POSTED: 01:58 p.m. HST, May 06, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 03:31 p.m. HST, May 06, 2014
Former Kamehameha Schools leader Dee Jay Mailer took the oath of office Tuesday to serve on the President's Advisory Commission on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Mailer was one of 14 new and two returning commissioners sworn in as part of ceremony marking the 2014 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Washington D.C.
Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the ceremony.
President Barack Obama appointed the members of the commission, which advises the federal government on ways to improve the health, education and economic status of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.
"We look forward to following in their footsteps of the outgoing commission to help open the government's doors to the community," said Dr. Tung Nguyen, the commission's chairman. "We're excited to have such a passionate, talented group of individuals in this new commission to lead this important work ahead."
This year, the theme for AAPI Heritage Month is "I Am Beyond," led by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.
"The theme 'I Am Beyond' recognizes how Asian Pacific Americans have a rich, complex and inspirational American story," said Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Director Konrad Ng, a former University of Hawaii professor who is married to Obama's sister Maya Soetoro-Ng. "Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is an opportunity to enrich our appreciation of the American story and America's Asian Pacific heritage."
The AAPI Heritage Month celebration will continue throughout the month of May, with events happening nationwide, highlighting the community's many contributions to the arts, sciences, government, military, commerce and education.