The FBI Seattle Field Office selected community activist Alan Lai for the 2015 Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). Every year, each FBI field division honors a person who has demonstrated outstanding contributions to his or her local community through service. On February 4, 2016, in a ceremony at the FBI Seattle Field Division, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Frank Montoya, Jr. congratulated Lai. In April 2016, FBI Director James B. Comey will present Lai with the 2015 DCLA award in a ceremony at FBI Headquarters.
“Mr. Lai is a pillar of the community, particularly for Asian-American affairs,” said SAC Montoya in a statement. “The FBI knows him to be an advocate and friend to many. We appreciate his friendship and partnership. The Seattle Division is very pleased to select Mr. Lai to be this year’s Washington state DCLA recipient.”
Lai has served the Seattle-area community for more than 30 years in countless ways. Some of his contributions include victim advocacy, court interpretation, and raising awareness for and combating human trafficking. In 2002 Lai provided both interpretation and support services to victims in a human trafficking case involving Chinese Snake Head gangsters who had smuggled 18 people into Seattle, three of whom died en route. Alan organized counseling for the survivors, arranged for a memorial service for the deceased victims, and coordinated a difficult negotiation with the Chinese consulate to return the remains of the deceased to China. Lai is an active founding member of the WashACT (Washington Advisory Council Against Human Trafficking), a human trafficking task force that trains task forces in other jurisdictions. He has been involved with SCIDpda for 16 years and an active member of the Seattle FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association since his graduation in 2005. His contributions to the Association include doing translations to three foreign languages for an Identity Theft outreach program. He also helped garner public attention for two FBI matters on AATV, a local Chinese TV station: first, for a scam prevention campaign and, second, to appeal for public assistance in bringing home two kidnapped children.
Lai serves on the Seattle Police Department Advisory Council and the Bellevue Police Department Diversity Group, and has provided cultural training to officers of the Kent Police Department.
“Mr. Lai’s accomplishments and service extend even further beyond these examples,” the FBI said in a statement. “For those innumerable ways he positively impacts the greater Seattle community, the FBI honors Mr. Lai with designation as Washington state’s 2015 DCLA recipient.”