Lauren Pongan [she/her] is the National Director of the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC), which advocates for policies and programs that improve aging in our communities as racially and ethnically diverse people; American Indians and Alaska Natives; and LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning and other self-identifying members of the community) people. The coalition is comprised of six national organizations: National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA), National Caucus and Center on Black Aging (NCBA), National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA), SAGE (advocacy and services for LGBT elders), and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC).
Before coming to the DEC, Lauren worked to support and build a network of leaders of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community-based organizations at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. There she co-designed, developed, and facilitated signature federal advocacy and lobbying trainings. Her past experience includes managing direct service programs for Asian American immigrants, refugees, and elders, and Pennsylvania’s only Asian American focused domestic violence services program at SEAMAAC, Inc. She has also managed a coalition of bilingual Asian American Affordable Care Act navigators from several community-based organizations around Philadelphia.
Lauren identifies as a mixed race second-generation Filipina American. She holds a Master of Arts in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Colby College.
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