Governor Wolf Issues Statement on Passing of Asian Pacific American Affairs Commissioner Padam Rizal

May 23, 2019

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf issued the following after a Lancaster County fisherman discovered the body of Padam Rizal, who served on the Pennsylvania Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs:

“Frances and I are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Padam Rizal, a member of my Pennsylvania Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs. Our sympathies go out to his family, the Harrisburg and broader Bhutanese community, fellow commissioners, friends and associates who mourn his loss.

“From a childhood spent exposed to ethnic cleansing in Southern Bhutan, he spent time in refugee camps in Nepal, which shaped his groundbreaking work on refugee resettlement and education. That work is known internationally and considered a model for refugee education, ensuring Padam’s legacy will live on in service to others.

“It is our sincere hope that Padam’s passionate dedication to his work to help others in the Asian Pacific American communities is not only his legacy, but also a comfort to his family and friends in this difficult time.

“Those of us who knew Padam are grateful for his many contributions to the commonwealth and will miss his indomitable spirit, kindness and compassion for all.”

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