Maeley Tom

Leadership Council Co-Chair

Maeley_Tom_CAPA21Maeley Tom spent 20 years in the California State Legislature. She holds the unique distinction of serving in the two highest level staff positions of both houses, the Chief Administrative Officer of the California State Assembly under Speaker Willie L. Brown Jr. and the Chief of Staff to the former Senate President pro Tem David Roberti in the California State Senate.

She helped establish the first California Legislative Office of Asian Pacific Affairs which served as a liaison between the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and the State Legislature. As the state director, she played a major role in influencing the AAPI groups to strengthen their political clout by uniting as one voice to address issues that impact the entire community.

She was the co-founder of the Capitol Asian Legislative Staff Caucus, the Capitol Asian Youth Leadership Project, and the founding president of the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus Institute.

Her election as Chair of the Asian Pacific Caucus of the California Democratic Party and subsequent appointment as the Chair of the National Democratic Council of Asian Pacific Americans enabled her to organize the first national convention of AAPI democratic leaders. This convention in 1987 marked the first time U.S. presidential candidates addressed AAPI issues before a national public forum.

She has been engaged in over 60 state legislative campaigns, three gubernatorial campaigns, and three presidential campaigns. She served as the Deputy Political Director of the California Dukakis presidential campaign in 1988. From 1989-1997, Ms. Tom served on the executive board of the Democratic National Committee. She was a volunteer advisor to the Clinton/Gore presidential campaigns on national issues and AAPI community outreach effort. She current serves as an AAPI community liaison to Mayor Kevin Johnson.

Ms. Tom was selected by President Reagan to serve on his Advisory Committee on Women’s Business Ownership. She was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Women’s World Conference in New York in 1995. In February 2003, Governor Davis appointed her to become the first Asian American to serve on the State Personnel Board, which oversees the policies and merit system governing over 200,000 State employees. From 2006-2008, she served as the State Personnel Board’s representative on the Ca1PERS board which oversees the nation’s largest pension fund. She has also advised the California State Controller John Chiang on pensions and investments and she was the founding co-chair of the Association of Asian American Investment Managers.