Wisconsin’s 38 Most Influential Asian American Leaders for 2024, Part 2


    This is the second of a five part series. Part One is here.

    Dr. Wajiha Akhtar-Khaleel

    Dr. Wajiha Akhtar-Khaleel is the assistant director of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, which drives statewide health equity initiatives throughout Wisconsin. She also directs of the Wisconsin Population Health Service Fellowship, two-year service and training program designed for early career individuals in public health and allied sciences. She joined the UWPHI in 2021 after several years directing what is now called, Thrive4LifeWi Study at UW, which sought to understand the infectious disease consequences of injection drug use in rural communities in Wisconsin. She has served on several boards, including One City Schools and HEART Women and Girls. As a Muslim American, Dr. Akhtar works with other Muslim faculty, staff, and students at UW-Madison to build and amplify their collective voice. She earned an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Miami and a Masters of Public Health and PhD, both in epidemiology, from the University of Florida.




    Dr. Sonal Chandratre

    Dr. Sonal Chandratre is the Chief Medical Officer at Ascension St Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton and Ascension Calumet Hospital in Chilton. Throughout her leadership roles, she has prioritized patient safety and quality healthcare and has been a strong advocate for associate wellness. She is a board-certified Pediatric Endocrinologist, trained to care for children with diabetes, endocrine and metabolic disorders, and a Certified Physician Executive from the American Association For Physician Leadership. She has earned the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality certification, the only nationally accredited certification in healthcare quality. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology and has been the founding director and educator for various courses at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She was awarded the coveted “ MCW Outstanding Medical Student Teacher Pin” teaching award for three consecutive years for her excellence in medical student education. She was also recognized with the “MCW Faculty Academic Excellence Award” for her contributions. She was awarded the Kern Institute Grant for her pipeline project for the underrepresented medicine trainees to increase their scholarly activities and publications in recognized journals. To support scholarly activity for trainees and faculty, she also authored a book titled “How To Get Published Without Doing Research” that is used by researchers from various disciplines for increasing their publications and progressing their careers. She has herself published several papers in peer-reviewed journals on pediatric endocrinology, medical education and healthcare. In 2022-23, she worked to achieve the healthy weight target in children within the Stevens Point area. She authored a kid-friendly, interactive, illustrated children’s picture book titled “Kids, C’mon Let’s Get Healthy! A complete kid’s guide to a healthy lifestyle” for children to help bring awareness about healthy lifestyle that received a positive response from children, families and fellow pediatricians including a special recognition from the American Board of Pediatrics. With grant support, she distributed 1,000 free copies to children in and around Stevens Point, and multiple hospitals and clinics around the United States are using this children’s book to educate children on healthy lifestyle in their communities. She is a familiar face to Wisconsinites through her media work in more than 50 newspapers, radio and television interviews bringing in awareness about current developments in healthcare. She is an invited national-level speaker on health, wellness, leadership, meditation and mindfulness with a special focus on empowering women at the level of mind, body and soul. She has also contributed to community health education programs and events through her mindfulness and meditation workshops as an invited speaker at high impact organization events including American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women in 2024. She has served on the American Board of Pediatrics committee, the only pediatrician invited from Wisconsin. She serves as a board member for Wisconsin Medical Society advocating for Wisconsin patients and healthcare professionals and also serves as the board member for the Mosaic Residency Program in Fox Valley supporting the training for Family Medicine residents within Wisconsin. She earned an M.D. in Pediatrics from Albert-Einstein University in New York and a D.C.H and M.R.C.P.C.H degree in Pediatrics and Child Health from the Royal College of Pediatrics & Child Health in London, UK.

    Holly Chen

    Holly Chen is a bilingual community connector for the City of Madison’s Department of Civil Rights, a role she took when it was first created in 2023. She joined the department of Civil Rights in early March 2020 and was responsible for the majority of the Chinese translations for the City of Madison. Chen was born in China and her family moved to Madison when she was 8. She also works as a freelance translator and holds a BA in English from UW-Whitewater.

    Vivek Ramakrishnan

    Vivek Ramakrishnan is cofounder and Co-CEO of Project Read AI, which uses artificial intelligence and the science of reading to teach young children how to read. He launched the company in January 2023 with support from a Stanford Impact Founder Fellowship. He was also cofounder and director of operations and strategy at One City Schools, an independent charter school in Madison. He earned a degree in economics from Columbia and an MBA at Stanford.

    Danny Tang

    Danny Tang is a shareholder and real estate attorney at Godfrey Kahn. He helps guide clients through acquisitions and dispositions of various types of commercial property across the United States, including, real property used for manufacturing and office purposes, commercial leasing transactions, commercial real estate financing transactions, and land-use and easement issues. Additionally, he has worked closely with Godfrey & Kahn’s Environmental Practice Group in connection with the acquisition and disposition of environmentally-impacted real property. He graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and went on to the University of Wisconsin Law School.

    Robia Vang

    Robia Vang is the Communication and Engagement Strategist at Brown County United Way, where she has been serving since October 2023. She is a part of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Committee at the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and is a member of the marketing committee for the Greater Green Bay Blueprint To Prevent And End Homelessness. Originally from Fresno, California, Robia made her way to Wisconsin in 2020 after working as an esteemed venue manager and event coordinator for a local winery. She holds an undergraduate degree in Recreation Administration with an emphasis on Event Planning from California State University, Fresno.

    Anna Yang

    Anna Yang is founder of Xee Group, a real estate services company in Green Bay, providing logistical and promotional support to realtors in the region. She launched the business in 2021 in honor of her late mother, with the intention of funding the Xee Foundation to support Northeast Wisconsin’s Hmong community. She got her start in real estate as a front desk temp in 2019, landing a full-time job at Keller Williams within two weeks. She earned a degree in business administration with a marketing emphasis from UW-Green Bay.

    Kristy Kumar

    Kristy Kumar is Equity and Social Justice Division Manager at the City of Madison’s Department of Civil Rights. She came to Madison in 2021 after two and a half years as assistant director for co-curricular initiatives at Brown University and a year as assistant director of educational programming at Colorado State’s Women and Gender Advocacy Center. She served a Fulright Scholarship in Malaysia in 2013. She served as co-chair of the social action team at Old Cambridge Baptist Church and a member of the executive board of the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking.

    Part Three coming tomorrow!