WASHINGTON, DC—In celebration of Filpino American History Month at the White House, President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, together with the White House AAPI Initiative, hosted a virtual event honoring the contributions of Filipino Americans to the United States.
“We are especially grateful for the hundreds of thousands of Filipino Americans who are on the front lines of this battle, taking personal risks to save lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. “But for decades, Filipino Americans have served as critical health care workers to alleviate the shortage of skilled nursing care in this country. Today their contribution is more important than ever.”
Fil-Ams working for the White House also got a shout out from Sec. Chao. Among them was Kelly Ilagan, a senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Iligan oversees the implementation of Trump’s priority trade initiatives within global markets. She previously worked as director of the White House Liaison Office.
“I’m excited to join the Trump administration’s 4th Annual Filipino American History Month celebration,” Iligan said during the virtual event. “My parents made sure their culture and traditional conservative family values were instilled in me.”
Also honored was White House Communications Advisor Ninio Fetalvo.
“Every day when I walk into the White House, I reflect on how in one generation the son of immigrants who grew up in a small town in Southwest Florida and eventually live in our nation’s capital and serve the president of the United States,” Fetalvo said. “I truly would not be where I am today or who I am without my Filipino parents and the values instilled in me throughout my upbringing.”
Other Fil-Ams working at the White House include Jennifer Korn, the deputy assistant to the President and deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison, and Vic Mercado, assistant secretary of defense for strategy at the U.S. Department of Defense.
NaFFAA National Chairman Brendan Flores was also among the honorees on Thursday.