Episode 68 • 11/30/2023

Khanh Vu, CEO, Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE), on Helping Members Develop Cultural Agility and Leadership Skills

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While Asian-Americans are well represented in the tech workforce, they are poorly represented in leadership positions, including tech leadership. How do we help Asian scientists and engineers move into leadership roles?

In this episode of Associations Thrive, host Joanna Pineda interviews Khanh Vu, CEO & Executive Director of the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE). Khanh discusses:

  • How Asian scientists and engineers are often held back by cultural traits, including the desire to always be respectful, let their seniors speak first, and not seem overly aggressive.
  • How SASE helps members develop the communication and leadership skills needed to rise up the rank at their organizations.
  • How Asian women are the least likely to move into leadership positions, which is why SASE has a women’s leadership conference and new mentoring pods to support their women members.
  • How the SASE National Convention is known for its amazing food, training, and job interviews with corporate sponsors.
  • How hundreds of job offers were made during this year’s National Convention.
  • How Northrop Grumman’s CEO challenged her Asian and Asian-American executives to come up with a plan to recruit and nurture their Asian-American staff, and then share their playbook with other SASE corporate sponsors.
  • How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) help groups within companies find support and training.
  • How the National Convention in 2023 was the largest ever, with 3,000 attendees.
  • How membership is at an all-time high of over 20,000.


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About Associations Thrive

Associations Thrive podcast is hosted by Joanna Pineda, CEO & Chief Troublemaker at Matrix Group International. Joanna’s personal mission and the mission of Matrix Group is to help associations and nonprofits increase membership, generate revenue and thrive in the digital space. 

We believe that every association has a unique mission and unique story that demonstrates how they’re serving their members, impacting their industry, and ultimately changing the world. Every guest is an association Chief Executive, Executive Director or President. We’re here to help amplify their stories so all associations can learn and thrive, together.

If you and your organization have a great story,  apply to be on Associations Thrive!