AARP on July 2, 2013, announced that it appointed Daphne Kwok as the new Vice President, Multicultural Markets and Engagement effective July 8. Daphne will lead AARP’s outreach to Asian Americans 50+.
“Daphne brings with her an extensive history of community activism and leadership in the Asian American and Pacific Islander American (APIA) communities,” said Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, AARP’s Executive Vice President, Multicultural Markets & Engagement. “We are very excited to have her return to Washington, DC and become part of our team.”
“I am honored to be joining AARP, an iconic national voice for 50+ individuals. Our APIA community needs to become a part of the AARP network so that we can benefit from the extensive resources and services. As our population grows, our 50+ segment grows, I look forward to focusing my work on empowering a revered part of our APIA family,” stated Daphne Kwok.
Her most recent appointment was by President Barack Obama in July 2010 to serve as Chair of President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Ms. Kwok has also served as the Executive Director of Asians & Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California (APIDC) for the last five years. A non-profit based in Oakland, APIDC seeks to give a voice and a face to AAPIs with disabilities. Ms. Kwok has fought to break down the stigma in the AAPI community about disabilities and to provide technical assistance to organizations that want to effectively work with AAPIs with disabilities.
Prior to her tenure at APIDC, Ms. Kwok served as the Executive Director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) in San Francisco from 2005-2007. At AIISF, she worked to preserve and restore the Angel Island Immigration Station and to promote the role that it played in shaping America’s past and present.
Ms. Kwok is also a former Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), where she focused on increasing political participation of the APIA community and working with API elected officials from school board members to Members of Congress. Prior to her services at APAICS, Ms. Kwok served for 11 years as Executive Director of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), a non-profit, civil rights organization with more than 10,000 members.
A graduate of Wesleyan University in East Asian Studies and Music, Ms. Kwok is the first Asian American to serve on its Board of Trustees.