Meet Mitchell Chen
Mitchell comes to Group Health Foundation from the University of Washington (UW) Department of Biology, where he managed policies and procedures for a portfolio of endowments, advancement projects, and donor stewardship events in service to the department’s fundraising and impact goals. He will bring experience in operations and project management, as well as a deep commitment to equitable communities to his operations associate role.
Before working for UW, Mitchell earned his BS in microbiology and biochemistry with the intention of becoming a physician to support people’s health and well-being. While in college, Mitchell was involved in student government and LGBTQ+ and Asian Pacific Islander (API) advocacy through which he realized, “good policy could make a much bigger impact than working one-on-one.” Additionally, seeing incredible leaders organize to build community power and lead community-based change encouraged Mitchell to shift career direction.
“Understanding the issues and challenges many communities face—like discrimination and lack of access to health care—inspired me to want to work for large-scale systems change,” says Mitchell. “I feel like I’m part of these communities and I want to pay it forward.”
After earning his undergraduate degree, Mitchell joined the Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Empowerment (APACE) team to mobilize the API and immigrant vote. Working within these communities inspired Mitchell to expand his impact even further, and return to his passion for supporting people’s health and well-being. It was at Solid Ground and the UW Department of Biology, where he was able to merge his passion for health and well-being with his dedication to policy and systems change. This integration is what excites Mitchell about the opportunity to join the Group Health Foundation team.
“Group Health Foundation’s people-centered approach coupled with their scale of impact is what attracted me,” says Mitchell. For him, the chance to help the Foundation integrate the values of the organization into daily operations is another way the Foundation achieves its overall goals.
Mitchell is also currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at UW. In addition to his studies, Mitchell is a regular volunteer at Pride Foundation. In his free time, when he’s not catching up with friends at the newest eatery, he can be found binge-watching “Queer Eye” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”