Why We Lead Roundtable: AANHPI Girls Speak Up

Why We Lead Roundtable: AANHPI Girls Speak Up
Thursday, June 20, 2024
12:00 pm PT/3:00 pm ET


Watch the Recording


Two years ago we set out to research the complex, nuanced, and intergenerational story of the leadership development of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) girls and gender-expansive youth. That result is Why We Lead: Understanding and Supporting the Leadership of AANHPI Girls and Gender-Expansive Youth, the first-ever national study of AANHPI girls and gender-expansive youth. 

You won’t want to miss this one-hour interactive roundtable event. Hear our panel of Youth Research Council members discuss their lived experiences of these findings. Get your questions answered by youth leaders, Nikita Jadhav, Momoca Mairaj and Ruksana Ruhee and moderator Victoria Tung. Shavonne Gordon, Morgan Stanley’s Managing Director and Global Head of Diversity for Company & Infrastructure, will open the roundtable. You will gain firsthand insights into what inspires these young people to lead, how they define leadership, the barriers they face, and what changes need to be made to create a supportive environment at school and the communities they inhabit.


Sponsored by Morgan Stanley




In partnership with 







Nikita Jadhav
Nikita Jadhav lives in San Diego, California and is passionate about increasing equity, empathy, and inclusivity in the community around her. This study is especially important to her, as it provides the unique opportunity to offer the support to AANHPI girls that previous generations may not have had — the chance to make generational, long-lasting change for the better.


Ruksana Ruhee
Ruksana Ruhee is a student at CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College majoring in Public Affairs. She is a young Muslim working-class Bengali woman who grew up in New York City, in the Bronx and Queens. This study is very important to Ruksana and her identity as a young Bengali Muslim. She hasn’t often heard about South Asian women’s representation growing up, and she’s always wanted to show the world that many influential South Asian leaders look like her and have made a big difference in shaping the world. There’s so much history and so many voices and lived experiences within our communities that Ruksana wants to uplift and give appreciation to!



Yehji Hwang
Yehji Hwang is a second-generation Korean American living in Maryland. She joined this study because she firmly believes that her Asian American friends around the country are too amazing to be limited by systemic challenges. Her goal is to improve our institutions, and she’s deeply invested in how we can use our research to work towards overcoming barriers and supporting the growth and dreams of Asian American youth. She wants to help create a world that roots for them.




Victoria Tung is a policy leader and social justice advocate who is passionate about promoting diversity, equity and inclusion and liberating our world from oppression. Victoria has spent her career leading tech and social justice policy initiatives while working in the tech arena in Silicon Valley and in the Federal legislative and executive branch. 

Victoria is currently the Director of Government and Public Affairs at Texas Instruments (TI), a global semiconductor company. She is the chief strategist on TI’s California leadership team responsible for developing and leading public policy strategy and advancing the company’s brand and philanthropic initiatives. 

She was appointed by President Obama’s administration as the Associate Director for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs in the U.S. Department of Commerce. In her role, she advised the Secretary of Commerce and executive leadership on innovation and economic development policy. During her tenure at Commerce, she led policy initiatives that resulted in the creation of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, implementation of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes and the successful execution of the 2010 Census. Victoria co-led the effort to re-establish the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).

Prior to her appointment, she was the founding Executive Director of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). Victoria had the unique responsibility to ensure that CAPAC was a leading voice for the AAPI population, which has been historically overlooked, particularly on the federal level. Victoria started off her political career in the Washington, D.C. office for Congressman Mike Honda of California. Throughout her six years on Capitol Hill, Victoria played a significant role in shaping the Congressional policy agenda for AAPIs and ethnic communities in the US.

Victoria is currently an apprentice with the Luna Jimenez Institute for Transformational Change, a dynamic organization that coaches individuals and organizations to liberate our world from oppression through healing and transformational leadership. Victoria is a second generation Chinese American born in New York City and grew up in Hong Kong, Macau and the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently lives in San Mateo, California with her spouse, Jeff, and their two wonderful children, Gabi and Micah and gigantic yorkie, Baxter. Vicki is active in a number of organizations and is the Chair of the Silicon Valley Council of Non-Profits. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.


Shavonne Gordon graduated from the University of Virginia (UVA) with a BS in Systems Engineering. She started her career as a Computer Systems Analyst, working in manufacturing for 5 years before joining Capital One, where she worked for 21 years. She spent much of her time at Capital One in Technology in a number of roles before joining HR in 2014 to follow her passion for recruiting and supporting diverse talent. As Head of Diversity and Campus Talent Acquisition for Capital One, she had tremendous impact across the firm through her focus on attracting and developing leaders, mentoring associates, and lending her counsel and insights to advance the growth and development of diverse associates at the firm. In June of 2022, Shavonne joined Morgan Stanley as the Global Head of Diversity for the Company and Infrastructure divisions, continuing to focus on the diversity work that is both her passion and purpose.

In 2019, Shavonne was recognized by Savoy magazine as one of the Most Influential Women in Corporate America, and again in 2023 as one of the Most Influential Executives in Diversity and Inclusion. In 2020, Shavonne was appointed to the Board of Visitors for Virginia State University, an HBCU in VA, where she serves as Vice Rector. Shavonne also sits on the board for the CALIBR Global Leadership Network, the Ridley Scholarship Program at UVA, and the advisory board for the Ron Brown Scholars Program. She resides in Glen Allen, VA with her 15-year-old daughter, Simone, and her 19-year-old daughter, Kennedy.



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