President Obama Nominates Paul Watanabe to Asian American Advisory Commission

Office of Communications | May 11, 2015
Paul Watanabe has served as the director of UMass Boston's Institute for Asian American Studies since 2003.

Paul Watanabe has served as the director of UMass Boston's Institute for Asian American Studies since 2003.
Image by: Richard Howard

Director of UMass Boston’s Institute for Asian American Studies Will Be Sworn in on Wednesday

President Barack Obama has nominated Institute for Asian American Studies (IAAS) Director Paul Watanabe to serve as a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Watanabe will be sworn in on Wednesday.

“Beyond the personal recognition, the president's appointment, I believe, reflects the longstanding leadership role of UMass Boston in focusing on issues related to Asian Americans,” Watanabe said. 

Obama established the advisory commission in 2009 to work with agencies throughout the federal government to improve the health, education and economic status of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Watanabe has been IAAS director since 2003 and an associate professor of political science since 1985. He has served as chair of the Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations since 2012. His focus areas include American foreign policy, American political behavior, ethnic group politics, and Asian Americans. 

Watanabe is one of 11 appointees the president will be naming to various commission and committee positions on Wednesday.

“These men and women bring extraordinary dedication to their roles and will serve the American people well. I look forward to working with them,” Obama said.

About UMass Boston
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 17,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit

Tags: obama , paul watanabe

Comment on this story

Comments (3)

Posted by Peter J Rubio, Class of 2004 | September 22, 2016 - 9:37 p.m.

The president chose the right man for the job.

Posted by Elliott Birckhead | June 14, 2015 - 7:03 p.m.

A great man and a great teacher!


Posted by Cheryl Broderick | May 25, 2015 - 8:34 p.m.

Hi, Paul,

Congratulations!!!! I trust you’re well, preparing for your not so new role. How’s the family? HA

Cheryl Broderick, MEd

RPCV:HIV/TB/Mental Health

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