Merging non-profit management, policy consulting, and business operational skills, Ryan Kawamoto is currently the Executive Director of Yu-Ai Kai, a trusted senior community center that has provided services to over 3,000 seniors and their families annually for over 43 years. Yu-Ai Kai’s Neighborhood Meals on Wheels program, senior nutrition program, health and wellness activities, Senior Day Services program, and customized case management program have been credited with saving many lives. Additionally, as an author and illustrator, Ryan is the CEO of Little Hawk Comics, which published his 365-page graphic novel for youths to discuss and learn about racism.
He was a Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellow in 2002-2003 for Majority Leader Wilma Chan and later became a legislative aide for Assemblymember Mike Feuer, where he staffed a successful legislative campaign generating $40 billion in transit funding for Los Angeles County. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego, in political science with a minor in visual arts and a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He holds leadership positions on the Aging Services Collaborative Leadership Council, Age-Friendly San Jose Advisory Council, and Japantown Community Congress of San Jose, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project.
“I credit the fellowship program with providing me an unparalleled foundation to cultivate my analytic and strategic planning skills with real-world consequences in an incredibly supportive environment. The fellowship program has also provided me with an unshakable view of always perceiving issues as a policy advocate first and foremost even if my role is in the business or nonprofit sector.“