong also serves as the Program Manager for the Agency’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Special Emphasis Program.  In that capacity, she provides technical guidance to executive leadership, senior management and program offices in developing strategic initiatives to address the under-representation, development and advancement of qualified Asian American and Pacific Islander candidates and employees in the Federal workforce and eliminating identified barriers to employment and advancement.

Before her tenure at the Transportation Security Administration, Ms. Wong served as a Senior Project Manager within the Training and Management Assistance (TMA) Division at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  At TMA, she was responsible for providing technical assistance and management consulting for executive leadership within OPM as well as other Federal agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of the Interior, National Park Service (DOI-NPS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Justice (DOJ).  In her role as Senior Project Manager, Ms. Wong assisted Federal agencies in developing strategic initiatives and implementing programs to address comprehensive workforce training, performance management, organizational development and effectiveness, strategic human resource management, and human capital and succession planning.

Prior to her Federal service, Ms. Wong worked with the Government of the District of Columbia, where she served as a Program Analyst, in the Office of Policy, Legislative, and Statistical Analysis at the Department of Employment Services. In that capacity, she was responsible for the research, analysis and interpretation of legislation and agency-wide policies and audited the implementation and administration of various federally-funded and grant-funded agency programs affecting equal access to employment opportunities and workforce training for District residents.  Additionally, she served on the Inter-agency Task Force that was responsible for the development of policy and program guidance for the District of Columbia's city-wide One-Stop Service Delivery program, Welfare-to-Work (WtW) State Plan, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, School-to-Work program, Dislocated Workers Career Transition program, and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) initiatives.

Ms. Wong holds a Masters degree in Organizational Development from Bowie State University were she graduated Summa Cum Laude,  is a graduate of the USDA Graduate School’s Executive Leadership Program, and a native Washingtonian and long time resident of the District of Columbia.

Xuan Thai is a supervisor at the United States Patent and Trademark Office Asian Pacific American Network (USPTO) and has been an active member of the USPTO APANET since its inception. USPTO APANET was established in 2001 as an officially sectioned voluntary employee organization of the USPTO, a federal agency under the Department of Commerce. Its goals are to promote full and equitable representation of its APA employees; support diversity; educate its colleagues on the cultural and social heritage of APAs; and to foster a working environment free of prejudices and stereotypes.   She was one of its founding Board members and past presidents.  She currently serves on its Advisory Committee. Over a decade later, USPTO APANET had grown into one of the largest cultural employee voluntary organization in the federal government with nearly 900 paid memberships. 

Monshi Ramdass serves as the Director of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Diversity, Recruitment, and Work/Life Division. In 2010, he joined the USDA Office of Human Resources Management, Departmental Management.  As the Director, he was charged to direct and re-define USDA’s Diversity, Recruitment, and Work/Life initiatives. Since then, he has authored the "USDA Diversity Roadmap” which has become a cornerstone for Secretary Vilsack’s vision in regard to Diversity and Inclusion.  In addition, he has developed new cultural transformation programs and policies in Disability, Veterans, and Work/Life programs.  In his short time as the Director, he unified USDA’s Special Emphasis Programs by instituting annual compliance/accountability standards for Special Emphasis Programs and the Diversity Road Map. He created a coalition of strong National Diversity Partners, by successfully facilitating formal relationships, with Federally Employed Women (FEW), the Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC), the American Legion, Asian American Government Executive Network (AAGEN), Federal Managers Association (FMA), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Image Inc., Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE), Student Veterans of America (SVA), and Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL).

Despite limited staffing and resources, Mr. Ramdass led, directed, and successfully achieved the goals and initiatives necessary to meet and institutionalize the Secretary’s Cultural Transformation vision by creating key monthly metrics to measure progress in the employment of People with Disabilities, Veterans and underrepresented groups within USDA’s workforce.   In addition, he was responsible for creating USDA Monthly Scorecard that measures USDA Mission Areas efforts and strategies in Diversity, Veterans Hiring, Summer Student Intern Hiring, Telework Participation, and other key metrics that drives USDA’s Cultural Transformation Initiatives. 

Prior to serving in his current position, Mr. Ramdass served as a Special Emphasis Program Manager, Diversity Consultant, and Coordinator for the Defense Intelligence Agency.  While at DIA, Mr. Ramdass created a model program that is still in existence today. Mr. Ramdass served in the United States Army with distinction for 24 years in various capacities and leadership positions.  He has served as an enlisted Soldier and achieved the rank of Command Sergeant Major.  In 2006, Mr. Ramdass was honorably discharged from the United States Army. Mr. Ramdass holds a Masters degree in Human Resources Development and a Bachelors of Science degree in Health Service Administration. Currently, he resides in Gaithersburg Maryland with his wife Lisa Marie Ramdass. 

Winson Heng is a Principal in Deloitte Consulting Federal Government Services Business Unit. He has 25 years of experience providing systems integration and business performance improvement consultative services to Federal government clients. Winson currently leads several projects with the U.S. Department of State. The projects include custom development of business applications, business process reengineering, and acquisition and program management. He is also responsible for providing strategic guidance to engagement teams, maintaining key client/partner relationships, and technical delivery. Prior to his current role, Winson led the Transformation and Enterprise Solutions practice at BearingPoint. Previously, Winson served in the U.S. Navy and worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Winson serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Washington (GW) Ascend. He holds a BS in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from Oklahoma City University.

Tips for Writing Effective Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ)

Ellen Law recently retired after more than 20 years as a Senior Policy Analyst with the Chief Information Officer of the U.S. Department of Defense.  She has worked in the private sector at Fortune 50 companies, and as an editor for a newspaper with a circulation of 250,000. In parallel, for more than 25 years, she has been editor and writer of books and articles, and a consultant on writing successful resumes, ECQs, and curricula vitae.  She has been an Arlington County Schools lecturer on applying for Federal government jobs for five years, and a frequent speaker at conferences and job fairs to give advice on resumes and government job applications for almost a decade.


Achieving Your Professional Goals

Rosie Abriam became the President/CEO for The Center for Asian Pacific American Women in 2008. "The Center” is a non-profit organization dedicated to building leadership capacity within our communities. Previously, her career spanned multiple disciplines across government and corporate entities. Her background is in Biology & Computer Science. She left the technical sector to provide opportunities for women and our communities. However, she periodically consults on "technical projects of interest”.

Rosie holds multiple patents in manufacturing, software and laser applications. These patents were developed while working for New Focus, Inc., a startup photonics company in Silicon Valley where she led multiple projects in the US, Europe, Asia and South America.  Her work focused on laser development and fiber sensing applications in the biomed, oil & gas and civil engineering sectors.

Prior to New Focus, Rosie worked in the Geophysical Division of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) with Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability (ARAC), a national emergency response program. While at LLNL, she received multiple awards including the Distinguished Physics Award from the Director of the Lab. Rosie also teaches martial arts and is a Gura Fifth Degree of the Kamatuuran School of Kali. She is a 2002 Fellow of the Asian Pacific American Women's Leadership Institute (APAWLI) and a graduate of Leadership America 2007.  In 2009, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential Filipinas in America. 


Thomas Anthony (Tony) Waller is Senior Director, Corporate Affairs Constituent Relations for Walmart in Bentonville, AR.  In his position he actively works in helping to set strategy for the company’s outreach opportunities and social investments in diverse communities.  Tony joined Walmart December 2006.

Prior to joining Walmart, Tony worked for State Farm Insurance Companies in Bloomington, IL, where he was employed for 22 years. In his last position with State Farm® Tony served as Assistant Director of Community Alliances in Corporate Communications and External Relations.  He was responsible for all external efforts in multicultural communities as well as all efforts in Auto Safety, Disaster Preparedness, Community and Economic Development, and Financial Education. Tony serves as Chair of the NAACP ACT-SO Advisory Council.  In addition he serves on the Board of Trustees of Center for Asian Pacific American Women and the Board of Directors of the National African-American Women’s Leadership Institute.  With both of these organizations he was the first male ever selected to serve.  In 2000 Tony became the first recipient of the Spirit of Democracy Emerging Leaders Award, presented by the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. Also in that year, he was the recipient of the Leadership Award of the National Association of Black County Officials for his contributions to the community.  In July 2002 and 2010 Tony was the recipient of the Donald H. McGannon Award, the highest distinction given by the National Urban League to a corporate individual in recognition of one’s efforts in the community.  Tony is the only individual who has been given this award twice.  In 2011 Tony was the recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the Jessie Banks Foundation for his work in disadvantaged communities.  In 2012 Tony received the MLK Day Special Merit Award from the National Action Network as well as the Merge Award from The Merge Organization for his commitment to uplifting, inspiring and empowering others. 

A graduate of the University of Virginia, he is a diehard WAHOO. He remains very active with The University and served on the board of the Walter N. Ridley Scholarship Fund, named after its first African-American graduate.  In addition, he is a passionate collector of African-American and Latina art & sculpture, antique watches, vintage cuff links and children’s story books. Tony strives to live each and every day by the words of his mother, Barbara Jean Motley Waller, "Keep flowing with The River for The River knows exactly where It is going.” 

Leslie Moe-Kaiser,Corporate Public Affairs, manages State Farm’s relationships with national Asian American Pacific Islander organizations.  She partners with leaders to help create safer, stronger, and better-educated communities through teen driver safety, youth and adult leadership training, financial education and professional development offerings.

Leslie’s previous responsibilities include training, communications and Asian American marketing.  She also planned and implemented Asian communications and cultural patterns programming.  Prior to State Farm, Leslie founded a consulting firm that developed strategies for Fortune 500 companies entering the China market, and developed relationships with Japanese financial institutions to facilitate East-West trade.  Her first career was in academia specializing in Asian Art History and Asian Philosophies.

Leslie serves on the Business Advisory Council of OCA, National Advisory Council of the Asian American Justice Center, President’s Council of the Japanese American Citizens League, National Advisory Council of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, and is Board Co-Chair of The Center for Asian Pacific American Women.  She is a 2003 National Fellow of the Asian Pacific American Women's Leadership Institute, and listed in Who’s Who in the Humanities, 1992-93.  She is president of OSF St. Francis Medical Center Women’s Services Advisory Board, Peoria; past-president of OCA-Central Illinois, and served on the Illinois Valley Mental Health Association Board.

She holds a PhD in Educational Administration of Higher Education from Illinois State University.  Her MPh and MA are in Asian Art History from University of Kansas; her BBA in Accounting from University of Hawaii.  She did post-graduate studies at Sophia University in Tokyo. She holds the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation and is a USPTA certified tennis pro. She and her husband Greg have a son, Kurt, and daughter, Kristine.

Vicky Wong is President and CEO of DAE, a full service advertising firm that helps clients build brand equity and success in the Asian American market. With over 20 years of experience in marketing and advertising, Vicky has been recognized as an expert in providing strategic advice to businesses and organizations whose objectives include the Asian American market.

In addition to being a pioneer and a leader in her profession, Ms. Wong also cares deeply about issues impacting the Asian American community. She is currently a director on the board of Pacific Asian American Bay Area Coalition (PAAWBAC) as well as marketing advisor for Asian Pacific Fund and Asia Society. Under her stewardship, DAE has played a pivotal role in promoting public awareness of important causes, including hepatitis B, cancer, diabetes, the annual celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and The 1882 Project.  

Michael Cheok is currently a Deputy Division Director in the Division of Engineering at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  He has worked at the NRC since 1995. Prior to joining the NRC, Mr. Cheok worked for 17 years as a consultant performing risk analysis for the nuclear and chemical industries.  He started as a nuclear engineer at Virginia Electric and Power Company in Richmond Virginia.  He earned a B.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering and an M.S. degree in Reliability Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park.  

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