Proudest Accomplishment: Founding the New York Asian Women’s Center.
First paid job: Folding clothes and sweeping at her parents’ laundromat when she was 6 years old.
Three adjective to describe herself: Determined, honest, fun-loving.
Best piece of advice: Hard work and commitment will bring you great joy.
Patrica Eng is a social worker and activist devoted to women’s issues. She is Vice President for Grants and Capacity Building at the Ms. Foundation. Earlier in her career, she founded the first battered women’s shelter on the East Coast aimed specifically at immigrants—The New York Asian Women’s Center.
Eng was born in Manhattan to Chinese immigrant parents. After graduating with honors from Princeton University, she earned a Master in Social Work from Hunter College in New York City. While she was still studying to become a social worker, Eng noticed a glaring deficiency in resources for battered Asian women. “Of all the issues facing [Asian-American] women, domestic violence was clearly the one that had to be dealt with first,” she says.
To address this need, she founded the New York Asian Women’s Center in 1982, an organization that she led until 1999. Today, the NYAWC hotline receives over 3000 calls a year.
In her role at the Ms. Foundation, Eng issues grants to grassroots, often youth-led initiatives that combat gender-based violence throughout the country. She is the recipient of a Gloria Steinem Women of Vision Award and a President’s Volunteer Action Award. She was also a Revson Fellow for the City of New York at Columbia University.