I love that so much of my work helps Asian Americans improve their communications skills so they can be more successful in fulfilling their own American Dream.”
as they were so looking forward to seeing the President of the United States,” Li said.
“But then we thought: If the president can’t come to the village, then we can take the village to the president,” Li said.
She and her colleagues quickly improvised a plan to transport as much of the village and its culture that could fit into the American embassy in Dhaka.
“My team worked through the night, re-creating something of the village and its culture in a large courtyard. And by the time President Clinton arrived at the secured embassy the next day, a pretty good representation of the village was in place.
“President Clinton was very happy we made that happen,” Li said.
The media captured the event and sent images around the world of the delighted American president being given a warm, traditional South Asian welcome. But the story wasn’t over yet. Years later, Clinton told Li that the security threat came from the then relatively unknown Osama Bin Laden, who, it was thought by US intelligence officers, might have put heavy weapons in the jungle which could have fired on the presidential helicopter. (This was a year before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.)
From her experiences, Li saw that “cultural barriers have to be overcome in order for people and nations to successfully deal with each other.”
“Combined with my own experience as an immigrant, I generated a deep desire to help those in need, using my cross-cultural communication expertise. I felt I could provide a very useful service to improve the communication skills, and thus the lives and careers, of my fellow Asian-American immigrants,” Li said.
“Some of the people from the Chinese mainland are really smart, they have won a lot of prizes, but communication has become a barrier to their going on to higher achievements,” Li said.
“The wisdom is in their heads, and of course they work