National CAPACD Staff

Seema Agnani

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Seema Agnani (she/hers) serves as Executive Director of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD – pronounced “capacity”), a coalition of 100 community-based organizations that advocate for and organize in low-income Asian American and Pacific Islander communities towards a vision of economic and social justice for all.  She has more than 25 years of experience in community development, capacity building and immigrant rights.  She was a founder and Executive Director of Chhaya CDC working in the South Asian community of New York City, leading the organization during the great recession and the aftermath of the attacks of 9/11.  She began her community development career as a project manager with Asian Americans for Equality in Chinatown, NY.  Later, she served as lead coordinator the Fund for New Citizens at The New York Community Trust, a donor collaborative focused on immigrant rights in New York City.  She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and the board of directors of Adhikaar and was previously appointed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Community Advisory Board.  Seema is originally from the Chicago metro area where her parents emigrated to from India.

Nahida Uddin

Director of Narrative & Communications
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Nahida is originally from NYC, where she worked for several years as a Community Organizer at Chhaya CDC. Chhaya CDC is a member of National CAPACD that works with New Yorkers of South Asian origin to advocate for and build economically stable, sustainable, and thriving communities. Nahida's commitment to serve AAPI communities stems from her own experiences growing up in a working class Bangladeshi Muslim community in Brooklyn.  She has a BA in History & International Studies from Fordham University and an MA in South Asian Studies from Columbia University.

Kelley Lou

Director of Coalition Building & Engagement
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Originally from Houston, Texas, Kelley worked in her hometown for over five years at the Chinese Community Center, promoting important issues that were key to the Asian community there. As a 3.5 generation Chinese-American, she was first exposed to AAPI issues while studying for her Bachelors in Social Work at The University of Texas. Impassioned to learn more about advocating for her community, she completed her Master of Social Work degree at Washington University in St. Louis. Kelley is passionate about advocacy, giving back to her community and volunteering - in her spare time, she runs for causes that are close to her heart, and has been a Big Sister through the Big Sisters Big Brothers program for over five years.

Naomi You

Policy Manager
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Naomi joins National CAPACD with a background in politics, social policy research and analysis, research dissemination, and communications. Prior to National CAPACD, Naomi focused on qualitative and quantitative research regarding racial equity, systemic barriers to communities of color, and racial & ethnic wealth disparities in the United States. Naomi previously worked at the Massachusetts State Senate and Institute on Assets and Social Policy. She holds a BA in Political Science with a Concentration in Public Policy from Boston University and an MPP with a Concentration in Poverty Alleviation from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Melissa Lazaro

Communications Manager
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Melissa has a strong passion for social and racial justice. She joined National CAPACD as the Communications Manager in 2022. Prior to this, Melissa spent three years in communications at the Rainforest Alliance's Accountability Framework initiative, a coalition-based initiative that works toward creating supply chains free from ecosystem conversion and human rights violations. She has also worked in communications and development at Student Veterans of America, which supports veterans as they pursue higher education. Melissa received her MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and her BA in International Conflict and International Development from George Mason University.

Anju Chopra

Director of Policy
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Anju joins National CAPACD from Prosperity Now, where she researched, developed, and advocated for policies to improve the financial health of low- and moderate-income Americans and narrow the racial wealth divide.

She was a practicing attorney for several years before returning to school to earn a graduate degree in public policy. During her studies, she interned at the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) and the George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP), where she focused on issues related to economic development and tax policy. Before joining Prosperity Now, she was a Fellow at NeighborWorks America, where she worked on the Stable Communities Initiative, a program that helps community development organizations across the country revitalize and reinvest in financially and socially distressed communities.

She holds a Master of Public Policy degree from George Washington University, a JD from the University of North Carolina and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan.

Neel Saxena

Managing Director of Strategic Development
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Neel joins National CAPACD from Fair Chance in Washington, DC. As the Chief Advancement Officer, he successfully developed virtual and hybrid fundraising programs supporting capacity building for small, community-based nonprofits. Before Fair Chance, he served as Executive Director for Asian American LEAD (AALEAD) - under his leadership, he increased the grant portfolio, the number of youth supported, and reputation and standing in the DC area.  Before AALEAD, he spent 11 years in the DC government, creating a language access program for DC Agencies and managing a community grant program. Neel has a BA from the University of Maryland and an MPP from American University.

Joyce Pisnanont

Chief Strategy & Impact Officer (CSIO)
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Joyce has over 15 years of experience working with Asian Pacific Islander community development organizations, including for several National CAPACD members in New York, California, and Washington. Most recently, Joyce worked with Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority as the Director of IDEA Space – an economic development resource and design center. Her previous experiences have ranged from fund development and grants management, to advocacy and community organizing, to establishing and growing programs that build local leadership capacity. Joyce is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley’s Masters in Social Welfare program.

Jennet Sambour

Chief Finance & Operations Officer (CFOO)
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Jennet is originally from Rhode Island. She worked at the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) in Washington DC, first as the Women’s Leadership Advocate before transitioning to Director of Operations and Resource Development. As Director of Operations and Resource Development, Jennet directed financial operations, coordinated fundraising activities, and created internal organizational infrastructure. During graduate school, she interned with PATH, an international health nonprofit, in Cambodia. She was also a graduate extern with the Office of Leadership and Organization Development at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. She has a BA from Brown University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Brian Kim

Housing Capacity Building Manager
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Brian began his career with National CAPACD as a Program Assistant in 2016 supporting the Economic Empowerment department’s grantmaking, research and program evaluation activities. Prior to joining National CAPACD, Brian interned for AAPI advocacy and community based organizations, federal and congressional offices and think tanks. As the son of Korean immigrants raised in Southern California, Brian draws inspiration for social justice work from his cultural heritage and background. Brian earned his BA in International Relations & Asian Studies from American University.

Rosalyn Epstein

Director of Economic Empowerment
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Rosalyn Epstein previously managed a Bay Area county level asset-building network with nearly 50 member organizations. In leading the network, she built member advocacy capability while supporting peer learning and skill development among the member organizations. She also served as a CITC Policy Fellow with National CAPACD in 2015.

During her career, Rosalyn has developed and managed asset-building programs for youth and adults which include financial education, financial coaching, tax preparation, and managing a VITA tax preparation site. Previously, Rosalyn worked in the youth development and sexual and reproductive health education sectors. She has a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Smith College and an MSW from the University of California, Berkeley.

Roy Chan

Director of Neighborhood & Place-based Strategies
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Born in San Francisco Chinatown and raised in Oakland, Roy brings over 20 years of nonprofit experience to National CAPACD. Most recently, he was the Community Planning Manager at Chinatown Community Development Center in San Francisco, and before that, he was the Co-Executive Director at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. He has also worked in community development organizations in both New York and Los Angeles. Roy holds a BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Urban Planning from UCLA. Currently, he serves on the Cultural Affairs Commission for the City of Oakland.

Solida En

Salesforce Administrator & Reporting Specialist
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Solida En joins National CAPACD with extensive experience in the nonprofit sector, having worked with think tanks and nonprofit organizations in the East Coast. Previously, Solida was the Senior Coordinator for a leading international education nonprofit in Washington, DC. There she maintained the content management system backend, led virtual events, and managed an extensive awards portfolio. Solida was a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, where she completed her semester long international exchange program. She received her B.A. in International Relations from American University in Washington, DC.

Erika Gee

Associate Director of Community & Culutural Resilience
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Erika brings over 20 years of nonprofit experience to National CAPACD. Most recently, she was a senior planner at Chinatown Community Development Center in San Francisco, and before that, she served as Arts and Culture Fellow at The San Francisco Foundation. She has worked in museums and cultural organizations in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Erika holds a BA in History/Art History from UCLA and a M.S.Ed. in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education.

Camille Mendaros

Financial Empowerment Program Manager
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Camille is a 1.5 generation Filipino-American and draws her dedication to AANHPI empowerment from her and her family's lived experience as working-class immigrants. As an undergrad Politics student at UC Santa Cruz, she was involved in AANHPI organizing to help improve AANHPI student retention at the campus. Early on in her career, Camille worked for progressive political consulting firms in the Bay Area. In 2014, she worked on San Francisco's first sugar-sweetened-beverage tax which eventually led her to work in the public health field. Prior to joining National CAPACD, she was a program manager at the Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy, and Leadership (APPEAL). At APPEAL, she managed a national AANHPI network that worked to eliminate health disparities and promote health equity in tobacco control and cancer prevention through policy advocacy.

Chheng Sim Bun

Small Business Program Specialist
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Sim grew up in East Side San Jose, CA. She has a passion for financial wellness and economic vitality. Before National CAPACD, Sim was working in Buffalo, New York, as a Program Associate at Pursuit, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). In her role, she worked with small businesses, many of which were minority- and women-owned, educating small business owners on the loan application process and assessing their individual consulting needs. Additionally, Sim is passionate about affordable housing development and housing access. During her undergraduate schooling, she researched in-fill development and modular housing in Barcelona, Spain, to gauge its effectiveness in providing affordable housing with values of sustainability, equity, and accessibility. Sim has a B.S. in Community and Regional Development with a minor in African American and African Studies from UC Davis. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and her area of concentration is in Community Economic Development and Housing.

Kara Justeson

Housing Program Associate
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Kara joins National CAPACD with a passion for social justice and community well-being. Previously, she worked at the Iris Cantor - UCLA Women's Health Education and Research Center where she supported the community programs focused on women's health and financial literacy. Kara also supported the LA County Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Women's Health Collaborative as the Training Coordinator for workshops addressing health disparities and inclusive care. During her undergraduate degree, she was a volunteer caseworker and grant writer for a mobile clinic serving individuals experiencing homelessness. Kara has a B.A. from UCLA in Human Biology and Society with minors in Asian American Studies and Public Health.

An Lee

Finance Specialist
Pronouns: He/Him/Hers

An Lee joins National CAPACD as the new Finance Specialist. He possesses four years of experience working with diverse not-for-profit organizations in the areas of education, youth development, health, and community welfare initiatives. In addition, An is currently pursuing his Masters in Finance at Marymount University and hopes to complete his studies by the end of the year. In his spare time, he collaborates with members of a local investment club, and he enjoys riding and hiking along local trails.

Dim Mang

Coalition Specialist
Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

Dim joins National CAPACD as the Coalition Specialist, working remotely from Detroit, MI. They are a first-generation immigrant from Myanmar (Burma), born to Tedim Chin parents. Dim immigrated with their younger siblings and parents in 2005 to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and their passion for community organizing and advocacy stems from their working-class background. They were previously a Community Organizer with Rising Voices, a progressive non-profit organizing Asian Americans in Michigan. They are also on the Executive Board of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), serving as an At-Large Vice President. They attended the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, double majoring in History and Political Science.

Shijirtuya Munkhbat

Executive Project Manager
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Shijirtuya brings a wealth of experience advocating for youth development, civic engagement, and human rights to her role at National CAPACD. She is passionate about using data and analytics to inform decisions and drive positive social change. Her prior experience includes serving as a research assistant at Indiana Nonprofits Project and as a legal program manager at the LGBT Centre Mongolia.  Shijirtuya immigrated to the United States as a first-generation Mongolian in 2018. She currently resides in Bloomington, Indiana, with her partner and their beloved pet cat, Prince Avey. During her free time, she loves hiking through the woods, relishing her partner's cooking, and chatting with her mom. Shijirtuya holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies from Mongolian National University.

Caroline Kuo

Convention Manager
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Caroline joins the National CAPACD family with over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit events industry, with a focus in the healthcare field, where she has advocated for health equity in underserved communities. An industry veteran, Caroline has worked on a variety of events including polo cups, block parties, galas, fashion shows, and conferences. A DC metro transplant originally from Michigan, Caroline attended Michigan State University and earned an MA in Advertising.

Savitri Boyer

Housing Program Manager
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Savitri’s 20 years of combined experience includes working in affordable housing, financial empowerment,  and the nonprofit, real estate, and mortgage financing sectors.  During her career, she has managed New York City's largest public employee union housing program, as well as financial empowerment and housing counseling programs. Throughout her career, she has provided financial coaching and housing counseling to thousands of individuals. She is a HUD certified housing counselor, an NCHEC certified financial coach, and is NCHEC certified in all housing counseling services, including pre-purchase, foreclosure prevention, post-purchase, and rental. Savitri holds an AS degree in Nonprofit Administration from Borough of Manhattan Community College and a BS in Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Thomas Chen

Grants & Network Specialist
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Thomas joins National CAPACD as the Grants & Network Specialist with a passion for equitable grantmaking. His prior work includes nonprofit administration and operations at Arabella Advisors and research and communications with the Town of Chapel Hill’s Affordable Housing and Community Connections department. He also has experience in grants and contracts administration and management as well as community engagement. Thomas holds a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.