Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education


International & Multicultural Education EdD

First Advisor

Genevieve Negron-Gonzales

Second Advisor

Susan Katz

Third Advisor

Monisha Bajaj

Fourth Advisor

Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi


Substantial research has addressed the experience of Asian American students in higher education (Hune, 2002; Ng & Lee, 2007; Buenavista, Jayakumar, & Misa-Escalante, 2009; Museus & Chang, 2009; Museus & Kiang, 2009; Pak, Maramba, & Hernandez, 2014; Palmer & Maramba, 2015), and a growing body of literature explores the state of Asian American faculty in higher education (Lee, 2002; Li & Beckett, 2005; Lin, Pearce, & Wang, 2009; Yook 2013). Though research examining how Asian American administrators experience higher education is increasing (Suzuki, 2002; Neilson, 2004; Neilson & Suyemoto, 2009; Li-Bugg, 2011; Reeves, 2015), no studies to date have examined how Asian American women who are diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professionals in higher education experience their roles. This phenomenological study used in-depth interviews to examine how the experiences of Asian American women DEI professionals in higher education demonstrate conformity and conflict with neoliberalism. In doing so, this study found agentive possibilities for Asian American women even as they navigate the commodifying nature of what this study terms the “racialized neoliberal gaze.”