About Us

The Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence is a national resource center on domestic violence, sexual violence, trafficking, and other forms of gender-based violence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. It analyzes critical issues affecting Asian and Pacific Islander survivors; provides training, technical assistance, and policy analysis; and maintains a clearinghouse of information on gender violence, current research, and culturally-specific models of intervention and community engagement. The Institute serves a national network of advocates, community-based service programs, federal agencies, national and state organizations, legal, health, and mental health professionals, researchers, policy advocates, and activists from social justice organizations working to eliminate violence against women.

Its vision of gender democracy drives its goals to strengthen culturally-relevant advocacy, promote prevention and community engagement, and influence public policy and systems change.

The Institute works to eliminate domestic violence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities by

  • increasing awareness about the extent and depth of the problem;
  • making culturally-and linguistically-specific issues visible;
  • strengthening community models of prevention and intervention;
  • identifying and expanding resources;
  • informing and promoting research and policy; and
  • deepening understanding and analyses of the issues surrounding violence against women.


hchan[at]api-gbv[dot]org | 415.930.4858

Hai Chan is the Accounting Manager at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence. She manages the full accounting cycle and payroll and prepares on-going financials and financial budgets and cost reports for federal and foundation grants. She is responsible for preparing the federal drawdown and quarterly, semi-annual and annual cost reports. Hai coordinates the organization’s annual independent audit, and other program audits as required. She works closely with the Executive Director and the Director of Finance and Administration.

Hai has 16 years of accounting experience, eleven of which are in non-profit accounting and financial management. She has BS degree in Accounting and Finance. Before joining the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence in 2015, she was Senior Accountant at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum for nine years.


Chic Dabby, Executive Director

cdabby[at]api-gbv[dot]org | 415.568.3315

Firoza Chic Dabby is the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence. She served as Director of the Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence from 2001-2013. Before that, she was Narika’s Executive Director and at the Psychological Services Center for 17 years.

Ms. Dabby has been in the field of gender-based violence for over thirty years acquiring expertise on domestic violence against Asian immigrant and refugee women; violence over the lifecourse and its effects on health, mental health, economic security, and help-seeking; international and domestic sex trafficking; intimate homicide; child custody; strategies for advocacy, community engagement, systems change, and movement building; program design and implementation; forced marriage; trauma-informed care; elder abuse; battered mothers in the child welfare system; and sexual violence, particularly in conflict and disaster zones. She writes, trains, and presents extensively about these and many other issues.

Ms. Dabby speaks Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and French with varying degrees of fluency. Between Bombay and Berkeley, she has lived in London, Cambridge, Paris and Kathmandu.


Biney Kaur Dev, Program Coordinator

bdev[at]api-gbv[dot]org | 415.930.4859

Biney Kaur Dev, Program Coordinator at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, provides administrative and logistical support to the organization as a whole and its various programs. She is responsible for coordinating national and statewide trainings, meetings and events, attended by advocates and other professionals addressing gender-based violence. She also works on statewide projects that enhance the leadership and service delivery capacity of advocates from across California, and the national/regional constituents that the Institute’s various programs partner with and serve. She has over a decade of experience in successful event planning and management. With a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley, Biney previously worked on the Immigrant’s Rights Project with the ACLU as well as with Human Rights Watch. In addition to her professional endeavors, Biney is also a community organizer and rising leader, actively involved within the Punjabi/Sikh community across North America, leading and developing programs to engage and support 1st and 2nd generation immigrant youth.



ghuang[at]api-gbv[dot]org | 206.420.7369

Grace Huang is the Policy Director at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, and is responsible for coordinating the Institute’s legislative, administrative and court policy advocacy. Prior to her position at API-GBV, Ms. Huang worked at the state level to advance the interests of survivors of gender based-violence in the Washington State legislature. She worked at the national level to address the needs of victims in the federal Violence Against Women Act and the Family Violence Services and Prevention Act, and to ensure that financial resources authorized in federal legislation are accessible to domestic violence programs providing services for immigrant survivors of domestic violence. Ms. Huang previously worked as an attorney, both in private practice and in civil legal services, representing clients in immigration, family law, government benefits, and housing cases.

Ms. Huang represents the Asian Pacific Institute on the steering committee of the National Taskforce to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, and serves on the Washington State Gender and Justice Commission of the Washington Supreme Court. Ms. Huang is the recipient of several awards: American Bar Association Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence 20/20 Vision award (2015); University of Washington School of Law Distinguished Alumnae Award from the Law Women’s Caucus (2013); and an inductee of the UW Law School Public Interest Law Association Hall of Fame (2008). She was recognized by the Washington State Bar Family Law Section as “Professional of the Year” (2005); received the Cynthia Gillespie Award from the Northwest Women’s Law Center recognizing her work advancing legal rights for women (2000); and, along with her colleagues received the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project “Golden Door Award” (1999) for her advocacy on behalf of immigrants.



skhan[at]api-gbv[dot]org | 415.568.3339

Sarah Khan is Senior Project Specialist at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence. Since 2014, she has designed and managed all aspects of the Culturally Specific Services Program (CSSP) project, including general, intensive targeted TA, and conducted site visits and training on cultural competency, building organizational infrastructure and partnerships. Before that, she led the Institute’s economic security program, Building Economic Security Together, a pilot project designed to build the financial capability for survivors of South Asian survivors of domestic violence. As the former Maitri Executive Director, she built a volunteer agency into a vibrant organization with a $600,000 budget; institutionalized financial and other policies and procedures; and implemented two CSSP grants. This has deeply informed how she understands and addresses challenges faced by API serving OVW grantees.

Sarah has a longstanding passion for grassroots advocacy, activism, gender and racial equity, and community education and empowerment, with 15+ years of working in the field. She has expertise in program design, development and management; with a focus on changes to people, organizations and systems across areas. Her passion is fueled by breaking silos and encouraging herself and others to address intersectionality in their work by addressing root causes of gender-based violence.  Originally from Kashmir, and settled in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family, Sarah is fluently multilingual in Urdu, Hindi, Kashmiri, and Tamil. She has a BA in History (Hons.), an MA in Political Science and an M. Phil in International Relations from New Delhi, India.



wlau[at]api-gbv[dot]org | 415.568.3338

Wendy Lau currently manages the Interpretation Technical Assistance and Resource Center (ITARC) at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence. She is responsible for providing technical assistance and training on implementing strategies and initiatives to ensure Title VI compliance, accessibility and culturally responsiveness for law enforcement, courts, and domestic violence programs.

During law school, she interned at the D.C. Language Access Coalition in Washington D.C. and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City. Prior to law school, she was the Program Coordinator at the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center where she was responsible for managing the Legal Interpreter Project and provided insight in the creation of the nation’s first community interpreter bank in Washington D.C. She was awarded the 2009 Asian Pacific American Bar Association Education Fund’s Robert Wone Fellowship for her commitment to community, making a difference in public policies, and improving the circumstances of those around her.



sluo[at]api-gbv[dot]org | 415.930.4855

Shirley Luo is the Resource Center Coordinator at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence. She is responsible for analyzing and presenting program data for the Institute, providing support for trainings and webinars, managing and updating Institute publications, and maintaining the organization’s website and communication strategies, including social media and listserv. Shirley received an M.A. in International Relations from NYU’s Department of Politics and a B.A. in History and Political Science from UC Berkeley. She has worked to coordinate responses to and investigations on international human rights violations, focusing on cases of sexual and gender-based violence in the Middle East and North Korea. She has also devoted her graduate studies to analyzing the advancement of human rights in international prisons, refugee communities, and non-state territories. Shirley is happy to be working at API-GBV to help address gender-based violence in API communities within the United States.



anoguez[at]api-gbv[dot]org | 415.930.4856

Ana Paula Noguez Mercado is the Interpretation Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (API-GBV). She is responsible for coordinating and facilitating trainings for interpreters and bilingual advocates, as well as providing technical assistance to diverse agencies and providers on building interpreter skills, and improving language access for domestic violence and sexual assault victims. Previously, Ana Paula worked at the National Women’s Institute (Mexico City) where she served as Adviser on Violence against Women, Access to Justice and Human Rights to the Institute’s President. Once in Los Angeles, she designed, implemented and oversaw the Domestic Violence Prevention Program at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), aimed at raising awareness and informing immigrant survivors about their legal rights.

Originally, from Mexico City, Ana Paula is fluent in Spanish, English and French. She has seven years of experience as a professional interpreter and translator for legal aid and non-profit organizations, public schools, universities, cultural institutions, among others. In 2014, she co-founded Antena Los Ángeles, a collective dedicated to language justice advocacy, training and consulting, as well as interpreting for the social justice context. She co-coordinates a network of volunteer interpreters/translators who support language needs in diverse settings in the Los Angeles area.

She has experience developing curriculum and facilitating trainings on language access, empowerment of immigrant and indigenous communities through access to legal remedies and political participation, as well as on diversity, cultural humility, implicit bias and access to reproductive health.

Ana Paula received her law degree from Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico City). She obtained a Master’s Degree in Gender and the Law from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona/CIESAS with a special research interest on language access and due process guarantees for detainee indigenous women in Oaxaca, Mexico. She received her LL.M. (Master of Laws) in Critical Legal Studies and International Human Rights Law from UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles, CA.



apalotai[at]api-gbv[dot]org | 415.438.7806

Ada Palotai is currently the Co-Manager of the Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Initiative at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence. Representing API-GBV as a Culturally Specific Technical Assistance Provider on a national White House-driven initiative to prevent domestic violence-related homicides, she coordinates targeted training and technical assistance on culturally specific issues in homicide prevention affecting Asian communities and on cultural competency best practices.

Ada began her career working to end violence against women in 2001, at a shelter-based victim advocacy organization in Los Angeles. During her tenure there, she served in a number of capacities, starting as front-line staff implementing new protocols to screen new welfare applicants for domestic violence and connect those identified to services, and moved quickly into management positions where she developed and oversaw critical programs, supervised and trained staff, wrote and administered grants, and ensured compliance with multiple contracts. With a talent for thinking of old problems in new ways, she was charged with identifying and filling gaps in services, often completely redesigning programs to implement best or promising practices, or creating new and innovative programs centered around primary prevention of violence and related social problems. She developed and pioneered cutting edge programming, and revamped agency policies and practices, so that the organization could have a more targeted focus – driven by root causes rather than symptomology – and to be more responsive to the evolving community. Most recently, Ada worked with leaders of multiple governmental and non-governmental organizations in Santa Monica, California, to implement a city-wide initiative aimed at changing cultural norms around masculinity and violence. Ada now lives in Oakland with her two dogs and pursues fashion as a hobby in her free time.


YEIN PYO, Immigration Project Coordinator

ypyo[at]api-gbv[dot]org | 206.829.9570

Yein Pyo is the Immigration Project Coordinator at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence. In this role, she provides support for the Institute’s legislative, administrative, and court policy advocacy initiatives. Yein received a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies and Psychology from Swarthmore College. She has devoted her studies, research, and work on advancing international human rights and addressing injustices and violence in areas such as immigration, human trafficking, and gender-based discrimination and harassment.



Senior Vice President | Futures Without Violence

Debbie Lee is the Board Chair of the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence. She has been at Futures Without Violence (formerly, Family Violence Prevention Fund) for 30 years. Her work focuses on prevention including directing the Early Childhood Initiative; and Building Healthy Teen Relationships to promote prevention to decrease relationship violence and increase positive, protective relationship skills. She designed and directed the National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence – strengthening the health care response to domestic violence and forging partnerships in 27 states working with public health departments and domestic violence programs and 25 health centers in Tribal communities across the country.

In 2010-2012, Ms. Lee was appointed to the Department of Justice National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women. She was a founding board member of the San Francisco-based Asian Women’s Shelter, the National Network on Behalf of Immigrant and Refugee Women, two California state coalitions, The Women’s Foundation and the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence. Ms. Lee was the recipient of the first annual California Office of Women’s Health, Helen Rodriguez-Trias 2002 Award for Excellence in Community-based Women’s Health Leadership. In 2012, she was one of the 20 Movement Makers in Move to End Violence.



Retired, formerly Senior Vice President | Futures Without Violence

Leni Marin served as Senior Vice President at Futures Without Violence, a national organization dedicated to ending violence against women and girls, where she worked for 30 years. She directed the organization’s Rights and Social Justice Department. An immigrant from the Philippines, she provided advocacy and education efforts to improve the lives of abused immigrant women and children. She developed public policy to improve the rights of immigrant women, including a major provision within the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and its reauthorization in 2000 and 2005. She also provided technical assistance to shelter workers, immigrant women’s rights activists, and social workers to make services more accessible to battered immigrant women.

Ms. Marin represented Futures Without Violence at international conferences, including the 1993 United Nations World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna where she organized the workshop, “Women on the Move: Human Rights Abuses Against Immigrant and Refugee Women;” and the 1995 United Nations World Conference on Women non-governmental organization (NGO) activities in China where she organized and presented in panels and workshops entitled “From Private Problem to Community Concern: Preventing Domestic Violence Before it Begins,” and “Migrant Women’s Human Rights in G-7 Countries.” In addition, Ms. Marin initiated global projects and partnerships on ending violence against women with NGOs in China, India, Mexico and Russia. Ms. Marin retired from Futures Without Violence in December 2013.



Training and Technical Assistance Director | Battered Women’s Justice Project

Sujata Warrier is the Director of Training and Technical Assistance at the Battered Women’s Justice Project. Previously she was the Director of the Community Response Policy and Training of the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. She trains at local, state, national, and international levels and provides technical assistance to professionals in various systems such as health care, law enforcement, justice, social services on the issue of gender based violence, and cultural competency – delivering numerous keynotes on the issue of culture, competency, relativism, and violence against women. She provides assistance on legislative and policy issues regarding battered immigrant women. She received her Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She has written and published articles on violence against women in the international context.

In addition to her work on the board of the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, Sujata continues to advocate on behalf of immigrant survivors of gender-based violence in Manavi, a pioneering South Asian women’s organization in New Jersey and on the board of ASISTA, a resource for advocates and attorneys. She serves as faculty on the National Judicial Institute of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

Her international work includes serving the Country Director for the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative in Bangladesh; working with Chemonics International and the Egyptian government to help develop a national Egyptian strategy to address violence against women in Egypt; consulting for a domestic violence institute hosted by UNDP in Amman, Jordan; and working with CEHAT and Masum in India on women’s health and gender violence.

Her awards include: The Rev. Cheng Imm Tan Visionary Award; AWAKE Award for South Asian Women’s Advocacy; the Indian Chamber of Commerce Award honoring Women Achievers; and the New York 30 Women Leaders Award.



Policy Director | Texas Council on Family Violence

Linda Phan is the Policy Director at the Texas Council on Family Violence. Formerly, she was the Executive Director of the Asian Family Support Services of Austin, an organization specifically addressing the cultural and language needs of Asian and other immigrant families affected by family and sexual violence. Linda Phan joined as executive director in 2005, when it had just three staff members. By the time she left 12 years later, it had grown into a 1.4 million-dollar agency providing a wide range of holistic and culturally-grounded services to the growing immigrant population in central Texas.

A major component of Linda’s work was systems advocacy and working with institutions to develop best practices for responding to the needs of immigrant survivors of violence. Alongside this, Linda served on the Public Policy Committee for the Texas Council on Family Violence, was an advisor on language access for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and chaired the City of Austin Commission on Immigrant Affairs. In 2014, President Barack Obama appointed Linda as a White House Commissioner to advise the administration on health and economic issues affecting API communities across the nation.

Linda is a proud University of Texas Longhorn and an even prouder mom to two daughters.


Lori Kodama

Chief Operating Officer | Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthrophy

Lori Kodama joined AAPIP in 2006. As Chief Operating Officer she is responsible for managing finance and administration. Lori has over thirty years of experience in nonprofit management including program development, organizational development, governance, human resources, finance, grants administration, technology and communications. Prior to joining the staff of AAPIP, Lori worked at the Asian Law Caucus for fourteen years and for seven years worked at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum.

She is a founding sister of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), and has served on the board of directors of Asian Pacific Islanders for Reproductive Health (APIRH), Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL), and the Philippine Resource Center. Lori holds a BA in Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley.

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