AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Presents Olivia Serene Lee with the 2022 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award

6/2/22 AILA Doc. No. 22060152.
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recognizes Olivia Serene Lee with the 2022 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award for outstanding efforts in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion excellence in the immigration legal profession.

Olivia Serene Lee is a partner in the Immigration Practice Group at Minami Tamaki LLP in San Francisco, where her practice focuses on employment-based immigration. Ms. Lee has been active with AILA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts, serving on AILA’s DEI Committee, helping to develop its programs and initiatives. She chaired the committee from June 2020 to June 2021 and received AILA’s Presidential Commendation.

As one person who nominated her for the award stated, Ms. Lee’s humanity and expertise combined in a particularly meaningful way: “If you can imagine crashing waves in rough seas, but the lighthouse always being a guiding light, that is how I and so many others feel about Olivia, she is our guiding light helping us keep our footing and find our inner strength. She is calm in the storm, the life jacket when you feel you are overwhelmed and alone.” Another added, “More diverse members have had a voice because of Olivia’s thoughtful work and example as an incredible leader.”

She serves on the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council and co- wrote the syllabus for the ABA’s 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge for AAPI Heritage Month. She also serves on the board of Chinese for Affirmative Action, a co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate reporting center. Related to her work in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, Ms. Lee is the recipient of the 2018 Unity Award from the Minority Bar Coalition. She has also shared her personal story and the impact that Chinese Exclusion had on her family in AILA’s Think Immigration blog as well as the American Immigration Council’s American Heritage Awards 2021.

Ms. Lee began volunteering with AILA in 2009 and in June 2021, became an elected Director on AILA’s Board of Governors. She served as the AILA Asian Interest Group leader and on a number of AILA National committees, and is a contributing author to Immigration Options for Academics and Researchers, 3rd Ed (AILA 2021).


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.