Albert Shen

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Albert Shen, National Deputy Director, Minority Business Development AgencyBenjamin To / White House Communications

Albert Shen

National Deputy Director, Minority Business Development Agency

How did you get here?

I came here after a career as a small business owner and advocate, community leader, and a former political candidate. During my time in Seattle, I decided to make a run for local office to be a voice for small business and Asian Americans. Though, I did not win my race, I was fortunate enough to have developed relationships with the Obama administration where I was then appointed to be the National Deputy Director for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency in 2014. I am the principal advisor to MBDA’s National Director Alejandra Y. Castillo, where I am responsible for overseeing various aspects of the Agency’s operations as well as developing new policy and new market initiatives that will grow America’s minority owned businesses.

Who or what has been the greatest influence on your career?

I would say my friendship with Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu. Sharing a passion for public and community service in the Asian American Community, Chris and I became friends after my unsuccessful run for a seat on the Seattle City Council. Chris encouraged me to work for the Obama Administration as we both shared a common passion for public service. Without his inspiration and guidance, I would not be where I am today.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment during the Obama administration?

Working side by side the MBDA National Director, Alejandra Y. Castillo and transforming a small federal agency into an internationally recognized agency that is leading the way on connecting and growing minority owned businesses.

Can you describe your time working for the Obama administration in 10 words?

This was the holy grail of public service!

Complete the sentence: “When I’m not working, I…”

When I’m not working, I am home spending quality time with my family and being the best cook and father to them that I can be.

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