Dr. Maile Kono-Wells- Executive Director- Raised in San Antonio by her Caucasian mother and Japanese American father, Maile has long been intrigued by the many ways culture colors one’s experience of the world. She pursued her childhood interest in cultural influences while at UT Austin, double majoring in Biology and Psychology. The interplay of culture and mental illness was the focus of her masters and doctoral studies in Clinical Psychology at Alliant International University in the San Francisco Bay Area. After working in geropsychology for several years, Maile focused on raising her 2 children. She became a strongly committed volunteer at their schools in a multitude of capacities, including being a co-founder of International Day, an annual school-wide, day-long celebration of international culture. Maile is looking forward to working with AIN to bring the people of Austin together to acknowledge and celebrate the amazing cultural diversity present in our community.
Isaiah was born and raised in Houston. His parents emmigrated here from Vietnam. After obtaining a Computer Science degree from UT, Isaiah has found himself completely enthralled by beautiful Austin. Currently, he works as a software engineer but spends a lot of his time doing volunteer work. His passions include playing music, traveling, and even learning languages. Isaiah loves being a member of AIN, because he believes strongly in its mission - promoting world peace and bringing people together.
Drew Harris is an Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the Attorney General, where he practices constitutional law and employment law. Drew received his law degree from Stanford Law School, and his bachelor’s degree from UT-Austin. He is a graduate of Leadership Austin, and has been involved in leadership positions at various Austin-area non-profits such as the Austin Young Lawyers Association (current Board Member), Mueller Neighborhood Association (founding Board Member), and Stanford Club of Austin (Co-President). Drew has performed in a number of all-attorney musicals, and enjoys triathlons, Austin live music, and swing/salsa dancing.
Shalini Komarla is a long time Austin resident, 20 years and counting! She earned her Bachelors Degree in Information Systems from India and started her hi-tech career right here in Austin, starting out as a programmer and working her way up to executive leadership at various companies including BMC Software, Allianz and Rackspace. In 2013, after having worked for 18 years in technology, she decided to follow her heart and pursue her passion. She is now the Executive Director of Austin Intercultural Network, a 501 c(3) nonprofit that aims to celebrate the diversity in Austin and recently launched her community based and culturally inspired event management company, ShaATX. She is also a motivational speaker, and very grateful for all the opportunities to share and inspire youth and adults with her story around her personal transformation. It’s a full plate, she says, but it’s totally worth it!
Roberto C. Garcia
Roberto’s many interests include walks with his dog, salsa dancing, gardening, reading, and enjoying coffee or tea with friends. His devotion to AIN stem from his life long exploration of the dynamics of human language, art, music, and social activities in public spaces and attitudes towards nature and ecology. He was born In Monterrey Mexico and is educated, trained and licensed as a professional landscape architect in Texas. Roberto has degrees in landscape architecture from Texas A&M University and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design where he received the Norman Newton Scholar award and graduated with commendation. He has been the landscape architect for numerous public spaces including the Long Center for the Performing Arts (Austin, Texas), the African American Cultural Center & Heritage Facility (Austin, Texas), two rail stations for Austin’s Capital Metro, and numerous new communities, schools and parks in Texas, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Virginia and South Carolina.
Payton is a first-year grad student at The University of Texas at Austin, obtaining her Master's degree in Middle Eastern Studies. Originally from Virginia, her passion for international affairs and cultures began in high school as she attended a specialized academy for Global Studies and World Languages. In this, she had opportunities to learn about other cultures from students of that country through student exchanges and cultural cafes. This excitement for expanding her cultural knowledge pushed her to pursue higher education in Global Studies through her studies, taking a keen interest in Middle Eastern culture, language, and affairs. In May 2022, Payton graduated from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, with her Bachelor's in Global Affairs with a concentration in Human Security. Just having moved to Austin, Payton joined AIN to learn more about the area and continue to expand her passion for international affairs and cultures.
Krish Komarla is a junior in high school, focused on STEM curriculum and an avid soccer player. He cares deeply about the community and often volunteers with local organizations like Food Bank Of Central Texas, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, Generation Serve, Together We Rise and Austin Intercultural Network. As webmaster for AIN, Krish is responsible for keeping the website up and running, and all things related to the website. He recently created a new website for AIN, upgrading functionality, enhancing user experience, and giving the organization a fresh look. He hopes to make a difference in his community by sharing his time and talent to help those in need and make the world a better place.