County economic developer appointed by governor as chairman of Michigan Asia Pacific American Affairs Commission

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A project advisor in the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs has been appointed chairman of the Michigan Asia Pacific American Affairs Commission by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Toshiki Masaki, 55, will oversee the commission in its role as a conduit between Asians and Pacific Islanders and the governor, state legislature, departments and agencies.

County Executive David Coulter congratulated Masaki on his appointment.

“Oakland County is blessed with a wealth of talent and we’re fortunate to have someone with Toshiki’s skills and experience on our staff,” Coulter said. “I applaud the governor on her choice.”

The commission communicates concerns and issues raised by members of its communities to the appropriate place and explains the various state services and resources available to them.

“I am extremely proud, not so much for myself, but on behalf of the entire Japanese-American community in Michigan, and excitement for the opportunity to take on the commission’s challenges working with an amazing group of 20 other commissioners,” Masaki said.

Masaki joined the county in 2019, working with Japanese companies to learn about their operations and make them aware of county resources available to businesses.

A resident of Canton, Masaki is president of the Detroit Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League; a governor for the Midwest District Council and a leader with the U.S.-Japan Council.

He spent 31 years with Ford Motor Co. working in global data analytics as a transformation manager, in government relations, as a public policy manager and global leader for its learning and development and a, engineering supervisor.

He has graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Michigan. His undergraduate degree is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Masaki was first appointed to the commission in 2012. Before that, he served on the Michigan Health Information Technology Commission from 2006-2012. Masaki’s term expires Nov. 30, 2023.

The state Senate must approve the appointment.

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