Obama Taps Korean American Engineer for His Adminstration

Timothy Hyungrock Haahs was one of seven other  outstanding leaders the Obama Adminstration sought out for board membership of the National Institute of Building Sciences. Haahs just recieved the Korean American Scientists and Engineers Association’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award and was named the American   Society of Civil Engineer’s “Philadelphia Engineer of the Year” in 2011.
He continues to stay on his entrepreneurial toes as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Timothy Haahs & Associates, the engineering and architecture firm that he found in 1994. In 2010, Haas was able to showcase his expertise to the  United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific on traffic and parking as a global problem, as well present related issues of infrastructure and sustainable development.

He currently serves on the advisory committee for the Philadelphia Urban Land Institute and on the board of the International Parking Institute. Haahs earned his master’s in science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Beloved U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye Dies at 88

After decades of service in Congress, Sen. Daniel Inouye died of respiratory complications on Monday, Dec. 17 in a Washington, D.C.-area hospital.

Though he was advanced in age and had one of his lungs removed as a result of cancer misdiagnosis in the 1960s, his sudden death sent a wave of shock and grief  to members of the Senate and among Asian Pacific American leaders across the country.

Inouye’s unique mark on American history is deep and indelible. As a mentor, a U.S. war veteran, and a lifelong defender of civil rights and racial justice, Inouye achieved many milestones in U.S. history.

After Hawaii became a state in 1959, Inouye became the first Japanese American elected into the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1963, Inouye became a senator, and besides Robert Byrd of West Virginia, was the longest-serving senator in the nation, and the last living  senator to have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He most famously served on the Watergate Commission in the early-’70s, playing a critical role in the federal investigations of the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals.

Before his death, Inouye was positioned just third in the line of succession to the president after the vice president and speaker of the House. When elected into his ninth term in 2010, he won 75 percent of the vote.

His love for Hawaii ran deep.

Approaching his last breath, his final word was “Aloha.” Longtime Hawaiian colleague Sen. Daniel Akaka commemorated: “He served as a defender of the people of this country, championing historic changes for civil rights, including the equal rights of women, Asian Americans, African Americans and Native Hawaiians. It is an incredible understatement to call him an institution, but this chamber will never be the same without him.”

Congressman-elect Mark Takano of Riverside, Calif. recalls Inouye as a man who “exemplified the meaning of public service for over 70 years. First, as a part of the Nisei 442nd Infantry Battalion during World War II, where he showed his heroism, then as a member of Congress, where he represented the people of Hawaii for decades.”

Inouye, who  lost his arm to a hand grenade in Italy during World War II, received a Medal of Honor belatedly in 2000 along with 22 other Asian American World War II veterans. Due to racial bias, Inouye and his fellow war heroes were denied for decades the country’s highest recognition for outstanding battlefield service. But Sen. Akaka’s staunch advocacy for a review of war records ensured Inouye got his medal.

“It was his incredible bravery during World War II — including one heroic effort that cost him his arm but earned him the Medal of Honor — that made Danny not just a colleague and a mentor, but someone revered by all of us lucky enough to know him,” President Barack Obama said in a statement on Monday night.

Inouye is survived by his wife, Irene Hirano Inouye, a son, a daughter and a grandaughter.

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