Lee Pao Xiong
Lee Pao Xiong is currently the founding Director of the Center for Hmong Studies at Concordia University, St. Paul and professor of American Government/Political Science and Hmong Studies.
Throughout his distinguished career, Xiong served as the Director of Housing Policy and Development for the City of Minneapolis, President and CEO of The Urban Coalition, Executive Director of the State Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotan, Hmong American Partnership and the Hmong Youth Association of Minnesota. Previously, he has also served on the staff of Minnesota State Senator, Joe Bertram, and staff intern with United States Senator, Carl Levin, of Michigan in Washington, DC.
From 1997 to 2003, Lee Pao represented the City of St. Paul, Lauderdale and Falcon Heights on the Metropolitan Council, a regional planning agency in Minnesota, as an appointee of Minnesota Governor Jesses Ventura. As a Councilmember, he chaired the LivableCommunities Committee, which approves comprehensive plans for over 170 cities, provides funding for affordable housing as well as Section 8 housing for low-income communities. He also co-chaired the Central Corridor Coordinating Committees, which oversaw the planning process for the Green Line on University Avenue, connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul.
In 2000, President William Jefferson Clinton appointed Lee Pao Xiong to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders to advise the president and federal agencies on issues relating to the 10 plus million Asian Americans in the United States, making him the first Hmong presidential appointee in the nation.
Lee Pao has won numerous awards for his service to the community. He is a co-founder of the Hmong Resource Fair, the Asian Festival (now Dragon Boat Festival in St. Paul), Hmong Academy (now Hmong College Prep Academy), Hmong Community School of Excellence, and the Asian Development Corporation (now Asian Economic Development Association). Currently, he serves as Chairs of the board of theSepak Takraw of USA and the Hmong United Martial Arts Society. He is also on the board of Change Inc. and an advisor to the Hmong Museum. He is widely sought after as a speaker and diversity trainer by many educational institutions, and community organizations on Hmong history, culture and society, as well as leadership and non-profit board governance.