5 Female Asian American Executives You Should Know

Asian American women have been steadily rising in the world of entertainment over the past few years, whether it’s been through landing leading roles on television or performing at live music festivals.  But what about the Asian American women in executive roles?

Here are five accomplished AAPI ladies who have all climbed up the ladder and made their mark:


The Hollywood Reporter's Women In Entertainment Breakfast Honoring Oprah Winfrey
An alumnus of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, Janice Min has worked her way up the media ladder with experience from syndicates such as People, Life, and In Style.  Upon stepping down from her editor-in-chief post at Us Weekly in 2009, Min was named editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter in 2010.  Earlier this year, Min was also made co-president of THR’s parent company Guggenheim Media.


Based in New York, Marissa Webb served in various design roles at J.Crew for more than ten years before launching her own eponymous contemporary label.  Earlier this year, Gap Inc. appointed Webb as the creative director and executive vice president of design at Banana Republic.  The retailer has started releasing photos and products of the new fall collection under Webb’s direction.


Keli Lee
Born to Korean parents, Keli Lee was on track to attend law school in accordance with her parents’ wishes.  An entertainment casting internship allowed Lee to break free from that route and work her way up in the entertainment world.  Year later, her passion for developing and casting diverse talent brought her to the ABC Entertainment Group, where she is now the executive vice president of casting.  Lee has overseen casting for shows such as Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.


Radhika Jones
Wielding a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, Radhika Jones started her journalism career as a copy editor at The Moscow Times.  She was promoted to managing editor of The Paris Review, and soon after, she joined TIME as their arts editor.  After three years and editing two TIME 100 issues and the Mark Zuckerburg “Person of the Year” issue, Jones became TIME‘s executive editor in 2011.


Indra Nooyi
Last but certainly not least, is Indra Nooyi, the current chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo.  The Yale alum had joined the food and beverage powerhouse in 1994.  After being named president and CFO in 2001, she became the fifth CEO in PepsiCo’s 44-year history in 2006.  As one of the most influential women of our time, Nooyi is consistently ranked among Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, and this year, she ranked #13 on Forbes‘ list.

Apart from those listed, there are many other empowered Asian American women who have risen through the ranks and past the bamboo ceiling including Grace Ueng (founder and CEO of Savvy Marketing Group), Andrea Jung (president and CEO of Grameen America and former CEO of Avon Products), Komal Ahmad (CEO of Feeding Forward), and Laura Lee (YouTube’s director of Entertainment East Content Partnerships).

All of these women have paved a path for other young Asian Americans, both male and female, to chase their passions and achieve their dreams regardless of stereotypes and racial bias.

Do you know of any other influential Asian American executives?  Share with us in the comments below!

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