What can I expect as an APAEA member?

You can be part of an organization that is bigger than you. 

One that encompasses an extremely diverse group of individuals from different walks of life and brings together a fantastic array of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives while bringing about change that can have lasting impact in the Forest Service. 

You can expect to gain 

leadership experience, 

build camaraderie, 

lasting friendships, 

extensive networks across the nation

all while having a lot of fun in the process. 

As in many organizations, everyone participates at their level of comfort and ability. This means that everyone contributes in some way to move all of us forward. What you get out of APAEA depends on what you choose to put into it.

I’m concerned about being identified as a “minority” group. Are we are segregating ourselves from others & highlighting that we are “different”?

APAEA provides a safe and empowering forum to discuss and address issues around race, gender, ethnicity, culture, inclusion, and discrimination that may be considered taboo in the normal work environment. 

APAEA is not exclusive to Asian members and we are open to discussion on uncomfortable topics, identifying issues, and brainstorming solutions. 

As we work with Forest Service leadership, we want them to know that our strength is in diversity and inclusivity which can provide new ways to solve problems, build consensus, and create change

Being different means bringing something different to the table; 

Let’s do it!

What are the benefits & opportunities of participating in APAEA?

We can officially take action toward 

promoting Asian/Pacific Islander employee development

enhancing the FS’s cultural and intergenerational competencies,

providing a forum for communication, networking, and 

cultivating a sense of community, 

this is significant because our mission fits under the auspices of the work that the Work Environment & Performance Office conducts. 

APAEA may also get visibility since we’ve already offered assistance to the Cultural Transformation team in identifying and reaching out to Asian communities next year. Once established, we also hope to refer APAEA members for participation on national details, task teams, and projects.

What are the challenges for APAEA now and into the future?

Trying to keep the "grassroots" feeling amongst APAEA members that everyone has a perspective to be heard, the opportunity to participate, and the ability to contribute to make change is crucial. However, the Asian/Pacific Islander community consists of a broad array of ethnicities, cultures, and heritages, that finding consensus could be a challenge on issues or decision making that accommodates the full spectrum of APAEA’s diversity. 


developing unity and a common voice 

while also 

connecting Forest Service APIAs 

who are spread throughout the nation while also ensuring 

APAEA is a safe and trusted place for members to engage

in is of the upmost importance.

What is the time commitment expected from the Chair and Executive Committee?

APAEA has always had a strong “grassroots” approach to the work we do. 

With this, time commitment will vary depending on motivation of the individual, however the Chair and Executive Committee members are required to serve a two-year term. 

The first couple months of a new Committee will require time to build capacity and transfer leadership and information to new members; likely a handful of hours. EC Meetings and Working Groups typically happen once a month (though not always), so two hours would be a minimum to meet those two events. Additional time would be required for EC members working on projects.

Can I participate in APAEA activities during my work hours?

Participating in APAEA-sponsored activities such as meetings, voting, teleconferences, task groups, or performing as Chair or Executive Committee is appropriate during work time with your supervisor's approval

Departmental Regulation DR-4020-251-01 provides direction under “Ethics and Conduct Rules” that employees must have supervisor’s approval to use official time or administrative leave to participate in organization-sponsored events. You can also choose to flex your work hours, use your break time, or use other personal time to participate. Overall, by participating in APAEA, you are promoting diversity and inclusion which is the central tenant of the Work, Environment and Personnel Office.

Since we don’t have dues, how are we going to fund projects, travel for meetings, training, etc?

Innovative and creative ways to establish informal and formal partnerships with national programs, Regions/Stations/Areas, other employee resource groups, and other federal agencies, are necessary to leverage to meet APAEA mission and scope. 

Seeking parity and alignment with others who share similar breadth and depth will help to sustain and build upon what APAEA does.