D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Sunday night announced she has appointed gay urban planning specialist and former D.C. government official David Do as director of the city’s Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.
Bowser made the announcement while speaking at the 26th Annual Korean-American Grocers Association of Washington, D.C. Scholarship Award Banquet. The event was held at the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine of the Holy Family located near Catholic University in the city’s Brookland section.
“David is a passionate leader who is committed to improving the quality of life for the residents of the District of Columbia,” Bowser said in making the announcement.
“I welcome David’s enthusiasm and am delighted to have him join our team. David will be instrumental in working with the AAPI community on behalf of my administration to deliver a fresh start for the District’s residents,” she said.
Do’s appointment to the cabinet-level post requires confirmation by the City Council. Political observers familiar with the Council expect the Council to approve the appointment.
Do is a Vietnamese American and the child of a family that came to the U.S. as Vietnam War refugees. He finished a close second in a five-candidate race for a seat on the D.C. State Board of Education from Ward 1 in last November’s city election. In December he received a master’s degree in community planning from the University of Maryland.
Prior to enrolling in graduate school at Maryland, where he also served as a teaching assistant, Do served as a correspondence management specialist in the mayor’s Correspondence Unit under Mayors Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray.
A statement released by Bowser’s office on Sunday says among Do’s goals in his new job will be to “move forward together by continuing to build bridges between the District’s AAPI community and all Washingtonians.”
The statement adds, “Do will lead OAPIA in its mission to improve the quality of life for District AAPIs through advocacy and engagement. Do will advise the mayor, the Council, and District agencies on the views, needs, and concerns of the AAPI community, provide recommendations on District programs and initiatives affecting the AAPI community, and help to coordinate programs and initiatives within District government that promote the overall welfare of the AAPI community.”
Do becomes the fourth openly gay or lesbian appointed by Bowser to a cabinet-level position. Last week Bowser named lesbian activist, media professional and former Washington Blade vice president for strategic initiatives Sheila Alexander-Reid as director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs.
Shortly before taking office as mayor on Jan. 2, Bowser named lesbian housing and homelessness policy expert Polly Donaldson as director of the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development and gay former city official Matt Brown as director of the Mayor’s Office of the Budget.
“I am excited to be appointed by Mayor Bowser to lead the Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs,” Do said in a statement. “I will bring my experience and deep understanding of various community groups and stakeholders in Washington, D.C. to my new role,” he said. “My focus will be on making sure that the Asian-American and Pacific Islander has a strong advocate and voice within the District.”