Executive Director

Rod Lew, MPH, is the Founder and Executive Director of APPEAL. Prior to APPEAL, Rod was the Health Education Director at Asian Health Services and the Associate Director for the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations. Rod was a contributing author to the 1998 Surgeon General’s Report on Tobacco Use and has written and published widely on tobacco and health disparities. Rod provided testimony to the U.S. Congressional Committee on Commerce on the impact of national tobacco policy in 1999 and to the U.S. Surgeon General in 2004. He has also served on numerous national health advisory committees, including the State of California Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee (2000-2006), American Public Health Association (APHA) Equal Health Opportunity Committee (2005-6) and APHA Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, where he served as Chair (1998-2000). Rod was the 2002 recipient of the Christopher Jenkins Cancer Control Award. In 2009, he also received the Lester Breslow Lifetime Achievement Award from the UCLA School of Public Health, his alma mater.


CAPHE3 Network Program Coordinator

Priya graduated with a Bachelor’s in Health Sciences- Concentration in Public Health from California State University, East Bay. Her interest lies in representing underserved AA & NHPI communities through community-based participatory research (CBPR), advocacy, and creating culturally tailored resources. In her free time, she enjoys working with her mentor, Dr. Arnab Mukherjea, and lab mates to learn more about Indo-Fijian health behaviors and the diasporic experience. Priya strives to bring representation for her diasporic Indo-Fijian community, in hopes of creating more public health advocates and community leaders.


SPARC Program Associate

Karen is a dedicated professional in the field of public health, with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health. Karen joins APPEAL with a background in community-based health organizing, where she played a pivotal role in helping the community access health insurance coverage and educational information. During the pandemic, Karen served as a receptionist in urgent care to provide essential support during a challenging time. She has also organized health screening events and actively engaged in outreach efforts, creating culturally appropriate materials in multiple languages to ensure effective communication. As a proud Asian American, Karen is deeply passionate about advocacy and continues to utilize her expertise, compassion, and dedication to promote health equity and empower AA & NH/PI communities to lead healthier lives. In her free time outside of work, she loves to explore the city and try new restaurants, and spend quality time with her family and friends.