Christine Soyong Harley, Deputy Director
Christine Soyong Harley Harley joins NCAPA as Deputy Director and will act as a thought leader alongside the NCAPA National Director, Executive Committee, member organizations, and staff to lead a strategic vision and planning process that supports organizational growth, enhances member relationships to ensure the council’s success, and increases the impact of NCAPA’s national leadership in promoting and protecting racial and social justice policies for vulnerable AAPI communities.
Prior to joining NCAPA, Chris served as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders where she led implementation and institutionalization of policy and program initiatives supporting AAPI engagement with and increased access to federal programs. As the mixed-race daughter of a Korean immigrant mother and Piscataway Indian (indigenous people of Maryland) father, Chris has dedicated her career to advocating for social progress for vulnerable and underserved AAPI and other communities of color on issues of health equity, immigrant rights, reproductive justice, and economic justice and is pleased to rejoin the NCAPA family, having previously held leadership roles at the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations and National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.
Chris received her B.A. from Oberlin College and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. She is the proud single-mom-by-choice of twin boys and lives in Annapolis, MD with her rambunctious toddlers, fur-babies, and eternally supportive parents, without whom "leaning in" would be impossible.
Nisha Ramachandran, Policy Director
Nisha Ramachandran currently serves as the Policy Director at the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), where she shapes and advances the organization’s policy priorities as well as implements NCAPA’s legislative and advocacy strategy, through working with coalition members and policy committee leadership. Nisha directs the work of all five NCAPA policy committees: civil rights, immigration, health, education, and housing & economic justice.
She was previously a legislative staffer in the office of Congressman Ami Bera (CA-7), where she primarily handled U.S.- India and Indian American community issues. Her legislative portfolio also included civil rights, science and technology, global health, and other issue areas.
She graduated with a Master’s in Public Policy from The George Washington University, and her previous work experience includes policy and advocacy work with World Food Program USA and a women’s safety research project related to water and sanitation in India.
Mary Tablante, Communications Associate
Mary works to build NCAPA's internal communications capacity and manages the organization's social media, website and written materials. She was previously the administrative and communications assistant for NCAPA. Mary has covered immigration, health and entertainment for Asian American & Pacific Islander publications such as Asian Fortune and INQUIRER.net.
She has also worked for USA TODAY's Your Take initiative and has been published in AOL's Patch and several local Maryland publications. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park.
Quyen Hoang, OCA Intern
Quyen Hoang is a rising senior at Michigan State University studying Comparative Cultures and Politics with minors in Asian Pacific American Studies and Peace and Justice Studies. In her free time she enjoys watching TV and listening to music.
One thing she is most excited about her NCAPA internship is working with individuals who are passionate about AAPI issues and representation in a political, social, and cultural realm.
Gurleen Kaur Ahuja, SALDEF Intern
Gurleen Kaur Ahuja is a rising junior at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County majoring in Global Studies with a Pre-Nursing track. When she is not at school, she is either performing her music locally, teaching song-writing or going for a run!
She is looking forward to intern at NCAPA so that she can fully understand the domestic issues among AAPI communities and to work to create sustainable solutions to ensure a safe and inclusive community within the United States.