Our Team

Ted Gong | Executive Director

1882 Reception Cov and B Ted GongTed Gong is Executive Director of the 1882 Project Foundation and President of DC chapter of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance.  Before retiring in 2012, Ted was a career diplomat in the U.S. Department of State where he served primarily in East Asia on policy and operational issues related to border management and security, migration and refugees, and consular affairs.  He has degrees in History, Asian Studies, and National Strategic Studies form the University of California, University of Hawaii and the U.S. Army War College.

Franklin Odo | Deputy Director and 1882 Symposium

Franklin OdoFranklin Odo was Founding Director of the Asian Pacific American Center at the Smithsonian Institution, 1997-2010. He was Interim Chief of the Asian Division, Library of Congress in 2011. Odo was among the few faculty members when Asian American Studies was established at UCLA, and has served as a professor of Ethnic Studies, History and/or American Studies at several universities, from the University of Hawai`i, to the University of Pennsylvania, Hunter College, Princeton, and Columbia Universities in the 1990s. He has published No Sword to Bury: Japanese Americans in Hawai`i during World War II, and most recently in 2013, Voices from the Canefields: Folksongs from Japanese Immigrant Workers in Hawai`i. He has a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Asian American Studies and a Distinguished Service Award from the Asian American Justice Center. Odo was appointed Humanist in Residence at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities at Brown University in April 2013. He currently leads a “Theme Study on Asian American Pacific Islanders” for the National Historic Landmarks Project of the National Park System.

Ali Smith | Communications Director

fullsizerenderAli Smith is the Communications Director at the 1882 Foundation. She is also currently a Museum Educator at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City, facilitating dialogue on immigration history and leading student, private and public visits to the museum. Prior to joining the Tenement Museum, she worked in Client Service at an investment management firm in Connecticut, and prior to that as a paralegal at an immigration law firm in Washington, D.C. Ali graduated from Georgetown University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese and American Studies, focusing on immigration history. She also has experience serving as a research assistant at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has previously interned with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Asian American Justice Center.

Stan Lou | Talk Story Director

Jan22,2013 069Stan Lou was born in Greenville, Mississippi, of immigrant parents from China. Stan earned Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan and had a career with the Federal Aviation Administration before retiring in Washington, DC. He is most proud of his three accomplished children who all reside in California now. Upon retirement Stan went to China in 2003 to teach English to university students and to learn about himself there for almost three years. He returned to the Washington, DC, area where he has committed himself to become busily engaged with understanding more about his heritage as a Chinese American. With that as his motivation, he has worked with the Asian Pacific American community to improve the quality of life for its members. Most of his focus has been with OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates, where he has served as co-president of the Greater Washington DC Chapter and is currently the Vice-President for Education & Culture on the OCA National Board. He worked with the 1882 Project and is active with a group that created the Talk Story series that engages the DC community in sharing the stories of their experiences living as APAs.

Ting-yi Oei | Curriculum and Text Books

unnamedTing-Yi Oei is a lifelong educator. He received his BA in History from Hamilton College and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University. He taught middle and high school social studies for 20 years and was a high school administrator for another ten in Virginia. Along the way he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Korea, was a Fulbright Teacher in Scotland, and spent a year teaching in the Dominican Republic. He was also awarded a one-year research fellowship at Teaching Tolerance, the education project of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. Now he is a curriculum consultant with a particular interest in improving the quality of teaching of Asian Pacific American history.

Michael Lau | Treasurer and Legal Advisor

Michael N. Lau is an attorney practicing intellectual property law and general litigation in the Greater Washington D.C. area.  Mr. Lau is a founding member of the 1882 Project Foundation.  He is also one of the national advisors of the 1882 Project working alongside members and organizations leading to the eventual apology to the Chinese Exclusion Act, as expressed in Senate Resolution 201 (Oct. 2011) and House Resolution 683 (June 2012).  In terms of leadership in his profession, Mr. Lau was twice elected to serve as the President of the Government Intellectual Property Law Association (GIPLA).  After stepping down, he is serving on its Board.  In terms of leadership in civic activities, Mr. Lau has served on the Board of the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia (CAPAVA), the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC), the International Leadership Foundation (ILF), and the Agape Evangelistic Association (APA).  Mr. Lau holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Iowa College of Law, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.  Mr. Lau also attended the George Washington University Law Center for graduate legal studies.

Melissa Lin | Special Projects

Melissa is a policy analyst in the Office of Policy and Strategy at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. She first became interested in immigration law in South Africa, where she assisted refugees and asylum seekers; she has since interned at the National Immigration Law Center and served a temporary detail in the immigration office of the White House Domestic Policy Council. Prior to law school, Melissa was a marketing and development associate for the YWCA of New York City and taught English in Nagasaki, Japan as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme. Melissa received her J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, where she was President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA), Co-Founder and President of the Immigration Law Society, and Secretary of the National Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (NAPALSA). She received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in Journalism and Studio Art.

John Kusano | Programs

Jason Fong | Special Projects

Haipei Hsu | Press and Publicity

Board of Advisors

   Walter Woo
   Shirely Woo
   Carolyn Chan
   Helen Eng
   Tony Eng

One thought on “Our Team

  1. Hi Elina! Thank you so much for your message and for reaching out to the 1882 Foundation with this useful information. I will send your message to Melissa and Jason. We really appreciate your feedback and hope that you will continue to contribute your ideas! We hope to see you at the next Talk Story event!

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