Badgers well-represented in list of Wisconsin’s most influential Asian American leaders

Badgers made up seven of the 34 leaders recognized in Madison365’s “Most Influential Asian American Leaders” list for 2021.

A nonprofit online news publication, Madison365 has published annual power lists recognizing Wisconsin leaders from different racial and ethnic groups since 2015. The purpose of the lists is to “highlight the beauty of the diversity across our state” and lift up role models for Wisconsin’s young people, according to Henry Sanders, Jr., co-founder, publisher and chief executive officer of Madison365.

“This week we shine a statewide spotlight on the dedicated leaders of Wisconsin’s Hmong, Chinese American, Japanese American, Pacific Islander, South Asian, and other communities. These are richly diverse communities with roots that represent a massive geographic area. The people we highlight this week are … doing difficult, important work, often in the face of discrimination and literally generations of oppression,” Sanders said.

Congratulations to the Badgers below who received this well-deserved recognition. You can read the full post at Wisconsin’s 34 Most Influential Asian American Leaders.

  • Awais Khaleel (‘08) is a Dane County prosecutor and chair of the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. He is a founding director of the Wisconsin Muslim Civic Alliance, which organizes voters and engages with elected officials to advance Muslim rights at the local, state, and federal levels. He is also on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Association of State Prosecutors.
  • Duy Nguyen (‘03) is assistant state superintendent for the Division for Academic Excellence in the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. He served for more than 17 years in schools as a kindergarten, first- and second-grade teacher, learning coordinator, and an elementary school principal. Nguyen started the first laboratory school in Wisconsin and is the first Southeast Asian state assistant superintendent in Wisconsin history.
  • Vallabh (Samba) Sambamurthy, Ph.D., is the Albert O. Nicholas Dean of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW–Madison. Recognized as an impactful administrator, attentive leader, and preeminent scholar in the areas of innovation and digital strategy, Dr. Sambamurthy brings extensive experience to the dean position. A leading expert on how businesses compete in the digital economy, his work has been featured in leading academic journals, and he has been recognized for his contributions to teaching, research, outreach, and mentoring.
  • Malika Siker (‘01, M.D. ‘06) is a radiation oncologist, associate dean for student inclusion and diversity, and an associate professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin. In her administrative role, Dr. Siker directs initiatives focusing on cultivating a culture of inclusion for learners and increasing student diversity through pathway programs for learners interested in health science careers. Her patient care emphases are blood, brain, pediatric, and prostate cancers. Dr. Siker has published multiple peer-reviewed manuscripts, essays, and book chapters and is a passionate advocate for health equity.
  • Angelito Tenorio (’17) is engagement and development manager at Wisconsin Conservation Voters and a member of the West Allis City Council. He’s held a variety of positions within Democratic state politics and has co-chaired the party’s AAPI caucus. He is currently running for State Treasurer. While an undergraduate student at UW–Madison, Tenorio served as chair of the University Affairs Committee in the Associated Students of Madison.
  • Sandy Xiong (‘16) is the strategic planning and engagement manager for the city of Sun Prairie. She began in 2018 as the communications and diversity coordinator before being promoted to assistant to the city manager in 2019 and to her current role last year. Xiong also serves on the board of directors of the East Madison Community Center.
  • Tammie Xiong (’08) serves as the executive director for the Hmong American Women’s Association in Milwaukee, a grassroots social justice organization led by Southeast Asian women and queer fem women dedicated to ending gender-based violence against Southeast Asian women, girls, and LGBTQ folks. Xiong’s also serves on the Wisconsin Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse and as a commissioner for the city of Milwaukee Commission for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.