Skip to Main Content

ABOUT NAAAP: National Association of Asian American Professionals


National Association of Asian American Professionals  •  The Premier Leadership Organization for Asian Professionals



The National Association of Asian American Professionals is a non-profit organization that cultivates and empowers Asian & Pacific Islander leaders through leadership development, professional networking, and community service.

As the largest and fastest growing API professionals association, NAAAP continues to provide its members with the tools and resources to further career advancement and to empower Asians and Pacific Islanders to become great leaders as well as valuable employees.

In order to achieve our goals, NAAAP offers a diverse range of professional development programs on the local and national level, engages its membership in community service and organizes professional networking events. These may range from a series of panels, workshops and seminars, and web-based sessions and networking.

The NAAAP Orlando mission and values can be seen below and are supported by our bylaws.


  • Cultivate and empower leaders for professional excellence
  • Connect accomplished professionals for mutual success
  • Engage and participate with the community-at-large
  • Inspire leaders to make a meaningful difference in government, education, business, and society


  • Leadership: Develop, inspire, and connect leaders
  • Education: Excel at life-long learning
  • Accountability: Honor commitments to deliver value
  • Diversity: Embrace a culture of inclusion and innovation



Founded in New York City as “The National Association of Young Asian Professionals” – subsequently renamed as NAAAP, “National Association of Asian American Professionals”


What we now know as NAAAP, the National Association of Asian American Professionals, was founded in 1982, in New York City. At first, the organization was called the National Association of Young Asian Professionals, the name was soon changed to embrace a broader range of Asian Pacific American (APA) professionals and to better reflect the rapidly changing demographic.

The brutal murder of Vincent Chin in 1982 had acutely raised awareness of the importance of activism, not only in the Chinese American community, but amongst all Asian Pacific Americans. Just as Asian Pacific Americans needed civil rights activism, so too did Asian Pacific Americans need to take their own professional destinies in their hands to overcome discrimination in the workplace and break the glass ceiling.

The organization at first was rather informal, providing networking and activity opportunities for the postcollegiate APA professionals and their families. Its commitment to being an organization for all Asian ethnicities, and for all professions, made it different from other groups in the city.

The organization’s concept was too good to stay bottled up for long, and new chapters sprung up in Boston in 1986 and Chicago in 1987. These three chapters formed the beginnings of NAAAP National. At first, NAAAP National merely consisted of informal networking and idea sharing amongst the local officers of the three chapters at an annual summer retreat, but the benefits of having a structured national entity became apparent.

Currently, there are more than 30 chapters across the United States, Canada, and China.

During its 30 years of operation, NAAAP has remained an all volunteer organization, paying only for program-specific services and technology improvements.

NAAAP has had the foremost APA leaders pass through its halls over the years, including:

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

In 2012, NAAAP turned 30 years old. We celebrated our 30th anniversary with the NAAAP National Convention and Diversity Career Fair presented by Macy’s in the city of both organizations’ birthplace, New York City.

NAAAP’s ongoing commitment to professional and leadership development will help NAAAP and its partners continue to succeed in years to come. However, the successes do not happen without the enthusiasm, innovation and hard work of NAAAP’s members and sponsors. Be a part of NAAAP’s future as an active member, sponsor or officer, and help write the next chapter of NAAAP’s history!



Trainings & Workshops on Personal & Professional Development, such as self-care, interviewing skills, time management, etc.


Invested in making the city a better place through supporting and engaging with our community leaders and partners.


Meet new and familiar faces with our social & professional events, such as foodie meet-ups to happy hours.

Upcoming Events


Subscribe to our Newsletters