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PINNACLE – The Pan-Asian Corporate Board Initiative

Pinnacle was launched by Ascend in 2013 to focus on the Pan-Asian Corporate Board Directors.


As of July 2013, Pan-Asian men and women still account for only 1.8 percent of the 1,214 Fortune 100 Board director seats, in comparison to the 2012 projected US Census Asian population of 7.8 percent. Over 82% of the Fortune 500 Corporations have no Pan-Asians on their Boards. Ascend’s recent analysis of Fortune 500 companies show only 85 Pan-Asians on their Boards with seven holding two seats each.


Help Corporations enhance their business objectives by increasing the number of Pan-Asian Corporate Board members.


Create a platform to network, leverage and support current Pan-Asian Corporate Board members, develop aspiring candidates for future Board service and provide thought leadership regarding Corporate Board issues.

Pinnacle will use the push-and-pull model to increase the number of Fortune 500 Corporate Board directors of Pan-Asian descent. Ascend believes that the community needs to actively commit to “filling the Corporate Board Pan-Asian candidate pipeline” with Board-ready candidates and will endeavor to create greater connections between Pan-Asian leaders and the broader business community.


SEC Commissioner, Luis A. Aguilar, said speech, “The persistent lack of diversity in our Corporate Boardrooms is an issue that requires continuous focus."

Alliance for Board Diversity report of 2013 show that for Fortune 500 companies, Pan-Asians are last in the Corporate Board representation among all the races:

  • African American: Men comprised 7.0 percent of the total seats, while women captured 2.2 percent.
  • Asian/Pacific Islander: Men comprised 1.9 percent, while women encompassed 0.8 percent.
  • Hispanic/Latino: Men held 3.5 percent, while women occupied 0.8 percent.
  • White/Caucasian: Men represented 67.9 percent of the total Board seats, while women were at 15.9 percent.
  • As per 2010 U.S. Census figures, 31.4 percent of Pan-Asians over 25 have at least a Bachelor's degree in comparison to the national average of 19.8 percent. The Pan-Asian spending power in the U.S. is expected to exceed a trillion dollars by 2017. Anna Mok, National Executive Vice President at Ascend and Partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP states, "Given the increasing higher education attainment levels and economic clout of Asians in America and globally, Pan-Asian leaders have a tremendous opportunity to increase our contributions to Corporate Boardrooms and help strengthen corporate governance."

    Partnerships in Motion

    We are building relationships with National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), Alliance for Board Diversity (ABD) and Stanford University Rock Center for Corporate Governance. We are also in communication with Hispanic organizations such as HACR and LCDA, African American organizations such as ELC and BCDC and women-focused initiatives like WomenCorporateDirectors (WCD) and Catalyst to understand their progress and lessons learned in the board space.

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