Board of Directors 2018-2019

APABA-DC is governed by a Board of Directors composed of
10 officers elected by the active membership and 23 attorneys appointed into
non-voting positions by the President and confirmed by the elected officers.


President and Elected Officers


President: Mark T. Uyeda is an attorney with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission in the Division of Investment Management.  Between 2017 and 2018, Mark was on detail to the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a policy advisor, where he contributed to several Treasury reports on regulation of financial services in response to Executive Order 13772.  Prior to Treasury, he was senior advisor to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and Acting Chairman Michael S. Piwowar and also was counsel to Commissioner Paul S. Atkins.  He previously served as chair of the SEC's Asian Pacific American Committee.  Before joining the SEC, Mark was appointed as chief advisor to the California Corporations Commissioner by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Mark was in private practice with O'Melveny & Myers LLP in Los Angeles and K&L Gates LLP in Washington, D.C.  Mark earned his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and his law degree from Duke University, where he served as note editor of the Duke Law Journal.  Mark has served as vice president and board member for the Japanese American Bar Association in Los Angeles. [email protected]


President-Elect: Emma T. Chen is an associate at McDermott Will & Emery. She has specific experience in employment litigation, including defending companies against claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other related federal and state statutes. Emma also has experience in all areas of commercial litigation and dispute resolution including contract disputes, international arbitration, and international contract actions. She began her practice at firm in Detroit, MI. Emma has served as President of the Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association (MAPABA) and President of American Citizens for Justice (ACJ), an Asian American civil rights organization. Emma received her B.A. in Psychology from Yale University and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. [email protected]

benjamin huh

Immediate Past President:  Benjamin H. Huh is in-house counsel in the Litigation Group at Apple Inc., where he manages global litigation matters.  Prior to joining Apple, Ben was an attorney in the intellectual property litigation groups at several international law firms.  Ben also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Kathleen M. O’Malley at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  Ben has served as the President, VP for Membership, and Treasurer of APABA-DC, a Director of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund, and Co-Chair of the Volunteers Committee for the 2012 NAPABA Convention.  Ben earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Maryland School of Law, where he was an editor for the Maryland Law Review.  He received his B.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University. [email protected].



Vice President for Communications: Andrew (A.J.) Sutton is an attorney at Ropes & Gray, LLP, where his practice focuses on patent, trademark, and copyright litigation disputes.  A.J. also devotes a significant portion of his professional time to pro bono matters in the areas of veterans claims appeals, domestic violence and family law, human trafficking, criminal defense, and civil rights.  He is a graduate of the George Washington University Law School, where he was President of GW Law’s Student Bar Association and President of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association.  He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego. A.J., a California native, is also half-Vietnamese and loves watching TV and movies (e.g. Game of Thrones), playing strategy table-top board games, mentoring law students, going to the NAPABA annual convention, and teaching his son Obadiah (Obi) the ways of the force. [email protected]


Vice President for Community Affairs:  Anjum Unwala is an associate at Hogan Lovells. Anjum’s practice is focused on white-collar defense, government defense, complex civil litigation, and pro bono matters. She regularly counsels clients who are under investigation by various federal and state regulatory agencies for fraud, bribery, and regulatory violations. Anjum is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, and earned her B.S. in Finance and International Business from New York University. She is admitted to practice in New York. [email protected]


Vice President for Education:  Erica Lai is a complex commercial litigator at Cohen & Gresser LLP specializing in civil antitrust, class actions, and white collar defense.  Erica’s broad litigation experience includes class action allegations of price-fixing under the Sherman Act, commercial contractual disputes in the financial services, utility, and railroad industries, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act defense, and litigation under the False Claims Act.  Erica earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, cum laude, where she was on the Editorial Board of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and her B.A. in Policy Policy Analysis from Pomona College.  Before joining Cohen & Gresser, she clerked for the Honorable John M. Walker, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Honorable Michael M. Baylson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and practiced for several years at Covington & Burling LLP.  Erica has served on APABA-DC’s Nominations Committee, and Public Policy and Advocacy Committee, and currently serves on the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center’s (APALRC) Board of Directors. [email protected]



Vice President for Membership:  Linh Ly is an attorney at Nguyen & Nguyen, P.C. in Falls Church, Virginia where she practices family law, wills and trusts, business law, immigration law, and civil litigation. Before entering private practice, she clerked for the Honorable John M. Tran in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, 19th Judicial Circuit of Virginia. She graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law where she was the Manuscripts Editor of the Journal of Land and Development and a member of the Thomas Tang Moot Court Team. Linh earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia where she majored in English and minored in Asian Pacific American Studies. She is also a Board of Director of the Vietnamese American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, D.C. area. [email protected]



Vice President for Programs:  Samantha Guo is the Associate General Counsel at OriGene Technologies, Inc., a biotechnology company based in Rockville, MD. She is responsible for a variety of matters, including commercial transactions, employment law, and M&A. Samantha grew up in Beijing, China, and received her J.D. from University of Iowa College of Law and her B.A. from University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. She is currently a co-chair for Association of Corporate Counsel Career Development Forum and also serves as the VP of Membership of Washington DC Chinese Legal Association. [email protected]


Secretary:  Ethel Badawi is Co-Founder & Principal of Pollack Badawi Group, LLC a legal recruiting firm based in DC.  Ethel has dedicated her professional life to helping individuals find careers that inspire joy and growth. She has advised over 500 university graduates, paralegals, recent law graduates, and attorneys in strategic decision making to advance their professional careers and find their professional home at law firms, businesses, and the government. In addition to her role as Secretary for APABA-DC, she serves as a Co-Chair of the Membership Committee and the Career Development Committee of the Women’s Bar Association in DC. She is a faculty member at the College of Professional Studies at The George Washington University and is a frequent presenter on career and professional development for legal professionals. She has held leadership roles at the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), the Washington Area Legal Recruitment Administrators Association (WALRAA), and the American Association for Paralegal Educators (AAfPE). Ethel has a B.A. in Spanish and Economics from Wellesley College and a J.D. from The George Washington University. [email protected]


Treasurer:  Christine Ayako Schleppegrell is an associate at Dechert LLP. Her practice focuses on investment management, with an emphasis on mutual fund governance and investment adviser counseling. Christine has experience serving as fund, adviser, and independent trustee counsel for small, mid-sized, and large registered fund complexes. She also provides pro bono legal services to non-profit organizations and advises on corporate governance matters. She is admitted to practice in California and the District of Columbia. Prior to joining private practice she served as a federal court clerk in the Eastern District of California. Christine received her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Vassar College and the University of Oxford, St. Catherine’s College. She is a native of California and enjoys running, hiking, and participating in triathlons.  [email protected] 


Board of Directors Members



Assistant Vice President for Communications: Jason Pan is a supervision analyst at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, where he facilitates examinations of financial institutions to verify compliance with CFPB laws and regulations.  Jason is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Darden School of Business, and School of Engineering, where he earned a B.S. degree in Systems Engineering and Economics. [email protected]



Assistant Vice President for Community Affairs: Lloyd Liu is an attorney at Coburn & Greenbaum, PLLC.  Lloyd’s practice is focused on white-collar defense, government investigations, and complex civil litigation. He regularly counsels clients under investigation for fraud, bribery, or regulatory violations. He has represented clients in federal court charged with tax offenses, antitrust violations, and other federal crimes. He also has advised clients involved in congressional investigations and inquiries. His civil practice focuses on representing companies and individuals in contract, business, and other disputes before both state and federal courts and before various government agencies. Lloyd received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A. in Economics and English from Boston College. [email protected]


Assistant Vice President for Education: Judy (Zhu) Wang is an associate at Steptoe & Johnson, LLP. Her practice focuses on international trade and investment as well as international regulation and compliance. Judy represents companies across various industries on all aspects of trade remedies proceedings before the US Department of Commerce (DOC), the US International Trade Commission (ITC), US courts, and the World Trade Organization (WTO). She also conducts investigations and assists with enforcement actions related to US and international anti-corruption laws, and counsels organization on compliance with various economic sanctions and export controls regimes. She is admitted to practice in California and the District of Columbia. Judy received her J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was an editor on the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. She received her undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science from Vanderbilt University. [email protected]

Assistant Vice President for Membership:  Sherry (Qiong) Tao is a litigation associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.  Ms. Tao represents multinational corporations and individuals in connection with a wide variety of corporate investigations, particularly enforcement matters before the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.  Ms. Tao advises clients on a wide variety of issues relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), insider trading, money laundering and economic sanctions.  She also has experience in handling FCPA and compliance due diligence matters in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, as well as working with clients to develop and enhance their compliance programs.  Prior to joining Skadden, Ms. Tao interned with several leading U.S. law firms and government agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation.  Additionally, she worked at the Association of Corporate Counsel and the World Bank Group.  Ms. Tao received her LL.M. and J.D. from The George Washington University Law School and her LL.B. from East China University of Political Science and Law.  She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. [email protected]


Assistant Vice President for Programs: Leslie A. Lee is an associate at Venable in the Intellectual Property group. A registered patent attorney, she has experience in patent prosecution, litigation, and counseling.  Prior to law school, she was a patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and also worked as a test engineer of Nimitz-class aircraft carriers for a defense contractor.  She received her B.S.E. in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University and her J.D. from University of Virginia School of Law.  [email protected]