The Southeast Asian Assistance Center is pleased to announce its new Executive Director – Yang Xiong. Mr. Xiong was a Hmong refugee from Laos who arrived in the United States in 1980 as a result of the “Secret War” which took place in Laos during the Vietnam War.
He attended elementary, middle, and high schools in Merced, CA. For his college education, he attended UC Berkeley to obtain a BA in Psychology and Carnegie Mellon University to obtain an MS in Public Policy and Management.
He has worked primarily in the non-profit sector starting out in the late 1990s as a Youth Counselor and Community Organizer for International Institute of the East Bay (IIEB). Later, he directed IIEB’s youth program for a year and then transitioned to become the Program Administrator for a federally funded substance abuse prevention program in a different agency (Asian Pacific Psychological Services) but still serving the same Southeast Asian population.
Following those experiences, he moved to the Northern California area and worked as a Service Coordinator for Alta California Regional Center serving a diverse caseload of people with developmental disabilities for close to 11 years. He then took a break from social services and explored the world of internet entrepreneurship for a year and a half before taking his current position as the Executive Director of SAAC.