Economic Development, Rights and Equity

In February 2022, Chantale Wong was confirmed by the US Senate in an overwhelming, bipartisan vote to serve as US Director of the Asian Development Bank, making her the first openly lesbian ambassador confirmed by the Senate. Senate in US history

The Asian Development Bank was founded in the mid-1960s as a financial institution focused on fostering economic growth and cooperation in one of the world’s poorest regions. Headquartered in Manila, Philippines, ADB spends tens of billions of dollars on projects throughout the region.

Join us for an online discussion with Ambassador Wong, who will join us from Manila to discuss the role of ADB, as well as the impact of US economic policies on gender equity, LGBTQIA rights, and environment.

About the speaker

Chantale Wong has had a long and distinguished career in public service, leading and participating in some of the most significant events in the history of the United States. Until August 2016, she was Senior Vice President of a technology startup, Amida Technology Solutions, where she focused on solving data interoperability challenges by developing agile open source tools. She was appointed by President Obama to serve as Vice President of Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

Prior to MCC, she was budget director for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where she realigned the budget function to the requirements of NASA’s post-Space Shuttle missions. During her career, Wong has held leadership positions with the Office of Management and Budget, the Departments of the Treasury and the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency, in addition to NASA. Her work experience includes local government and the private sector.

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Wong joined the staff of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila in 1999 as an environmental specialist to ensure that the bank’s assessments complied with its environmental and social policies. She led the development and publication of ADB’s first Asian Environmental Outlook (2001), and was subsequently appointed by President Bill Clinton to his Board of Directors, representing the US as Deputy Executive Director to oversee operations. . She was also a member of the ADB audit committee and the development effectiveness committee, monitoring the effectiveness of Bank projects through performance and impact evaluations.

She was the founding president of the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL), an organization dedicated to fostering careers in public service by providing training, workshops, mentoring, and job opportunities for young Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). She is also a member of the Veterans Advisory Board for Global Leadership, which provides leadership opportunities for veterans transitioning into careers in diplomacy, security, and development. In addition, she is a founding member and board treasurer of Focus on the Story, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support visual storytellers from diverse backgrounds to bring attention to critical issues, bridge cultural gaps, and create social change. .

Aside from public and community service, visual storytelling is Chantale’s passion, one that she has nurtured for the past 5 years, traveling off the beaten path across multiple continents to capture visual messages from lesser-seen people. Her portraits capture the souls of her subjects, whether chronicling urban blight in East Baltimore or photographing crew crews on the Anacostia at sunrise. Her travels to Cuba, India and Nepal, Southeast Asia and an epic journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway have produced stunning images of cultures far and wide. She has also produced landscape images that capture the essence of time and place. Her current photographic journey approach has led her into photojournalism, documenting events in our communities. She has chronicled the annual congressional civil rights pilgrimages to Selma, Montgomery, and Birmingham, Alabama, with civil rights icon the late Rep. John Lewis, earning her the role of official photographer for other pilgrimages by civil rights from the Faith and Politics Institute.

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This program is presented in collaboration with the APA Heritage Foundation.

Thanks to The Mason in Pattaya for their support in producing this show.

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see more michelle meow show programs at the Commonwealth Club of California.

Photo of Wong courtesy of the speaker.