The Official Site of The Commonwealth of Virginia

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Virginia

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Take a look into Asian Pacific Americans' impact on Virginia's past, present, and future.

Noteworthy Asian Pacific Virginians

Throughout the month of May, the spotlight is on influential Noteworthy Asian Pacific Virginians of Virginia's past, present, and future.

Photo of Atif Qarni

Atif Qarni

The Secretary

Prior to his appointment as Governor Northam’s Secretary of Education, Atif Qarni taught at Beville Middle School in Prince William County, leading courses in civics, economics, U.S History, and mathematics. He also served as a GED Night School Instructor. In 2016, Atif was recognized as the Dale City Teacher of the Year.

In addition to his work as an educator, Atif is a former Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps, and was deployed to Iraq in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Learn More about Atif Qarni

Photo of Dr. Marie Sankaran Raval, M.D.

Dr. Marie Sankaran Raval, M.D.

The Doctor

Dr. Marie Sankaran Raval, M.D. was appointed to the VAAB in 2020.  She is an Anesthesiologist and Assistant Professor at VCU Health. Prior to her current position, she was employed by Weill Cornell Medical College/New York-Presbyterian Hospital where she served as an Anesthesiologist and Assistant Professor.

Learn More about Dr. Marie Sankaran Raval, M.D.

May Nivar Photo

May Nivar

The Chairwoman

May Nivar is a community advocate who was appointed to the Virginia Asian Advisory Board in 2017 by Governor Terry McAuliffe and has served as its chair since 2019. She is also the founding chair of the Asian & Latino Solidarity Alliance of Central Virginia and serves as a Richmond chapter member of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. Previous board service includes the Asian American Society of Central Virginia and OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates - Central Virginia Chapter.

Learn More about May Nivar

Learning Resources

Check out the resources below to learn more on Asian American's impact on the history of Virginia.