The Maryland legislature needs leaders who understand our changing community, changing economy, and local government operations to advance Montgomery County’s and Maryland’s standing, regionally and globally.
Born and raised in China during great unrest, Lily came alone to the States with little else but a dream to improve her odds. She landed in the middle of cornfields in Indiana—a big change from Shanghai, where she had to use a Walkman to record lectures and work several jobs between classes to complete her studies. With her young family, Lily completed two master’s degrees and built a hybrid career in higher education administration and economic development, moving across four states before settling in the Washington region where she established herself as a local government official and community leader.
In 2016, Lily became the first Asian American appointed Assistant Chief Administrative Officer in Montgomery County overseeing economic and workforce development. She has been a champion for innovation entrepreneurship and small businesses and was instrumental in establishing two public-private partnerships—BioHealth Innovation, Inc., and the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation to elevate Montgomery County’s economic competitiveness.
Lily has been actively modeling and encouraging giving back and paying forward. She writes and speaks on cultural competency and immigrant integration issues and has extensive civic engagement including as a board member of Leadership Montgomery, Suburban Hospital, and Imagination Stage. She was recognized as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women, Person of the Year by the Greater Washington Chinese Post and recognized by the Maryland Association of Counties for her work in language access and innovation partnership.
● As Vice President of the Washington, DC Economic Partnership, Lily played a critical role in business retention and retail attraction essential to the City’s revitalization and helped usher in a sense of vitality and pride.
● During her time in Montgomery County, Lily helped elevate Montgomery County’s economic competitiveness through a series of strategic initiatives.
○ Co-founded BioHealth Innovation, Inc. on behalf of Montgomery County, a public-private partnership to advance early-stage biomedical translational research and commercialization to grow innovation economy;
● Led the transition of the former Department of Economic Development to the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation , and WorkSource Montgomery to be more adaptive to market changes and community needs;
● Led the development of the Comprehensive Economic Strategy as a blueprint in advancing sustainable economic growth to build strategic industries and quality jobs;
● Championed cross-departmental efforts to improve the experience of doing business in Montgomery through an integrated business portal and improvements in services and communication;
● Raised Montgomery County leadership’s awareness of the need to be an inter-generational community and played a key role in the establishment of the Nighttime Economy Task Force that led to several improvements.
● Lily was tapped by the Leggett administration to improve government effectiveness in serving and engaging the new communities.
○ Led a multilingual push for the Census 2010 count that led to Montgomery County having the highest participation rate among the capital region jurisdictions;
○ Established Montgomery County’s sister-city relationships with Xi’an (China), and facilitated global partnerships with emerging markets including Hyderabad (India) and Daejeon (South Korea);
○ Revamped Montgomery County’s policies and practices in improving services for people with limited English proficiency (LEP) that was recognized by the National Association of Counties (NACO) and the Migration Policy Institute, a national think tank;
○ Helped community-based organizations with capacity-building issues and resource needs;