1982 – NAAAP first founded in New York City
1986 – Boston chapter formed
1987 – Chicago chapter formed
1992 – First NAAAP convention held in Chicago
1997 – Atlanta chapter founded
1999 – Toronto chapter, 1st Canada joined
2001 – First NAAAP winter retreat in Dallas
2003 – NAAAP National Advisor Board created
2007 – Atlanta hosted NAAAP National Convention
2007 – NAAAP National Career Center launched
2009 – NAAAP is 30 chapters and over 3000 members strong
2012 – NAAAP celebrated its 30th anniversary

NAAAP History

In 1982, a group of Asians in New York City saw the need to create an organization that empowered young Asian professionals to become involved in civil rights and be active in paving their professional destinies. Originally called the National Association of Young Asian Professionals, the organization that formed in reaction to the murder of Chinese-American Vincent Chin has grown to establish a globally diverse network of professionals now known as the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP).

Dedicated to providing a broad range of professional and education services to meet the needs of individuals, corporations, governments through willing volunteers, the concept spread to various cities across the U.S., starting with Boston in 1986. It then caught on in Chicago in 1987, Houston in 1994, and Atlanta in 1997. In 1991, NAAAP National held its first retreat in Cape Cod, Massachusetts to expands its membership base and structure its growth. During the same year, NAAAP National’s first president, Robert Tanzil, was elected to oversee the National Board of NAAAP.

Since then, NAAAP has continued to expand by establishing an administrative board, attracting corporate sponsorships, and services for career advancement in various professional fields. Now in 22 cities across the U.S. and Canada, NAAAP continues to gather the best and brightest, forging leaders of tomorrow through professional development, cultural awareness, and community service.

Past NAAAP Leaders include:

  • Jerry Yang, former CEO of Yahoo!
  • Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo
  • Guy Kawasaki, managing director of Garage Technology Ventures and evangelist for Apple
  • The Honorable Elaine L. Chao, former U.S. Secretary of Labor
  • The Honorable Michael Honda, U.S. Congressman of the California15th district
  • Jane Hyun, author of “Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling”
  • Qui Duc Nguyen, host and producer of KQED Public Radio
  • Former Washington State Governor, Gary Locke