Board of Directors 2020 - 2021
APABA-DC is governed by a Board of Directors composed of 10 officers elected by the active membership and 23 attorneys appointed into non-voting positions by the President and confirmed by the elected officers.
President and Elected Officers
President: Erica Lai is Counsel at Cohen & Gresser LLP, specializing in antitrust, class actions, and white collar defense. Erica’s broad litigation experience includes class action allegations of price-fixing under the Sherman Act, commercial contractual disputes in the financial services, utility, and railroad industries, and False Claims Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act defense. She also maintains an active pro bono practice, focusing on civil rights issues. Erica earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and her B.A. in Public Policy Analysis from Pomona College. Previously, she clerked for the Honorable John M. Walker, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Honorable Michael M. Baylson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and practiced for several years at Covington & Burling LLP. Erica has served on APABA-DC’s Nominations, Education, and Public Policy and Advocacy Committees, and currently serves on the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center’s (APALRC) Board of Directors, the Legal Advisory Board to the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), and the Women.Connected Advisory Board to the American Bar Association Antitrust Law Section.
President-Elect & Secretary: Ethel Hong Badawi is Co-Founder & Principal of Pollack Badawi Group, LLC a legal recruiting firm based in DC. Ethel has dedicated her professional life to helping individuals find careers that inspire joy and growth. She works attorneys in strategic decision making to advance their professional careers and find their professional home at law firms, businesses, and the government. In addition to her role as Secretary for APABA-DC, she has served as a Co-Chair of the Membership Committee, Diversity Committee, and Career Development Committee of the Women’s Bar Association in DC. She is a faculty member at the College of Professional Studies at The George Washington University and is a frequent presenter on career and professional development for legal professionals. She has held leadership roles at the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), the Washington Area Legal Recruitment Administrators Association (WALRAA), and the American Association for Paralegal Educators (AAfPE). Ethel has a B.A. in Spanish and Economics from Wellesley College and a J.D. from The George Washington University.
Immediate Past President: Dawn Yamane Hewett is Of Counsel at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP with over a decade of experience successfully representing clients in complex investment treaty and commercial arbitrations, multi-jurisdiction litigations, and high-stakes government investigations. She represents and advises sovereign governments, state-owned enterprises, and private parties with disputes from all around the world. From 2014-2017, she was the Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Commerce where she handled a broad range of issues, including trade and investment, anti-corruption, appellate litigation, export controls, digital economy, responsible business conduct, cybersecurity, and privacy. Prior to her government service, Dawn worked for another major law firm and clerked for Judge Margaret M. McKeown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Before law school, she worked at the Princeton Project on National Security; Sierra Leone’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and Front Line, a human rights organization. Dawn received her J.D. from Yale Law School, Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University, M.Phil in Ethnic and Racial Studies from Trinity College Dublin, and B.A.s from the University of Washington. She is fluent in Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Vice President for Communications: Brian S. Kang is a litigation associate in Hughes Hubbard & Reed's Washington, D.C. office. Brian counsels clients on anti-corruption, securities enforcement, and corporate governance matters. Brian has experience in assisting Fortune 500 and CAC 40 corporations with their internal investigations and third-party due diligence efforts. Brian received his B.S. in Finance and M.S. in Accounting from New York University Stern School of Business, and his J.D. from the George Washington University Law School, where he served as the Executive Managing Editor of the George Washington International Law Review.
Vice President for Community Affairs: Anjum Unwala serves as counsel at Capital One with a focus on advising the credit card division of the bank regarding consumer complaints to state and federal regulatory agencies. Prior to joining Capital One, Anjum was an associate at the law firm, Hogan Lovells, and counseled corporate clients on government investigations and commercial litigation. Anjum received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and her B.S. in Finance and International Business from New York University.
Vice President for Education: Lloyd Liu is a partner with Bennett Doyle LLP, a litigation boutique in DC. His practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, government investigations, and complex civil litigation. Lloyd received his J.D. from Georgetown Law and his B.A. from Boston College. Aside from serving on the Education Committee, he also has served on APABA-DC’s Community Affairs Committee. In addition to APABA-DC, Lloyd is an active member of the William B. Bryant Inn of Court.
Vice President for Membership: Arjun Amernath is an attorney at a boutique law firm in Washington, DC where he represents healthcare providers in administrative and regulatory matters. Arjun received his J.D. from the George Washington University where he was an editor on the Federal Circuit Bar Journal and his B.A. from Georgetown University.
Vice President for Programs: Yifang Zhao is an associate in the Litigation Practice Group in the Washington, D.C. office of Haynes and Boone. Her practice focuses on intellectual property issues related to pharmaceutical development and commercialization, from pre-suit analysis to litigation under the Hatch-Waxman Act. Yifang has represents policyholders in insurance recovery litigation. Prior to law school, Yifang had significant experience in the field of cardiovascular extracellular protein research. She also volunteered in Tibet, worked, and studied in Asia and Europe.
Treasurer: Philip Lee is a contract specialist at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Appointed Board Members
Assistant Vice President for Communications: Branden Ly is an Assistant State's Attorney in the Prince George's County State's Attorney's office. Prior to joining the State's Attorney's office, Branden served as a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Branden graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law and attended the University of Virginia, graduating with a B.A. in Foreign Affairs.
Assistant Vice President for Community Affairs: Melissa Nonaka is a DC-based immigration attorney with Lawler & Lawler, a firm located in San Francisco, CA. Melissa counsels US employers, including public and private companies, multinational corporations, start-ups and nonprofit organizations, on options relating to hiring and retaining foreign national employees through employment-based temporary and permanent visa sponsorships. She also advises individuals and their family members on immigration matters including family-based permanent residence and naturalization. Melissa represents clients before the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the US Department of Labor, and the US Department of State. Melissa received her JD and Certificate in Comparative and International Law from The Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law and her BA degree in Psychology with a minor in Hispanic Studies from Boston College. While in law school, she was a Legal Extern for the US Department of Labor's Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA), served on the editorial board for The Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy, and volunteered at the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC). Melissa was born and raised in San Diego, CA and is fluent in Japanese.
Assistant Vice President for Education: James Billings-Kang is an associate at Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He handles all stages of complex civil litigation at both the state and federal levels throughout the country. His trial and appellate experience has spanned a broad spectrum of legal issues: products liability, real estate, contract disputes, franchise, trade secrets and noncompete, securities, consumer finance, statutory rights, torts, and digital ledger technology. James takes great pride in his pro bono practice assisting immigrants and additionally serves the community by mentoring youth. He earned his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in Classics and Greek from Hampden-Sydney College and then his law degree from the University of Virginia, where he served on the editorial boards of the Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law and the Virginia Sports & Entertainment Law Journal. At UVA, James was also a member of the Center for the Study of Race and Law.
Assistant Vice President for Membership: Sarah Kang is an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins and a Co-Chair of the Women Lawyers Group in the D.C. office. Ms. Kang’s practice focuses primarily on mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions. Ms. Kang earned her JD from the University of Chicago Law School, where she served as president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. Prior to joining Latham, she was an associate in the private equity group of a large international law firm. Previously, Ms. Kang was a Teach for America corps member in New Orleans. Outside of Latham, she serves on the Young Professionals Committee of Special Olympics DC.
Assistant Vice President for Programs: Qingliu (Mary) Yang is a trial attorney at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, where she litigates cases and negotiates settlements involving electric utilities and oil and natural gas pipelines. She is a former associate with Covington & Burling and has a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a B.A. from Brown University.
Awards Committee Co-Chair: Vicki Nee is an associate of the Trademark, Copyright, Internet & Advertising Group in the Washington, DC office of Perkins Coie. Her practice focuses on trademark and copyright enforcement, domain name matters, prosecution, portfolio management, and licensing. She counsels clients in a variety of industries, including technology, consumer products, fashion, gaming, and entertainment. She received her JD from the UCLA School of Law and her BAs in Political Science and History from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). At law school, Vicki served on the boards of the Asian Pacific Islander Law Students Association (APILSA), the Asian Pacific Islander Law Journal (APALJ), and the Intellectual Property Law Association (IPLA). Vicki speaks Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese fluently
Awards Committee Co-Chair: Clinton Yu is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. His practice focuses on international trade matters, including customs and import regulations, export controls (ITAR/EAR) and economic sanctions (OFAC), national security (CFIUS), and trade remedies. Clinton earned his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center and his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.
In-House Committee Co-Chair: Shaila Ohri is an Assistant General Counsel at Exelon Corporation in the Washington, DC office. Exelon is a Fortune 100 energy company that operates in every stage of the energy business: power generation, competitive energy sales, transmission and delivery. Ms. Ohri is responsible for commercial and corporate transactions and her practice consists of negotiating agreements and handling complex transactions for Exelon and its business, particularly in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, financing transactions, venture capital, technology and licensing, and other corporate work. Ms. Ohri’s experience also includes work in the Office of Corporate Secretary of Pepco Holdings, a utility subsidiary acquired by Exelon, in corporate governance and securities, and in the General Law group in procurement, electronic discovery / litigation and antitrust, and intellectual property. Prior to joining Exelon, she was an Associate General Counsel at CapitalSource Finance, an associate at Dyer, Ellis & Joseph (combined with Blank Rome), and a clerk to the Honorable Herbert B. Dixon at the D.C. Superior Court. She received her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School where she was an editor for the Journal of International Law and Economics, and her B.A. from the American University.
In-House Committee Co-Chair: Purnima Boominathan
Government Attorneys Forum Co-Chair: Scott Lee specializes in securities, derivatives, and financial policy and regulation. Scott is currently Senior Counsel in the Division of Investment Management at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Before joining the SEC, Scott was Special Counsel in the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight at the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission. At the CFTC, he founded the Association of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the agency’s first affinity group. Prior to joining the CFTC, Scott was an associate in the Government & Internal Investigations Group at Alston & Bird. Before joining Alston & Bird, Scott was in the Regulatory Litigation Group of the General Counsel Department at Credit Suisse. He spent time on the Hill as Legislative Counsel to then Congresswoman Mazie Hirono. Prior to the Hill, Scott worked for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Scott received his LLM in Securities and Financial Regulation from Georgetown University Law Center, his JD from The American University, and his BS in Public Administration from The University of Southern California.
Government Attorneys Forum Co-Chair: Jay Prabhu has been a federal prosecutor for more than 14 years. He currently is the Chief of the Cybercrime Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, Virginia. Prior to government service, he was an associate in the D.C. office of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. Mr. Prabhu has been admitted to the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia bars. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a B.A. from Boston College.
Nominations Co-Chair: Tacie Yoon is a counsel in Crowell & Moring's Insurance/Reinsurance and Bankruptcy group.
Nominations Co-Chair: Minsuk Han is an attorney at Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, P.L.L.C. Minsuk practices primarily in the areas of antitrust law, corporate internal investigations, intellectual property law, complex commercial litigation, and appellate litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Minsuk served as a law clerk to the Honorable Andrew J. Kleinfeld on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Minsuk is a graduate of Cornell Law School and Seoul National University Business School. Minsuk has served on the Board of Directors of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund as President (2018-2019) and Vice President (2017-2019).
Partners & Senior Counsel Committee Co-Chair: Daniel Chung is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Dan’s practice focuses on white-collar criminal defense, internal investigations and compliance counseling, and commercial litigation. Dan previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he investigated and prosecuted a wide range of complex federal criminal cases. Dan grew up in suburban Los Angeles, and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He lives with his wife and two children in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Partners & Senior Counsel Committee Co-Chair: Tony Chan is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP where he advises clients in the life science, healthcare, investment management and technology sectors on public and private company mergers and acquisitions (M&A), private equity, growth equity and complex international and cross-border transactions, as well as on corporate governance and corporate finance. Tony serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law School where he has taught Takeovers, Mergers and Acquisitions since 2015. He is also involved in the community, serving on the board of the Arlington Arts Center and as vice-president of the Harvard Law School Association of DC. Tony grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and earned his JD from Harvard Law School and his BA in English from Tulane University.
Practicing Attorneys Resource Committee Co-Chair: Jiazhen (Ivon) Guo is an associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Ivon focuses his practice on telecommunication, media, and technology practice and advises on a broad array of products encompassing diverse technologies, including telecommunications, wireless communications, computer software, electronics, integrated circuit, and semiconductor manufacturing. Ivon has experience in all phases of patent litigation. Ivon also provides advice on compliance with United States import and export laws.
Practicing Attorneys Resource Committee Co-Chair: Yuzhe Pengling is an international trade attorney at the Washington, D.C. office of Alston & Bird LLP. Her practice focuses on trade remedy proceedings, customs compliance, and litigation. Yuzhe regularly represents clients before the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and federal courts.
Yuzhe received her bachelor’s degree in international studies from Peking University in Beijing, China, and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was an articles editor on the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law. While in law school, Yuzhe interned at the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Small and Solo Firms Co-Chair: Farheena Siddiqui is a criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Samuel C. Moore in Alexandria, Virginia. While the firm specializes in both civil and criminal litigation, Farheena’s practice is focused on criminal defense. Farheena received her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and her J.D. from The George Washington University School of Law. While at GW, Farheena practiced as a student attorney in the Domestic Violence Clinic and interned with the Legal Aid Society of D.C. Farheena is a member of the Rotary Club of Alexandria and co-chair of the Young Lawyer’s Committee of the Alexandria Bar Association. Farheena is fluent in Hindi and Urdu.
Small and Solo Firms Co-Chair: Jane Shin is a Litigation Associate at RuyakCherian LLP. Her practice primarily focuses on complex commercial litigation, patent infringement litigation, and antitrust litigation. Jane graduated from the George Washington University School of Law, where she was a student attorney in the Health Rights Law Clinic and received the Presidential Pro Bono Award for completing over 450 hours of pro bono work. In addition, Jane participated in the GW Law Cancer Pro Bono Project and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and served as a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Honors Board. Prior to joining RuyakCherian LLP, Jane was an associate attorney with a boutique litigation firm, representing individual plaintiffs and defending a U.S. federal agency in litigation involving employment discrimination, wrongful termination, and whistleblower reprisal. Jane is fluent in Korean.
Social Media and Newsletter Committee Co-Chair: Leslie Lee is an associate at Venable in the Intellectual Property group. A registered patent attorney, she has experience in patent prosecution, litigation, and counseling. Prior to law school, she was a patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and also worked as a test engineer of Nimitz-class aircraft carriers for a defense contractor. She received her B.S.E. in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University and her J.D. from University of Virginia School of Law.
Social Media and Newsletter Committee Co-Chair: Nidah Majid is a federal contractor for the Department of Commerce. She graduated from the George Washington Law School in 2017 with a focus in Intellectual Property.
Women's Forum Co-Chair: Angeline Chen
Women's Forum Co-Chair: Samantha Guo is the associate general counsel at China Telecom (Americas) Corporation. She advises her client on a wide variety of product, data privacy, commercial, and regulatory issues in north and south Americas. Before joining China Telecom, Samantha was the associate general counsel for a biotech company. She grew up in Beijing, China, and received her J.D. from University of Iowa College of Law and her B.A. from University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. She was the VP of Programs for APABA-DC and is currently a co-chair for Association of Corporate Counsel Career Development Forum.
Working Parents Forum Co-Chair: Tracey Fung is an associate at Williams & Connolly LLP, where her practice focuses on a variety of litigation matters, including complex civil litigation, government investigations, and internal investigations. Before joining the firm, Tracey served as a law clerk to the Hon. Francisco A. Besosa of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. She is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to attending law school, Tracey worked as a Paralegal Specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, Transportation Energy and Agriculture Section. Tracey earned her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and is originally from New York City. Tracey has also served on the Board of Directors of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund.
Working Parents Forum Co-Chair: Kimberly Hsu is an attorney-advisor in the Office of the Chief Counsel for Industry and Security at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She was previously a judicial law clerk for the administrative judges on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel. Prior to becoming a lawyer, she was an East Asia security specialist for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, and the U.S. Department of the Navy. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University while working full-time. Kim also holds an M.A. with distinction from King's College London, and a B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was selected as a Truman Scholar and Boren Scholar.
AEF President (ex officio): Adam Tsao is the founder of At Philosophy, where he advises businesses and individuals on business strategy, develops thought leadership content, and keynotes. He was previously a corporate attorney at Covington & Burling LLP and, prior to that, at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. He received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, where he received the Wharton Certificate of Management. Adam received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis.