Leadership

CACF is led by experts in the fields of philanthropy, Asian-American and Pacific Islander issues, and non-profit management. The breadth of their expertise and commitment to the Asian-American community ensure that CACF remains a trusted resource for both donors and the greater public.


Board of Directors

The founders of the Chinese American Community Foundation currently serve on its Board, closely overseeing the strategic direction of the organization and actively building partnerships within the Bay Area Asian-American community.

Rolland Lowe, MD | 輪  
Chairman 

Dr. Rolland Lowe

As the only son of educator-activist parents, Dr. Lowe learned at an early age the importance of community engagement and collective action. His youth was characterized by some of the most charged moments of modern history: he was born in Chinatown at a time when tacit discrimination against Asians was still condoned; raised in Hong Kong till the outbreak of WWII; and grew up in Oakland’s low-income community, playing touch football with African-American youth and learning to think beyond color lines. Despite these adversities, Dr. Lowe continued onto college at UC Berkeley, where he graduated at age 18.

He was then accepted as one of five Asian students into UCSF’s medical school class of 1955, where he trained to become a vascular surgeon. After graduation and completion of military service in Korea, Dr. Lowe accepted a surgical residency at UCSF. He was highly sought by prestigious clinics, but instead dedicated himself to serving patients in the underserved Chinatown community. It was around this time that Dr. Lowe became involved in non-profit organizations such as the Chinatown Community Youth Center, Self Help for the Elderly, the San Francisco Foundation and Chinese for Affirmative Action.

Dr. Lowe’s outstanding community work caught the attention of then-mayor Diane Feinstein, who invited him to become a commissioner for the city’s Civic Service Commission. Though he was on track towards becoming the commission’s chair, Dr. Lowe decided that he could best serve his community in his capacity as a physician rather than as a public servant. He later became the first Asian American president of the California Medical Association and helped co-found the Asian American Health Forum. Additionally, he was chairman of the Chinese Hospital and helped put in place the Chinatown Community Health Plan.

Dr. Lowe’s accolades are many: among his awards are the UCSF Chancellor’s Award for Public Service; the California Wellness Foundation’s Champions of Healthy Diversity Award; the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Lifetime Achievement Award in Philanthropy in 2008 and Lifetime Achievement Award in Community Building in 2011; and the Silver SPUR Lifetime Achievement Award, just to name a few. He was also recognized as one of 11 philanthropic heroes in the 1999 White House Conference on Philanthropy and elected into the Berkeley Fellows.

Despite all the recognition and rewards, Dr. Lowe credits his ability to serve the community to his wife’s support. He considers his greatest achievement to be growing the next generation of leaders to serve the community.

David Lei |
Vice Chairman 

David Lei

David is an accomplished entrepreneur with a deep-seated commitment to community development. After graduating with a degree in Business Administration from UC Berkeley, he started his own consumer goods exporting company in 1981–but not before spending time in the social sector, working with at-risk Asian and African-American youth through Chinatown’s YMCA and Richmond’s Model Cities program.

Giving back to the community and learning how to create new economic opportunities were both foundational aspects of David’s upbringing. While still in high school, David spent much of his days volunteering at the Donaldina Cameron House, where he mentored over 40 students and developed leadership skills that later helped him succeed in different fields of work. At age 18, David also co-founded the Chung Ngai Dance troupe, a nonprofit performing arts organization providing team-building activities and summer jobs to Chinatown youth. With David part of the management team, the troupe pulled in performance revenues north of $40,000 a year, at a time when the federal and state minimum wage was still less than $2 an hour.

In college, David served on his first board as a member of Chinatown North Beach Family Planning. Since then, he has been on the leadership team of multiple organizations, including the Chinese Performing Arts Foundation (which he co-founded); the Chinatown Community Development Center (then known as the Chinatown Resource Center); the Center for Asian American Media; the San Francisco Lunar New Year & Parade Festival Committee; the City of San Francisco’s Asian Arts Commission; the Academy of Chinese Performing Arts; World Arts West’s San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival; the Asian Chefs Association; and UC Berkeley’s Berkeley China Initiative.

In 2006, David sold his business and retired, but only nominally. His curiosity continues to drive him to explore new business opportunities, including an artisanal chocolate line in China and a wine export venture. He remains as active in the community ever, working to introduce sustainable funding models to community-based organizations.

Buck Gee
Treasurer 

Buck Gee

One of nine children from a working-class, immigrant family, Buck understood the values of “working hard” and “working smart.” He graduated from Stanford University with B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering and later obtained an MBA from Harvard Business School. His background in both engineering and business management enabled him to take executive marketing and management roles in several early-stage high-tech startup ventures. He would help lead one startup through an Initial Public Offering and two others through successful corporate acquisitions. Following Cisco’s 2004 acquisition of startup Andiamo, Buck became co-general manager of Cisco’s Datacenter Business Unit.

Since his retirement, Buck has devoted an increasing amount of time to leadership development and philanthropy. He currently serves on the board of Ascend’s Northern California Chapter, is board president for the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, and serves on advisory boards for the Asia Society and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Buck co-founded the Corporate Executive Initiative (CEI), a network of Bay Area Asian American executives, as well as the Advanced Leadership Program (ALP) for Emerging Asian American Executives, a Stanford Business School executive education program. He co-authored “The Failure of Asian Success in the Bay Area: Asians as Corporate Executive Leaders,” a 2009 study that helped uncover some of the challenges Asian Americans face in rising to the top of corporate ladders.

He recently received a civic entrepreneurship award from the Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute (APALI) for his work in founding CEI and ALP to help the Asian American community understand organizational leadership skills and learn that working hard and smart is not enough to reach the highest management levels. In line with his personal background, Buck places particular philanthropic emphasis on education, preserving Asian American history, and assisting immigrants.

Hanson Li | 李宗志

Secretary

Hanson Li

Hanson is the head of The Hina Group’s San Francisco office, from where he leads the firm’s US-China investment banking practice and is also actively involved in Hina’s China focused investments.

Hanson previously held management roles at Capital One Financial, a fortune 500 company, and Equal Footing, a technology company funded by NEA, FBR, Yahoo!, Nextel, and Textron. He served as Vice President of Business Development for the IT outsourcing company Global Logic, and previously worked at Mercer Management Consulting and Cagan McAfee Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on technology and clean-tech growth companies.

Outside of The Hina Group, Hanson serves as the Board Director for the Association of Asian American Investment Managers (AAAIM), a non-profit organization that encourages and fosters business ties among Asian-led and managed investment firms, and he takes a sincere interest in mentoring Asian American students who intend to create a career in finance. He also serves as the Board Director of Asia America MultiTechnology Association, a 30 year old non-profit organization that serves the technology community around the Pacific Rim.

Hanson earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. As one of the top 5 graduates in his class, he was named a Siebel Scholar as well as an Arjay Miller Scholar. Hanson also earned his BA in Human Biology and MA in Sociology/Organizational Behavior from Stanford University. Originally from Hong Kong, Hanson grew up in Hong Kong, Taiwan, New York, and Malaysia and now makes his home in San Francisco with his wife and two children. He is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese,and Cantonese.

Ted W. Dang

Ted Dang

Ted Dang’s trade is in real estate but his passion is in community advocacy.

After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in business administration in 1973, Ted launched a career in real estate focusing on the Oakland area, where he was born and raised. By 1975, Ted had already established his own company, Commonwealth Real Estate Companies, which continues to provide investment brokerage, property management, and development services to its clients to this day. In addition to being a licensed real estate broker, he is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), a Certified Property Manager (CPM), and a managing partner in several investment and development partnerships.

But even in the busiest periods of his career, Ted has always made sure to prioritize giving back to his community. While still a student, he combined his interest in real estate with his idealism and co-founded the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), a nonprofit organization committed to growing safe, vibrant neighborhoods. EBALDC launched in 1975, the same year as Ted’s private company, and its first projects included stopping BART from demolishing a historic building in Oakland’s Chinatown through a major organizing initiative and developing the Asian Resource Center, a central community space for social service agencies and businesses. Since then, Ted and EBALDC have continued to help low-income individuals gain access to affordable housing and financial security.

Aside from EBALDC, Ted has been involved with many nonprofit organizations and earned much recognition for his efforts. For example, Ted was a trustee at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center Foundation, a director for the Child Assault Prevention Program, Treasurer for the Oakland Chinese Community Council (now known as Family Bridges) and Chair of the Board for the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

Presently, he sits on the Board of Directors for the Shoong Family Chinese Cultural Center and School and is also deeply involved with Oakland’s civic affairs. Ted is a state-appointed California probate referee and a member of Alameda Country’s Assessment Appeals Board. His experiences growing up in Oakland and personally witnessing minority groups grow disenfranchised inspired him to run as Oakland’s first ever Asian American mayoral candidate in 1994.


Advisory Council

The Chinese American Community Foundation Advisory Council is composed of a diverse group of influential and visionary leaders whose courage, compassion and love of the community are making the Bay Area a better place now and for future generations. Members serve as ambassadors of our work and offer the Board advice and guidance on high-level organizational strategy, emerging trends, and philanthropic investment opportunities.


Staff

Dien Yuen | 袁詩鈿
Executive Director

Dien Yuen

Dien joined the Chinese American Community Foundation after spending 15 years building and leading for-profit and nonprofit ventures. She manages the day-to-day operations, donor engagement, and development programs.

In addition to her work at CACF, Dien is Founder and Managing Director of Kordant Philanthropy Advisors, a social venture dedicated to more effective, impactful, and joyful philanthropy. As an advocate of donor education and the strengthening of the philanthropic sector in the U.S. and Asia, she speaks at many events and her insights are often quoted in leading publications, including Forbes Asia, New York Times, Family Office Review, and Economist Intelligence Unit reports.

Dien has been committed to the philanthropic planning and non-profit sectors all through her career. She was most recently Chief Philanthropy Officer at Give2Asia, where she served as a resource to donors wishing to give overseas and built the organization’s business development unit. Prior to that, she managed the portfolio of large and complex planned giving programs as Vice President & Senior Trust Officer at U.S. Trust. Before this, she was Vice President at Asian Pacific Fund and Planned Giving Director at American Cancer Society.

Dien serves as chair of the OneVietnam Network and is on the advisory board of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. She holds a J.D., LL.M. in International Law, and the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation. Dien is Chinese, was born in Vietnam, and grew up in Michigan and Ohio. She lives in the East Bay and manages her son’s playgroup.

Gillian Yeoh | 姚 慧 龄
Community Engagement Director

Gillian Yeoh

Gillian works with CACF’s network of supporters, advisors, and member organizations to continually expand our reach in the community. She is also a Senior Advisor at Kordant Philanthropy Advisors, where she assists donors and non-profits in managing their philanthropic projects. She has thorough knowledge of domestic and international grantmaking best practices, with significant expertise and experience in disaster giving, effective disaster response, and non-profit strategic collaboration.

Previously, Gillian was a Senior Program Officer at Give2Asia, where she managed over 100 client accounts with an annual fund portfolio of $10 million, supervising up to 170 new projects and 300 ongoing projects a year. She was also the Lead for the disaster response program, which raised over $40 million for over 30 disasters in Asia and established Give2Asia’s thought leadership on disaster response best practices. Prior to this, Gillian held roles in accounting for The Asia Foundation in San Francisco and had a professional attachment at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Singapore.

Due to her broad expertise in grantmaking and disaster response, she has been invited as a special correspondent for various media outlets, including CNN, TVB USA, USA Today, and Foundation Center. Gillian has also spoken at international social forums, disaster-related roundtables, graduate programs, corporate clients’ global summits, and issue-specific conferences. She has authored two papers: “Lessons Learned in the 2011 Disasters in Tohoku, Japan” and “Disaster Giving in Asia: Lessons, Guidelines & Opportunities.”

Gillian holds a B.A. in Accounting from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where she was a Ministry of Foreign Affairs scholar. Upon graduating, she held the John W. Nason Fellowship in Political Science and Studio Art at Carleton College. In her free time, she enjoys watching baseball, taking care of her saltwater fish and coral aquarium, and playing competitive scrabble.