Albert K. Shen served as the National Deputy Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) from August 1, 2014 to January 20, 2017.
He was appointed by President Obama in August 2014 to be the National Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency. He served as the principal advisor to the MBDA National Director overseeing the day-to-day operations of the agency. His leadership transformed the agency into an economic development policy-focused Agency. He raised the agency’s profile in Congress and afforded MBDA the opportunity to make its business case around the country. Shen’s passion for community development put MBDA on the ground in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson during the aftermath of civil unrest. Agency strategic partnerships with the U.S. Department of Justice and local leaders accelerated the restoration of minority businesses in these distressed areas. Shen challenged the Agency to use technology to document performance and streamline Agency processes. He was most notably known around the country for his “selfies” which engaged the audience and underscored the power of social media to tell MBDA’s story.
Shen’s agency portfolio included leadership of the MBDA’s business development, intergovernmental/legislative, and national strategic initiatives that directly impacted the growth and development of minority businesses. He lead new policy initiatives that required Congressional involvement. He directed special programming that included the establishment of efforts toward increased access to capital; new supplier diversity models; youth entrepreneurship; mergers and acquisitions; private equity/venture capital; and government contracting reform. His leadership elevated minority business participation in new international markets in Asia, Africa, and South America. He organized the first ever MBDA trade mission to be part of the official U.S. Delegation to the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Manila, Philippines. He served as the MBDA liaison to the White House on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and lead all Agency efforts in support of TPP advocacy.
Prior to his appointment with MBDA, Shen was a small business owner and respected community advocate, whose leadership made significant impacts on some of the largest and most critical infrastructure and environmental cleanup projects in the Northwest. For his efforts Shen has consistently received accolades from industry and community organizations. In 2012 he was awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration Region 10 Minority Champion of the Year Award. Shen has provided support to educational institutions, community organizations, business organizations and political advocacy groups. He served as Chair of the Seattle Community College Board of Trustees, and as Vice Chair of the Washington State Commission on Asian and Pacific American Affairs.
Shen earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and environmental science from the University of Washington.