Audrey Jean – Corporate Attorney and New Mom

Alexandria, Virginia

Although Taiwan’s democracy and civic institutions have yet to fully mature, they still present an amazing contrast to the authoritarian and fearful days of the past.

jean.audrey1Who are you?

I am a corporate attorney in the legal department of Discovery Communications (parent company of Discovery Channel, Science Channel, TLC, etc.) Previously, I worked for a couple large law firms in New York City and Washington DC. I was born and raised in Long Island, NY, and attended Princeton University for undergrad, then Georgetown University for law school. I grew up within the NY area Taiwanese cultural and church communities, Taiwanese American Conference -East Coast (TAC-EC), as well as a teeming clan of Taiwanese extended family. As a student, I was an active board member of the Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association (ITASA), and am currently involved in Taiwanese American Professionals – DC (TAP-DC) and American Citizens of Taiwanese Origin(ACTO). I live in the Washington DC suburbs with my husband and baby son.

What do you do?

My main interests include travel (favorite places being Asia and Europe), cooking and entertaining, modern art, classical music, fashion, history, politics, and religion. My primary activities at the moment however, consist of the more mundane – commuting, working, making bottles, changing diapers, and household errands. I spend my spare time trying to catch up with my husband, friends and family, and squeeze in the occasional yoga class. I aspire to get back into my interests once I get a better handle on parenthood, or when I retire, whichever comes first!

Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?

The primal and visceral connection I have to my mother tongue, childhood cuisine, and family’s culture means that I will forever be attached to and proud of my Taiwanese heritage. In addition, I am so proud and impressed by Taiwan’s economic development and political transformation in my own short lifetime. Although Taiwan’s democracy and civic institutions have yet to fully mature, they still present an amazing contrast to the authoritarian and fearful days of the past. The vibrancy of the people and society today invigorate me every time I am able to return for a visit. Finally, the accomplishments of other Taiwanese Americans in the US, in various professional and artistic fields, makes me extremely proud to be part of this community.

What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?

I look forward to more and more prominent Taiwanese Americans in American business, media and politics, who younger Taiwanese Americans will look up to and feel proud identifying with (something that wasn’t there when my cousins and I were growing up). I wish for international recognition of Taiwan’s political status, that will translate into greater perception and respect by others of who we are as a people. And finally I imagine a stronger and more united community, that can share its stories, strengths, and connections with each other across more platforms (as TaiwaneseAmerican.org is doing online).

jean.audrey2

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