Christine Chin Ryan – Moderator

Christine Chin Ryan is a business owner, consultant and community activist.  For over 30 years, her company provided comprehensive IT software solutions, and currently provides consulting services in the area of equity, diversity, inclusion, facilitation, board review, and political strategy.  Among the many committees and organizations, she’s a part of, Christine currently is the first Chinese American to serve on National Organization for Women (NOW) Board of Governors, first Woman of Color and Asian Pacific Islander (API) President of Oregon Chapter of NOW, City of Portland COVID-19 Recovery Task Force (formerly Economic Impact & Intervention Task Force), I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project DBE/OJT Community Oversight Advisory Committee, Asian Amerian Unity Coalition Board of Governors, Executive Vice-Chair of Democratic National Committee Small Business Council, Chair of Oregon Small Business for Responsible Leadership, Lead Coordinator of API Community Leaders Coalition of Oregon, and  Moderator for candidates’ forums. 

Christine was the Lead Organizer for NOW/AAUC/CLUSA “Sisters in Suffrage Recognizing Diversity” Webinar 2020, Co-organizer for Portland Chinese Community “Vincent Chin Memorial & Solidarity with the Black Community” 2020, and Organizer for the White House Business Council Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders Business Roundtable 2009. 

Some of Christine’s former service includes Prosper Portland Council on Economic and Racial Equity, City of Portland Small Business Minority Evaluator Program, Co-organizer of Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) Portland Regional Leadership Academy, Vice-Chair of City of Portland Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission, Chair of Oregon Governor’s Small Business Council, an Oregon State Organizer of The Women’s March on Washington 2017, “March for Our Lives” Portland Rally Organizing Committee March 2018, “WALK with the Immigrants & Refugees” Community Planning Committee July 2018 and 2019, “PROTEST the Muslim & Refugee Ban” at Portland Airport Community Planning Committee January 2018 

John C. Yang

John C. Yang is the president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing
Justice | AAJC in Washington, D.C.

At Advancing Justice | AAJC, John leads the organization’s efforts to fight for civil rights and empower Asian Americans to create a more just America for all through public policy advocacy, education, and litigation. His extensive legal background enables Advancing Justice | AAJC to address systemic policies, programs, and legislative attempts to discriminate against and marginalize Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other minority communities.

Because of his expertise, John has appeared in over 50 different media outlets, including Tucker Carlson Tonight on FoxNews, PBS NewsHour, NPR, NBC News, USA Today, Time Magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Examiner, Houston Chronicle, and Huffington Post. He has received numerous national and local awards for his community and public service.

In 1997, John co-founded the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the direct service legal needs of Asian Pacific Americans in the D.C. metropolitan area. He served as chair of the Asian American Justice Center (former name of Advancing Justice | AAJC) and as general counsel for the Organization of Chinese Americans. John was president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
from 2003 to 2004, and since 1998, he has served as Co-Chair of NAPABA’s Judiciary and Executive Nominations & Appointments Committee. In that capacity, he has worked extensively with the White House and the U.S. Senate in securing the nomination and confirmation of over 25 Asian American and Pacific Islander federal judges and numerous other Senate-confirmed Presidential appointments.

He served in the Obama Administration as Senior Advisor for Trade and Strategic Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he was the principal advisor to Secretary Penny Pritzker on issues related to Asia and worked with the White House and other U.S. agencies on strategic and economics issues concerning the region. Previously, John was a partner with the Washington, D.C. law firm Wiley Rein LLP, and also worked in Shanghai, China for several years as the legal director for the Asia-Pacific operations of Illinois Tool Works – a U.S. Fortune 200 company.

John’s other leadership positions have included: Board Member, Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights (2017–present); Executive Committee, National Council on Asian Pacific Americans (2017-present); Member, American Bar Association House of Delegates (2008–2018; Minority Caucus Chair, 2014–16); Member, U.S. Census Bureau National Advisory Committee on Race, Ethnicity, and Other Populations (2017-2019); Board Member, ABA Rule of
Law Initiative (2013–2017). John also has served on the external diversity councils of BB&T, Charter Communications, Comcast NBCUniversal, and Verizon.

John graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School, where he served on the George Washington Law Review and the Moot Court Board.

New York Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou 

Yuh-Line Niou has spent her career working on legislative and advocacy campaigns. In 2016, Yuh-Line was elected to serve the 65th Assembly District, representing the following lower Manhattan neighborhoods: the Lower East Side, Chinatown, South Street Seaport area, Financial District and Battery Park City. She began working on state policy issues while in college, eventually accepting a position with the Washington State House Health Committee Chair. While there, she helped develop policies to expand senior access to prescription medication, improve women’s health care, and expand health coverage for low-income families. Yuh-Line then went on to work as an advocate and organizer on anti-poverty issues, where she helped build a broad coalition to fight predatory lending and assist low-income families build financial assets. 

In the Assembly, Yuh-Line has continued her advocacy work around financial empowerment. She has pushed to improve financial protections for consumers, particularly for unbanked communities. On housing, Yuh-Line has worked to secure funding for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) repairs, and has stood with tenant rights advocates for better housing regulations. Along with her colleagues, Yuh-Line helped form New York State’s first ever Asian Pacific American Legislative Task Force, which will focus on advancing issues impacting New York’s Asian American community. 

Gregg Orton

Gregg is the National Director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans where he leads the coalition in developing policy and communications strategy and advancing a joint agenda to address the needs of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. 

Gregg joins NCAPA after spending nine years working on Capitol Hill for Rep. Al Green (D-TX). He has served as a dedicated advocate for the AAPI community, as well as a mentor for many AAPI staffers in Congress. 

Gregg hails from Arcadia, CA and attended Vassar College where he earned his B.A. in Political Science. Following graduation, he came to DC as an Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) Housing Fellow and joined Rep. Green’s office. He most recently served as the Congressman’s Chief of Staff.