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NAPABA Press Release

910 17th St., N.W., Suite 315
Washington, D.C. 20006

Click here to download a PDF copy of the press release.

January 13, 2006

CONTACT: Les Jin, (202) 775-9555


Washington, D.C. – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) celebrates the appointment of Rachelle Chong to the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Ms. Chong becomes the first Asian Pacific American to serve on this 5-person commission that oversees the $1.2 billion state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of safety and pricing regulations of gas, electricity, telephone, water, and other public utilities in the California.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Ms. Chong to the position on Wednesday, January 11, 2006. She was sworn-in as a commissioner on Thursday, January 12, 2006.

Ms. Chong is an attorney with over 20 years of experience in telecommunications law and policy. She previously served on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 1994 to 1997 and oversaw the implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 during her term. She is the first and only Asian Pacific American to have served as a Commissioner of the FCC. With her most recent appointment, she also becomes the only Asian Pacific American public utility commissioner in the continental United States.

Ms. Chong has been a longtime member of NAPABA and its affiliates including the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, DC Area (APABA-DC) and the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA-GB). Ms. Chong’s involvement in NAPABA has included delivering remarks at the 8th Annual NAPABA Convention in Denver, CO. NAPABA endorsed Ms. Chong’s candidacy for her position on the FCC and actively worked for her reappointment in conjunction with the Asian Pacific American Coalition for Presidential Appointments (APACA) in the 1990s.

“NAPABA congratulates Ms. Chong on her historic appointment to the California Public Utilities Commission,” remarked NAPABA President Amy Lin Meyerson of Weston, CT. “Her professional excellence in the field of telecommunications and her dedication to the Asian Pacific American community make her an able public servant who continues to achieve ‘firsts’ across the country.”

“NAPABA applauds the Governor’s appointment of Ms. Chong,” stated NAPABA President-Elect Phillip F. Shinn of the law firm of Thornton, Taylor, Becker, and Shinn in San Francisco, CA. “We hope to continue working with the Governor on more appointments of the many qualified Asian Pacific Americans in the state of California to executive and judiciary positions.”


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 47 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal profession.


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