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TAAF Advances Anti-Hate Mission with Addition of New Board Members

July 10, 2024, NEW YORK – Since launching in 2021, The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) has tirelessly fought for the safety and belonging of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community. Today, following a months-long search process, TAAF is excited to announce the expansion of its Board, with the addition of Shamina Singh (Founder and President, Center for Inclusive Growth and EVP, Sustainability at Mastercard) and Dr. Rushika Fernandopulle (Practicing Physician and Co-Founder of Iora Health).

“We have been horrified and saddened by the increased levels of hate and violence in the U.S. over the past year, including Islamophobic and antisemitic hate,” said Norman Chen, CEO of TAAF. “Shamina and Rushika’s expertise and perspective will be invaluable as we continue to support all members of the AANHPI community, and combat hate of all kinds.”

TAAF has been making efforts to better serve the AANHPI population in these difficult times, listening and learning through conversations with community leaders, grantees, partners, and other community members. TAAF continues to collaborate with community partners and public officials to advocate for solutions to fight hate while addressing the underlying xenophobia and prejudice that fuels anti-Asian hate and violence.

Ensuring that TAAF leadership represents the full diversity of the broad AANHPI community is critical to delivering on its core mission. The addition of Shamina Singh and Dr. Rushika Fernandopulle introduces two leaders who have been vocal advocates of the AANHPI community and advances representation of the AANHPI community at the Board level.

Shamina Singh is the founder and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and the executive vice president of Sustainability at Mastercard. With a deep commitment to leadership and public service, she sits on the boards and advisory boards of several organizations, and has held senior positions in the White House and the U.S. House of Representatives. With more than two decades of experience, Shamina has worked for four presidential administrations and three Fortune 500 companies. In 1999, Shamina served as the founding executive director for the historic first President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has been renewed by each president since.

For decades, Dr. Rushika Fernandopulle has been a practicing physician focused on improving the quality of healthcare delivered to patients. He was the co-founder and CEO of Iora Health, an early innovator in Primary Care redesign that was acquired by One Medical in 2021. The combined company was then acquired by Amazon. Dr. Fernandopulle was the first Executive Director of the Harvard Interfaculty Program for Health Systems Improvement and currently serves on the staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital and on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.  

“We are honored that Shamina and Rushika are joining the TAAF Board to better serve the AANHPI population in their pursuit of belonging and prosperity that is free from discrimination, slander, and violence,” said Li Lu, Chair of the Board. “They each bring unique, valuable experience and perspective to the Board, which our community will benefit from greatly.”

In addition to new Board members, TAAF is redoubling its efforts in anti-hate to ensure it represents all AANHPI perspectives, including expanding its grantee network to better include Southeast Asian and South Asian communities of diverse religious backgrounds. TAAF has also reiterated its commitment to building bridges and working more closely in allyship with other diverse advocacy groups who share its commitment to advancing solutions to fight hate.

About TAAF

TAAF serves the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community in their pursuit of belonging and prosperity that is free from discrimination, slander, and violence. Launched in 2021 in response to the rise in anti-Asian hate and to address the long-standing underinvestment in AANHPI communities, TAAF mobilizes the community to fight against hate and violence, reclaim our narratives and celebrate our stories through our core pillars of Anti-Hate, Education, Narrative Change, and Resources & Representation. Through our high-impact initiatives, events, and investments in national and local nonprofits, we’re creating a permanent and irrevocable sense of belonging for millions of AANHPIs in the United States. For additional information about TAAF, please visit www.taaf.org.