On May 13, 2004, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13339 to increase economic opportunities for and improve the quality of life of approximately 14 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in the United States and the U.S.-associated Pacific Island jurisdictions. This action renews a previous Executive Order, which established the President's Advisory Commission and a federal Interagency Working Group on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
White House Initiative for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI)
The Office of the White House Initiative for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders coordinates the activities of the Presidentís Advisory Commission and the Interagency Working Group. In January, 2006, Jimmy D. Lee was appointed to serve as the Executive Director of the Office of the White House Initiative. This office is housed under the United States Department of Commerce, which is the lead federal department responsible for the implementation of the Executive Order.
Interagency Working Group on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (IWG)
The Executive Order calls on all federal agencies to mobilize their resources to address the unmet needs of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander businesses and communities. The Interagency Working Group (IWG), composed of Deputy Secretaries and senior officials from federal departments and designated independent agencies, advises the President through the Secretary of Commerce. In its first year, the IWG developed a tailored inventory of existing programs and funding levels targeted to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Additionally, each agency is responsible for developing an annual implementation plan that documents its activities toward meeting the mandates of the Executive Order. The work of the IWG is supported by a Coordinating Committee (CC) composed of senior - level designees from across executive departments and designated independent agencies. The CC is the implementation arm of the IWG.
Presidentís Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
The Commission is composed of fourteen individuals with a history of involvement and leadership in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities from field such as health, economic and community development, education, and business. The Chair of the Commission, Mr. Rudy Pamintuan of Chicago, IL, is President of Sherman Consulting, a public relations firm. The Commission provides the President on the mandates of the Executive Order to:
- Develop, monitor, and coordinate federal efforts to improve Asian American and Pacific Islander participation to governmental programs;
- Foster research and data collection for Asian Americans and Pacific Islander communities; and
- Increase their level of participation in the national economy and governmental services of the United States America.
In January, 2001, the first Bush Commission released its Interim Report to the President and the Nation: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, A People Looking Forward. The report details the preliminary findings and recommendations of the Commission based on major town hall meetings, community roundtables, literature reviews, and information provided by federal agencies. US Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta served as the Commissionís first chairman.
2003 saw the release of the Report to the President and the Nation: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Addressing Health Disparities. This report outlined major health issues among AAPIís and recommended policies to address AAPI health disparities. This report was released under the leadership of Chairman Dr. John Tsu.