Wisconsin’s 40 Most Influential Asian American Leaders, Part 2


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

    Michael Nguyen is the Executive Director of Teach For America Milwaukee. Michael came to Milwaukee and began his career in the first cohort of TFA Milwaukee corps members in 2009. Formerly, Michael managed Admissions, Communications, and Fund Development as Chief of Staff at Carmen Schools of Science and Technology, a network of five public elementary, middle, and high schools. He taught in Milwaukee Public Schools and St. Anthony School after earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree from Marquette.

    Caitlin Mai Chong Lee is Director of Multicultural Student Services at UW-Eau Claire, a role she assumed in 2022 after 20 years working as an equal opportunity program specialist in the university’s Affirmative Action Office, while also assuming leadership roles in campus and community equity and diversity initiatives and programs. A 2003 graduate of UW-EC, she co-founded and chaired the Employee of Color Resource Group in 2021; co-founded and chaired the Hmong Women Summit: The Authenticity Project from 2015 through 2019, serves on the Eau Claire Area School District Equity Steering Committee and Family Advisory Committee; and on the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity Inclusion Task Force.

    Ankita Bharadwaj is a lawyer, advocate and activist in Madison. They joined UW Madison’s Office of Human Resources as BIPOC Employee Retention Specialist in November 2022. Ankita engages in creating programs, events and strategies to cultivate a sense of belonging for and with BIPOC employees on campus in an increasingly volatile political climate at the state and national level. Ankita graduated from the UW–Madison Law School in 2020 as an international student; served as the Vice President of Middle Eastern Law Students Association from 2016-2017; and served on many non-profit boards—including the Madison Community Coop, North American Students of Cooperation and as one of the inaugural members of the City of Madison’s Police Civilian Oversight Board that oversees the Madison Police Department. Recently, Ankita was appointed by Governor Evers to serve on the State Council on Affirmative Action to ensure the state’s compliance to affirmative action policies and laws. Ankita was also elected to be on the AAPI caucus board for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. This caucus elects Wisconsin’s Asian and Pacific Islander leaders to guide and advice the party’s efforts towards inclusion for the demographic. Before joining Equity,Inclusion and Employee Well-being, Ankita served as the Democratic Party’s Community Organizing Director of Dane County. Ankita worked to get Governor Evers re-elected for a second term with a record breaking voter turnout for Latino, Black, AAPI, Youth and Women in the 2022 midterms. Ankita also has their own show called Subtle Desi Traits that strives to amplify BIPOC, women and youth voices and talks about world affairs with a Desi perspective.

    Jennifer D. Naugle is the Deputy Administrator of the Division of Forensic Sciences in the State Crime Laboratories at the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Jennifer has been in the field of forensics for approximately 20 years, beginning as a DNA Analyst in a private laboratory in Virginia. Jennifer has worked on thousands of cases in her career including the World Trade Center Identification project and Cold Case Initiative for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Jennifer has also worked on various initiatives for forensic sciences in the state and currently serves on national committees for forensic science policy and national advocacy. Those committees include the NIST Organization of Scientific Area Committees and the National Technology Validation and Implementation Collaborative for Genetic Genealogy. Jennifer is currently the President of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors.

    Dr. Shobhina G. Chheda is associate dean for medical education at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She completed a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at Cornell University Medical College/North Shore University Hospital and received her master’s in public health at Saint Louis University School of Public Health. She joined the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health faculty in 2001. She has been a leader in medical education locally and nationally. She has received the School of Medicine and Public Health’s Dean Teaching Award and the Department of Medicine Schilling-Harkness Teaching Award. She was a founding member of the national Society of General Internal Medicine TEACH program for faculty development. She has received the Clinician Educator of the Year Award from the Midwest Society of General Internal Medicine and recently has been elected president for the national Alliance of Academic Internal Medicine/Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine. In her role as associate dean for medical education, Chheda is responsible for the overall development and management of curriculum and assessment for medical students. Chheda continues in her commitment to patient care through practice of both inpatient and ambulatory general internal medicine at the UW Health West Clinic.

    Angela Yang is STEM Center Coordinator at Madison College. A 2017 graduate of UW-Platteville – and first member of her family to graduate college – she joined the staff at her alma mater as coordinator of TRIO Student Support Services where she served and provided academic support to students one-on-one and in group settings, working closely with students from three different populations: first generation, low income, and students with disabilities. She also pitches in at Yang Seasonal Garden, her family’s vegetable business.

    Masaya Xiong is a Community Engagement Coordinator under the office of Equity, Inclusion, and Community Relations at Madison College. Her role primarily involves fostering relationships and partnerships with the Hmong and other Southeast Asian Communities, such as Cambodians, Vietnamese, and Laotians. Her main objective is to enhance representation and visibility within and beyond the campus community. IN addition, she also offers support for a wide range of community inquiries and engagement initiatives.She’s been part of the Madison College staff for more than eight years following stints with the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, Urban League of Greater Madison and UW’s PEOPLE Program. She was named a 2019 “Woman to Watch” by Brava Magazine.

    Moiz Dawoodbhai is an Associate at Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures. Moiz is focused on identifying and sourcing startups, due diligence and portfolio management for NMFV. Previously, Moiz was a Senior Consultant and Innovation Manager in Client Services Strategy at Northwestern Mutual. He led digital transformation efforts to create a personalized customer experience and design new engagement models by exploring insuretech and fintech offerings and co-creating with early-stage startups. Prior to joining Northwestern Mutual, Moiz was a part of the Innovation Team at Aurora Health Care, executing both joint ventures with health-tech startups and new product development. Moiz holds a BA in Marketing and IT from UW-Milwaukee and an MBA from Michigan State University. In his spare time, Moiz serves as the head coach of Milwaukee Metro, a youth basketball organization.

    Part Three coming tomorrow!