Nancy Yao Maasbach

President, Museum of Chinese in America

Nancy Yao Maasbach has served as the President of the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) since 2015. As the President of MOCA, Nancy combines her experiences in managing organizations, knowledge of U.S.-China relations and research on redefining the American narrative. Nancy is also a lecturer on governance at the Yale School of Drama. She currently serves as an independent director for several Abrdn-managed closed end funds and serves on the boards of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, Tessitura Network, and the McGraw-Hill Equity Advisory Committee. Prior to her time at MOCA, Nancy was the executive director of the Yale-China Association, one of the oldest non-profit organizations dedicated to building U.S.-China relations. Before Yale-China, Nancy gained over 20 years of experience at the Council on Foreign Relations, Goldman Sachs & Co., CFRA, and CNN International. Nancy has held board positions at The Community Fund for Women & Girls and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Nancy was based in Hong Kong with Goldman Sachs from 1999—2004 and covered the handover of Hong Kong to the PRC for CNN International in 1997. Nancy received her MBA from the Yale School of Management and her AB from Occidental College. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Nancy is speaking at

General Advocacy
July 17, 2021
11:30 am - 12:45 pm


  • Aryani Ong (Speaker) Co-Founder, Asian American Federal Employees for Non-Discrimination
  • Sandy Shan (Speaker) National Organizer, Justice is Global
  • Nancy Yao Maasbach (Moderator) President, Museum of Chinese in America
  • Mara Hvistendahl (Speaker) Investigative Reporter, The Intercept
  • Richard Buangan (Speaker) Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy and Regional and Security Policy, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs


Flooding the U.S. news in recent years has been an intense focus on the newly designated strategic competitor, the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Highlighted topics run the gamut: investigations of scientists and researchers; unprecedented numbers of proposed laws; and campaign ads competing to look tough on China. Charged to focus on domestic policy only, OCA has and continues to address the impact of certain government actions on Asian Americans – a civil rights concern. Included is calling out messaging by elected officials and public figures and news media that crosses the appropriate line on race and politics. But it’s proven to be challenging terrain. Asian American advocates run into the age-old problem of the perpetual foreigner stereotype. When they call for fair and equal treatment for Asian Americans like other Americans, their views are misinterpreted as playing for the other side. So how can Asian Americans navigate a conversation that skates the fictional line between foreign and domestic policy and distinguishes between governments and peoples, Asians and Asian Americans or systemic racism and bias? Speakers who have published, spoken or advocated on this matter will give critiques of public messaging and offer talking points guidance to audience members.

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