About Us

We are an officially recognized USDA Forest Service Employee Resource Group who believes that inclusivity & diversity are an asset and sources of strength for our Agency. Our identities provide national and global perspectives on land, natural resources, civil rights, and workforce management and allow us to honor the motto of our Agency in "Caring for the Land and Serving People." We honor the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) who have served in the Agency, strive for common ground, proactively address opportunities and resolution, and promote inclusive engagement and collaboration among Forest Service employees, Agency leadership, and our AANHPI public. Through our actions we can contribute in bridging social and cultural differences and demonstrate our values through our accomplishments.


  • To promote Asian American/Pacific Islander employee career development, leadership, talent management, and retention in the USDA Forest Service

  • To enhance the USDA Forest Service’s cultural and inter-generational competency in serving its employees and diverse public

  • To provide a forum for those interested in Asian American/Pacific Islander issues and opportunities to network, mentor, share common ground, seek solutions and cultivate a sense of community

Constitution & Bylaws:

A special “Thank-You” is in order to the APAEA task group who helped draft the APAEA Constitution & Bylaws in February 2011. Their insightfulness, keen sense of logic, and patience helped finalize the version that was accepted by USDA. APAEA also thanks those who provided feedback and review of the early versions.

Cliff Alagar (Region 6), Bov Eav (PNW Research Station), John Kusano (WO Research & Development), Judy Suing (Region 4), Wes Wong (Region 6), Mary Marrs (Region 6)

APAEA was established in 1993 by USDA Forest Service Chief, Dale Robertson, as an officially-recognized employee group within the Agency. APAEA started as a grassroots effort in California and grew to include employees across the Regions, Research Stations, State & Private Areas and the Washington Office (WO). Six Chairs have served APAEA, beginning with Corey Wong (Region 2), Liz Agpaoa (Region 8), Dale Hom (Region 6), Mary Marrs (Region 6), Yewah Lau (Region 3), Liz Berger (WO), Chinling Chen (Region 5), and currently Irvin Fox-Fernandez (WO). Throughout the years, the Chairs served with the assistance of an Executive Committee, Advisory Group, members throughout the Agency, and APAEA champion Jerry Sesco (WO Research and Development). Deputy Chief of National Forest System, Leslie Weldon, now advises APAEA at the national executive level.

Some accomplishments include:
-Championed the selection of the first Asian Pacific American (APA) Forest Supervisor in the Forest Service

-Partnered with Regions 5 & 6, PSW & PNW Research Stations, and WO to implement the national APA Community Outreach and Program Delivery project to increase participation of the Asian public in Forest Service programs

-Championed the UC Davis Multicultural Workforce Strategic Initiative for the recruitment of APA students

-Sponsored educational, cultural, heritage, natural resource, and community events with employees, APA community leaders, scholars, students, & cultural organizations