Happy International Women’s Day! From President Trump’s Cabinet to our grassroots programs, APA women are unifying our communities and showing the nation that the Republican Party is diverse and thriving with talented women across the country. As proud APA women, we continue to represent the values of the Republican Party and work toward keeping Republican majorities this November. Take a look at a few of our outstanding APA women below:
Elaine Chao, United States Secretary of Transportation
The Honorable Elaine L. Chao, the 24th U. S. Secretary of Labor who served from 2001-2009, is the first American woman of Asian descent to be appointed to a President’s Cabinet in our nation’s history. On January 31, 2017, she was confirmed as the 18th U.S. Secretary of Transportation. An immigrant who arrived in America at the age of eights peaking no English, Secretary Chao received her citizenship at the age of 19. Her experience transitioning to a new country has motivated her to dedicate most of her professional life to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to build better lives.
Nikki Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations
Ambassador Nikki R. Haley is the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations. She serves as a member of President Donald Trump's Cabinet and National Security Council. On the United Nations Security Council, Ambassador Haley is working to defend Americans' interests and keep our country safe. She spearheaded negotiations for the unanimous passage of the strongest sets of sanctions ever placed on North Korea -- cutting off the regime's exports by 90 percent and its access to oil by 30 percent.
Kimberly Yee, Arizona State Majority Leader
Arizona State Majority Leader Kimberly Yee represents Arizona's 20th Legislative District. She is the first Asian American woman elected to serve in the Arizona Legislature in our state's history. Senator Yee is the second woman to serve as Senate Majority Leader since U.S. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor held the position in the Arizona State Senate in 1973.
Helen Van Etten, Co-Chair, AAPI Conservative Leadership Caucus and RNC National Committeewoman from Kansas
Committeewoman Helen Van Etten was elected in 2008 as the Kansas Republican Party national committeewoman. She served as a delegate at the 2008 and 2012 Republican National Conventions. She has also served on the Budget Committee, the Rules Committee, and RNC Site Selection Committee, and attended the 2012 RNC Executive meeting.
Shirlene Ostrov, Chairwoman of the Hawaii Republican Party
Chairwoman Shirlene Ostrov is a retired Air Force Colonel and current Chairwoman of the Hawaii Republican Party. She graduated with Master's Degrees from George Washington University and Troy State University and received her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Florida.
Esther Lu, Strategic Communications Coordinator for the California Republican Party
Esther Lu works for Republican National Committee as the Asian Pacific American Field Coordinator and for the California Republican Party as the Strategic Communications Coordinator. She became involved in politics through grassroots campaign efforts for city and state level races. She founded and chaired the first College Republicans chapter at her community college and interned for both the California State Assembly and U.S. House of Representatives. Lu currently serves in the U.S. Army Reserves and is also a UC Davis Army ROTC Cadet.
Harmeet Dhillon, RNC National Committeewoman from California
Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon was elected to the California Republican Party's Board in 2013 and became the National Committeewoman for the Republican National Committee in 2016. She also gave the opening prayer at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Punjabi, a first at the RNC.
Amata Radewagen, Congresswoman and RNC National Committee Woman from American Samoa
Congresswoman Amata Radewagen was elected as American Samoa’s third Member of Congress on November 4, 2014. She is the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from American Samoa and the first Republican woman of Samoan descent in Congress. She is also her party’s highest ranking Asian Pacific elected federal officeholder in the nation. Radewagen has been the most senior member of the Republican National Committee since 2012 and holds the orator (talking chief) title of Aumua from the village of Pago Pago in American Samoa, where she is a registered voter. In winning 75.4% of the vote in her 2016 re-election, she attained the highest number of votes for any elected office in American Samoa history.
Keiko Orrall, State Representative and National Committee Woman from Massachusetts
State Representative Keiko Orrall became the first Asian-American woman elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2011. As a four-term lawmaker, Representative Orrall is a strong advocate for her district building bipartisan bridges and focusing on policy over politics. She led an effort to stop Massachusetts’ participation in PARCC, a national testing consortium, which allowed Massachusetts to control its own educational policy and standards.
Seema Verma, CMS Administrator for the United States Department of Health and Human Services
Seema Verma is an American health policy consultant and the current Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, serving in the Trump Administration. She is the founder and previous CEO of SVC Inc., a health policy consulting firm, now known as Health Management Associates (HMA).
Jennifer Carnahan, Chairwoman of the Republican Party of Minnesota
Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan was elected Chairwoman of the Republican Party of Minnesota in April, 2017. Her prior political experience includes running for the Minnesota State Senate and serving as a National Delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2016.
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