Meet LEAP's 2017 Honoree Geri Mannion and Paul Ong

Get to know our honorees before the LEAP "DREAM BIG" 35th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, July 20, 2017! Presenting two of our Individual Leadership Award recipients, Geri Mannion and Paul Ong!

Individual Leadership Award Recipients

Geri Mannion 
Program Director, U.S. Democracy and Special Opportunities Fund
Carnegie Corporation of New York

Paul Ong, PhD
Director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge
University of California, Los Angeles

The extraordinary contributions of Paul Ong and Geri Mannion, as researcher and funder, respectively, have been vital to increase awareness and understanding of the diversity, issues and concerns of the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community. Under the tenet that data drives social change, their efforts reshaped the national conversation and informed policy related to APIs. The preeminent scholar on API policy and demographics, Professor Ong partnered with LEAP in 1992 to develop the LEAP/UCLA API Public Policy Institute (PPI), the nation’s first centered on APIs, which lasted for nearly 20 years.  Ms. Mannion, of Carnegie Corporation, was an early champion and key funder of the Institute.  Her passion, vision and fearlessness enabled the success of the PPI and encouraged other foundations to support API organizations and fund further research nationwide.

Effective as of July 2017, Professor Ong will retire after 32 years of scholarship, service, and leadership at UCLA.  He holds academic appointments with the Department of Urban Planning, Department of Asian American Studies, and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.  He is Co-Founder and Senior Editor of AAPI Nexus: Policy, Practice and Community and Director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge.  Professor Ong will return to UCLA as a research professor with several ongoing projects, including the Urban Displacement Project regarding gentrification in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

Ms. Mannion is currently director of Carnegie Corporation's Strengthening U.S. Democracy Program, which focuses primarily on immigrant civic integration. She has directed the division since 1998, after staffing the Corporation’s Special Projects program for almost ten years.  She brings a wealth of experience about the role of philanthropy in challenging, improving and deepening civic dialogue.  Ms. Mannion has overseen and funded numerous projects studying the needs of immigrants in the United States, in addition to advocating for voter engagement and registration.

Studies continue to expose the persistent underrepresentation of APIs in the highest echelons of the business and nonprofit worlds (results can be seen here).

Listen to Geri speak on her connections to the immigrant community and the pressing needs for future leadership below. 

Listen to Dr. Ong discuss the importance of research and his personal motivations for pursuing research work below.

 

Geri speaking with LEAP President and CEO Linda Akutagawa at LEAP’s Emerging Leadership Program for Nonprofit Professionals Program graduation. This program is for mid-senior level API nonprofit staff.

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Geri Mannion Biography

As director of Carnegie Corporation's Strengthening U.S. Democracy Program, Geri Mannion brings a wealth of experience about the role of philanthropy in challenging, improving and deepening civic dialogue. She has directed the division since 1998, after staffing the Corporation's Special Projects program for almost ten years.  While the Corporation continues to support projects that focus on improving voter engagement among those least likely to vote, the Strengthening U.S. Democracy Program focuses primarily on immigrant civic integration. Active in professional organizations that work to strengthen the philanthropic and nonprofit world, Mannion currently chairs the Council on Foundations’ Selection Committee of the Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking.

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Paul Ong Biography

Paul M. Ong is Professor at UCLA’s School of Public Affairs, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, and Department of Asian American Studies, and has a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Washington and a doctorate in economics from UC Berkeley.  He is senior editor of the journal AAPI Nexus: Asian American and Pacific Islander Policy, Practice and Community and director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge. He previously served as the chair of UCLA’s Department of Urban Planning, director of the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, acting director of the Institute for Industrial Relations, founding director of UC AAPI Policy Program and director of the Center for the Study of Inequality. He has conducted research on immigration, civic and political participation, economic status of minorities, welfare-to-work, health workers, urban spatial inequality, and environmental inequality.  He is currently directing four research projects: asset building among Asian Americans funded by Ford Foundation, assessing Sustainable Community Strategies funded by California’s Air Resource Board, Collaboration Project for Gentrification and Displacement funded by The California Endowment, and tracking socioeconomic changes in neighborhoods affected the 1965 Watts Riots and 1992 L.A. Unrest/Uprising. He has served on advisory committees for California’s Employment Development Department and Department of Social Services, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, the California Wellness Foundation, the California Community Foundation, the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the National Research Council, the California League of Conservation Voters, Asian Pacific Legal Center, and PIU of the British Cabinet.

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For more information on the event or tickets, visit www.leap.org/celebration or contact Mayta Lor at mlor@leap.org.


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