Thomas Ahn

Executive Director, MESA

University of California, Office of the President

Thomas Ahn joined UC’s Office of the President in December 2016 as the executive director of the MESA program. He brings 30 years of experience as a social entrepreneur in the Bay Area nonprofit sector to his work with MESA.

In the intricate fabric of our global ecosystem, the role of Asian Pacific American (APA) leadership in sectors ranging from business to civic engagement to academia is undeniably pivotal. As APAs, our deep-rooted cultural heritage, coupled with our adaptability, gives us a distinctive lens through which we view and navigate the world. This dual perspective is reshaping business strategies, community outreach, and pedagogical approaches. With the world leaning more towards interconnectivity, it’s imperative that we uplift and celebrate the accomplishments and potential of our APA community. Through the continuous nurturing of our talents and by making our voices heard, we can craft a future where diversity is not just seen but deeply felt, fostering a richer, more nuanced dialogue across various platforms. It’s not merely about placing APAs in leadership roles; it’s about leveraging the depth and breadth of our experiences to usher in an era of informed, inclusive, and innovative leadership.

The Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) program provides guidance, opportunities, and support for underrepresented K-12, community college, and university students in their pursuit of bachelor’s degrees and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering math) fields. Administered by the University of California Office of the President, MESA’s overall goals are to enhance diversity at California’s universities and increase the pool of diverse talent for the STEM workforce.