Wisconsin’s 38 Most Influential Asian American Leaders for 2024, Part 5


    This is the fifth of a five-part series. Part One is here, Part Two is here, Part Three is here and Part Four is here.

    Dr. Kaiping Chen

    Dr. Kaiping Chen is an Assistant Professor in computational communication at University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication, and a faculty affiliate at the Department of Political Science, the Data Science Institute, the UW-Madison Robert & Jean Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Wisconsin Energy Institute, the Institute for Diversity Science, the Center for East Asian Studies, and the African Studies Program. Since 2022, she’s served as the elected International Liaison and the chair for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Taskforce at the Computational Methods Division, the International Communication Association (ICA). She is the recipient of the AEJMC Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Early Career Woman Scholar Award. Her research uses data science and machine learning methods as well as interviews to study to what extent digital media and technologies hold politicians accountable for public well-being and how deliberative designs improve the quality of civic dialogues and mitigate misinformation and misperception. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Fudan University in China, a master’s degree from Columbia and a PhD from Stanford.

    Dr. Nathaniel Chin

    Dr. Nathaniel Chin is medical director and Clinical Core Co-Leader for the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) and medical director for the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP). While completing his internal medicine residency at the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Chin’s father was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD). His father’s condition influenced the way he began to look at his own career, and Dr. Chin decided to pursue a career as a geriatrician and scientist focused on dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Chin sees patients in the UW Health Memory Clinic three half-days a week. Dr. Chin is the host of the Wisconsin ADRC’s podcast, “Dementia Matters.” In each bi-weekly episode, he interviews local and national Alzheimer’s disease experts about research advances and caregiver strategies. Dr. Chin grew up in Watertown, Wisconsin, and earned undergraduate and medical degrees from UW-Madison. 

    Chundou Her

    Chundou Her is a graduate student in Curriculum & Instruction at UW-Madison, researching the intersection of storytelling, youth activism, art, transformative justice, and participatory methods. Through this work, the goal is to develop strategies, patterns, and pedagogy that can be incorporated into the classroom which works towards a liberation-based education versus conformity-based education. Her has presented at a number of national education research conferences.

    Krishna Kumar

    Krishna Kumar is general manager of the Madison Water Utility, a role he’s held since June 2021. He came to Madison after many years managing water utilities in California, including the Marin Municipal Water District in Corte Madera; the Valley of the Mood Water District in Sonoma; and the Sonoma County Water Agency in Santa Rosa. He earned an undergraduate degree in zoology and an MBA from Cochin University of Science and Technology in Kerala, India.

    Tu Le

    Tu Le is a realtor at Cooper Spransy and founder of Madison Art House, which aims to inspire kids’ artistic expression. A Madison native, she worked for many years as a fashion designer for Liz Claiborne, The GAP and Lands’ End. She has volunteered at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Goodman Community Center, Sustain Dane, Alzheimer’s Association, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services and the Home Buyers’ Roundtable of Dane County. She was a Brava Magazine Woman to Watch in 2016. She earned a degree in fashion design from the International Academy of Design and Technology-Chicago. 

    Pamela Vang

    Pamela Vang is an outreach and enrollment specialist at Partnership Community Health Center, an organization dedicated to providing accessible primary health, dental and integrated behavioral health in the Fox Cities. She joined PCHC earlier this year after a stint at United Way Fox Cities, where she served as Marketing, Community Relations, and Advocacy Project Manager. A long-time resident of Appleton, she graduated from Appleton North before continuing her education in early childhood education at Fox Valley Technical College. She then pursued her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where she served as a peer mentor and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

    Dr. Chai Lee

    Dr. Chai Lee is principal of Jack Young Middle School in Baraboo. He got his start teaching English as a second language in Minneapolis, where he went on to become and elementary school principal and high school assistant principal. He’s conducted more than 50 trainings on systemic racism for Hmong leaders and presented Hmong culture and history for many school districts, colleges and universities. He hosted a live radio talk show for 12 years and coordinated the Hmong July Fourth Sports Festival. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Winona State in Minnesota, a master’s from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and a doctorate in education leadership from Sain Mary’s University of Minnesota.

    That’s our list for this year! Who did we miss? Nominate people from your community for next year’s list! Just email a name and some info to [email protected].