David W. Yang

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David W. Yang, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict & Humanitarian Assistance; USAIDBenjamin To / Benjamin To

David W. Yang, 60

Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict & Humanitarian Assistance; USAID

Hometown: Stockton, California

How did you get here?

My family came to the United States as refugees in the 1950s. So I always wanted to repay my family’s debt to the United States by serving in the U.S. Government and advancing human rights globally. I’ve had the privilege of contributing to the international movement for human rights and democratic governance during the past three decades. I worked in these areas for over seven years in the Clinton Administration, and now for over five years in the Obama Administration. I’ve also worked on these issues in the United Nations and in non-governmental organizations.

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

Two people: Martin Luther King, because of his moral leadership of the U.S. civil rights movement; and Eleanor Roosevelt, because of her leadership in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights right after World War Two.

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

Contributing to three global initiatives led or co-led by President Obama: (1) Open Government Partnership, an international organization of 70 governments and thousands of NGOs in support of greater citizen participation and greater government transparency; (2) Stand with Civil Society, a U.S. effort to support non-governmental organizations in countries where political space is being constricted by governments; and (3) Sustainable Development Goals, the UN’s new global vision to be achieved by 2030.

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

Linking civil rights in the U.S. with human rights globally.

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

When I’m not working, I’m crafting stories to tell at Moth StorySLAMS.

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