Asians NOW! and the Asian American Institute

This is the mission of the Asian American Institute, which is associated with Asians NOW!  Asians NOW! is the first project of the Asian American Institute.  The Institute will serve at first as a virtual think tank for Asians, Asian Americans, and members of the Asian Diaspora, but will one have a physical presence, most likely in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Washington, DC.  We hope you read the plans.  Please understand that this is a long-term vision, and may take longer than the ambitious description you see.  We hope you will join this virtual think tank!


The Asian American Institute is dedicated to promoting the general well-being of Asians, Asian Americans, and members of the Asian Diaspora through policy advocacy, research, networking, information dissemination, leadership development, and community outreach and empowerment. AAI does this by:

  • Networking and strengthening Asian, Asian American, and Asian Diaspora organizations through a think tank so that their voices and concerns are heard throughout the world supporting and enhancing US, Asian, and global engagement and mutual understanding
  • Inform and prepare public, private, and civic sector leaders for a complex global future impacted by the US, Asia, Asian Americans, and members of the Asian Diaspora on the world stage
  • Provide a meeting place and nexus for Asian, Asian American, and Asian Diaspora communities to engage in domestic and international policy and advocacy
  • Through its Washington headquarters, be a think tank and research center for critical studies on politics, social and environmental change, and economic and trade relations
  • Establishes programs for youth leadership among Asians, Asian Americans, and members of the Asian Diaspora who will enrich knowledge and facilitate greater dialogue between the US, Asia, and the Asian Diaspora.

The work of our scholars and staff advances ideas rooted in our belief in equal, civil, and human rights.

We are committed to making the intellectual, moral, and practical case for Asian, Asian Americn, and Asian Diaspora empowerment. Our work explores ideas that further these goals, and AAI scholars take part in this pursuit with academic freedom and intellectual rigor. AAI operates independently of any political party and has no institutional positions. Our scholars’ conclusions are fueled by rigorous, data-driven research, and broad-ranging evidence.

Our scholars not only engage in research that focuses on today’s most critical challenges but also look ahead to ideas and issues that have yet to be fully recognized. AAI scholars pursue innovative, independent work across a wide array of subjects. From economics, sociology, education, race relations, immigration, international relations, health care, and poverty to public opinion, politics, society, and culture, our experts are driven by our dual sense of social justice and research.

AAI actively seeks and encourages engagement with those who hold different points of view. We welcome civil disagreement because we believe that a competition of ideas is essential to a free society.

It is unusual in Washington, DC, to embrace open debate, intellectual freedom, and human welfare—and to do so unencumbered by partisan considerations and special interests. As a result, decision makers and leaders in Washington and across the country trust our work, and we are able to foster cooperation at a time of deep division in our country and abroad.

We believe that, together, we can make progress toward reform in many policy areas and create a better world for all people. We invite you to visit to learn more about our mission, activities, and impact.

The Asian American Institute (AAI) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational organization.

AAI does not take institutional positions on any issues. The Institute is supported primarily by donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Gifts to AAI are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

AAI Research Integrity

AAI's operations are financed by donations from corporations, foundations and individuals and by investment earnings from an internal endowment. The Institute does not perform contract research and does not accept government grants. Its research agenda is determined by its president in consultation with its trustees, scholars and fellows, and academic advisers; the substance and conclusions of its research and publications are determined by the individuals conducting the research. AAI operates at the intersection of scholarship and politics, aiming to elevate political debate and improve the substance of government policy. Many of the subjects of AAI research and publications are controversial, and many are the focus of political contention and intense interest-group advocacy. Many AAI scholars and fellows are or have been directly engaged in practical politics and policymaking as government officials, advisers or members of official commissions. For these reasons, AAI maintains policies and procedures for assuring the integrity and reputation of its work. The most important of these are set forth below.

Political Campaigns and Other Partisan Activities

AAI's 501(c)(3) tax status also forbids it from participating in any campaign for elected public office. This means that AAI may not take an institutional position for or against any political candidate and may not permit its resources, including the on-the-job time of its salaried employees, to be used in an electoral campaign. During election campaigns, AAI employees who endorse particular candidates, or who become engaged in campaigns as candidates, advisers, volunteers or employees, must do so as individuals and on their own time and resources, and must arrange for part-time or full-time leaves of absence if necessary.

If employees, on their own time and as private citizens, formally affiliate with a political campaign, they must abide by an additional requirement.  Whenever publishing in any form or appearing on television, radio or at a public gathering on behalf of a candidate, employees may be identified as both an AAI employee and a representative of a political campaign, but must make it clear they are speaking and acting solely for themselves and not for the institute.

Public Comment

AAI welcomes comments on the policies and procedures described here. They should be sent to the Executive Director, Asian American Institute, 910 17th Street NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC . 20006.

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