Report: David Chen is Fired by Chinese American Planning Council

david chen chinese american planning council

David Chen (middle) led the celebration of CPC’s 50th anniversary last summer. Photo via CPC Facebook page/Phil Gim.

The Chinese American Planning Council (CPC) last month announced the retirement of David Chen, the large social service organization’s longtime executive director. But according to a report in the Chinese-language newspaper, Sing Tao Daily, he did not leave voluntarily.

In a letter dated April 17, Board Chairperson Jenny Low announced Chen’s decision to step down after leading the Chinatown-based agency for 22 years. She said a nationwide search would begin for a replacement. Several days later, Janice Won, who most recently served in a similar capacity at the Museum of Chinese in America, was appointed interim president and CEO.

Chen sat down for a four-hour interview with Sing Tao Daily, saying he was fired after a three year struggle with the board over the direction of CPC, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary. The organization has had to cope with changes in the way the state distributes payments for long-term care under Medicaid. Based on a translation of the news article by Voices of New York, Chen felt the board was placing too much emphasis on securing funding and not enough on community needs. “When the professionalism of the old days turned to amateurism,” he explained, “when money is placed higher than services, there is no way for me to work with them anymore. It is time to leave, no matter whether I like it or not. I just don’t think it’s appropriate to fire me abruptly like this.”

Chinese American Planning Council provides early childhood education, senior programs and many other services in Chinatown and throughout the New York City in 33 locations.