The University of California (UC) Consortium on AAPI Policy & Community Priorities was founded in 2005, with the goal of supporting applied policy research and collaboration to improve the lives of Asian American and Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities in California.

After an ongoing lack of funding and periods of inactivity, AAPI Data reinvigorated the UC Consortium namely due to the passing of the API Equity Budget in 2021, which provided funding to expand research capacity in California to produce data on AA and NHPI communities that would inform impactful policy.

The UC Consortium aims to:

  • Promote and coordinate applied and policy research on topics relevant to California’s growing AA & NHPI communities
  • Serve as a cross-sector bridge linking UC researchers to community organizations, the media and elected representatives
  • Build interest and partnerships across UC campuses for stronger research infrastructure, in-person collaboration, and investments in AA & NHPI-relevant research efforts

Through reigniting the UC Consortium, we hope to showcase our shared resources, collaborate in future initiatives and build stronger relationships across the UC community. The consortium is co-led by Karthick Ramakrishnan (UC Riverside) and a group of campus leads from across the UC system with support from AAPI Data staff.

Interested in becoming a Consortium member?

Membership provides an opportunity for you and your subject matter expertise to be showcased to important decision makers, including in state and local government (the state legislature, the Governor’s Office and in various state agencies), community advocates, and philanthropy. You will participate in a network of AANHPI researchers, where you can connect with others for future support or collaboration. 

Those who are joining us in the UC Consortium see it as an opportunity to build connections with fellow UC researchers interested in studying AA and NHPI populations and co-lead cross-campus efforts to increase capacity to conduct research on AA and NHPI populations (facilitating collaborations, advocating for resources, strengthening the policy impact of research).

We are also building more intensive training on media, government, and funder engagement (with a focus on cross-campus, multidisciplinary, and community-engaged projects). By becoming a member of the UC Consortium, you will have first priority to the limited slots available for the first cohort we are building in each of these three tracks.

Meet Our Team

Dr. Karthick Ramakrishnan

Co-Lead, UC Consortium and Founder & Executive Director, AAPI Data

Karthick Ramakrishnan is the co-lead for UC Consortium on AAPI Policy & Community Priorities alongside a group of campus leads from across the UC system. He is also the founder and executive director of AAPI Data and a professor of public policy at the University of California, Riverside. A highly-accomplished scholar and political scientist, Karthick has served in leadership roles that span academia, government, public policy and philanthropy.

Karthick is also the Strategy Lead for the Americas at the School of International Futures, and Senior Advisor at States for the Future. He previously served as Executive Director of California 100, a transformative statewide initiative focused on building a shared vision and strategy for California’s next century. Karthick also serves as president of the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni and serves on the Boards of The California Endowment, the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee (NAC) and served as chair of the California Commission on APIA Affairs for six years.

Karthick founded and led the Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside for six years and founded and led the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, an official section journal of the American Political Science Association.

A sought-after expert voice and spokesperson, Karthick has written dozens of op-eds and has been featured in nearly 3,000 news stories. He has published many articles and 7 books, including most recently, Citizenship Reimagined (Cambridge, 2020) and Framing Immigrants (Russell Sage, 2016). Karthick was  named to the Frederick Douglass 200 and is currently working on projects related to racial equity in philanthropy and regional development.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brown University and a doctorate degree in politics from Princeton.

Dr. Lisa Sun-Hee Park

UC Santa Barbara Lead

Dr. Lisa Sun-Hee Park is a Professor in Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Park’s interdisciplinary research focuses on the politics of migration, race, and social policy. Her work examines the ways in which immigrants and communities of color are not only excluded from the rights and protections of social citizenship, but also the problematic ways in which they are included – and, more importantly, how this relationship is interconnected.

Her most recent books include: Entitled To Nothing: The Struggle for Immigrant Health Care in the Age of Welfare Reform (NYU 2011), which investigates the impact of federal welfare and immigration policies on Latina and Asian immigrant women’s health care access. And, The Slums of Aspen: Immigrants vs. the Environment in America’s Eden (co-authored with David N. Pellow, NYU 2011), a case study of how environmental initiatives utilize anti-immigrant, population control rhetoric to produce exclusive spaces of privilege within the global economy.

She is currently working on a new project on the state of health care access for low-income immigrants after the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Of particular focus is the patchwork of health care negotiated by low-income undocumented immigrants in need of long-term care within the U.S.-Mexico Border States. These cases are approached as telling examples of contemporary politics and application of public charge policy. In addition, she is working on a second project on the unionization efforts of Home Care Workers in Minnesota, which extends her research interest in gendered labor within the global economy.

She also serves as an editor for a book series, Asian American Experience, at the University of Illinois Press, and is a member of the Social Problems editorial board.

Yến Lê Espiritu

UC San Diego

Originally from Việt Nam, Yến Lê Espiritu is a Distinguished Professor of Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego. An award-winning author, she has published extensively on Asian American pan-ethnicity, gender and migration, and U.S. colonialism and wars in Asia.

Her most recent book, Body Counts: The Vietnam War and Militarized Refuge(es) (UC Press, 2014) charts an interdisciplinary field of critical refugee studies, which reconceptualizes “the refugee” not as an object of rescue but as a site of social and political critiques. Espiritu has served several terms as Chair of the Ethnic Studies Department, and also as its Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Graduate Studies. She has also served as the President of the Association of Asian American Studies and Vice President of the Pacific Sociological Association. She is a Founding Member of the Critical Refugee Studies Collective whose aim is to integrate scholarly, policy, artistic, legal, diplomatic and international relations interests with refugees’ everyday experiences. Espiritu is the recipient of several UCSD teaching awards: the Eleanor Roosevelt College’s Outstanding Faculty Award; the Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award; and the Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards for Excellence in Graduate Teaching; and the inaugural recipient of the Association for Asian American Studies Mentorship Award.

Research interests include: critical refugee studies; critical immigration studies; Asian American studies; gender and migration; U.S. militarism.

Dr. Eui Kyung Kim

Assistant Professor, UC Riverside

Dr. Eui Kyung Kim is an assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Kim’s research focuses on improving the screening and intervention practices for social-emotional resilience in K-12 students. She conducts studies on complete mental health screening, which highlights a balanced approach to identifying the assets and needs of students. She has also adapted and implemented an evidence-based mentorship program, Check, Connect, & Respect. The program aims to enhance students’ school engagement and learning by building core components of social-emotional learning and improving their ability to navigate and address academic and socioemotional issues in schools.

Additionally, Dr. Kim’s research centers on the school climate experienced by K-12 school members from marginalized racial and ethnic backgrounds. She aims to shed light on the experiences of underrepresented populations in education and provide practical recommendations for improving school climate. Her research also focuses on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in school psychology training, practice, and scholarship. Dr. Kim strives to develop future educators, researchers, and leaders who promote structures of opportunity for all in the K-12 education system.

Currently, Dr. Kim serves as the school psychology program director at UC Riverside. She is also an editorial fellow for School Psychology Review (SPR) and an editorial board member for SPR and the Journal of School Psychology.

Whitney Hadiwono Ibarra

Staff Coordinator

Whitney Hadiwono Ibarra serves as the Staff Coordinator for the UC Consortium on AAPI Policy & Community Priorities. She also serves as the Programs and Special Initiatives Coordinator at AAPI Data, where she supports the organization’s special projects, partnerships, and key programs, such as the inaugural DNA Fellows program.

Whitney brings with her a a diverse professional background across higher education, administration, special events, research and program development. Prior to AAPI Data, Whitney served as a Student Services Advisor at the USC Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, where she grew their undergraduate pharmaceutical program and developed new programs still in place today.

As a first-generation, Chinese-Indonesian American woman, Whitney has a strong passion for prioritizing AANHPI communities in her work. Whitney’s past research with USC’s Asian Pacific American Student Services (APASS) on Southeast Asian American students’ sense of belonging led to the establishment of the Southeast Asian Initiative at USC, which initiates  specialized programming for the Southeast Asian student population. Whitney also serves as the Special Interest Fund Coordinator for the NASPA Asian Pacific Islanders Knowledge Community (APIKC), where she coordinates with organizations and designs programs to increase funding for AANHPI professionals in higher education.

Whitney has a master’s degree in education in postsecondary administration and student affairs from the USC Rossier School of Education and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University, Fullerton.

Fontane Lo

Deputy Director, AAPI Data

Fontane Lo serves as the Deputy Director of AAPI Data, bringing more than 15 years of experience in applied research, strategy and community partnerships. She has built her career around a deep commitment to using data in service of marginalized communities – to amplify their voices and fuel their advocacy efforts.

Prior to AAPI Data, Fontane led evaluation and learning efforts at Blue Shield of California Foundation and The James Irvine Foundation. As a funder, Fontane has partnered with researchers to translate rigorous research into actionable change. She brings expertise in communicating with a diverse array of audiences through a blend of storytelling, strategic framing and creative data visualization.

In her career as an evaluator, Fontane has led a broad range of research projects and partnered with stakeholders across nonprofits, philanthropy and public agencies. She brings expertise in a breadth of issue areas, including systems change, economic mobility, political opportunity, public health, early childhood and organizational development.

Fontane has a Master of Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley where also received undergraduate degrees in Economics and Psychology.