Asian Association of Utah Names New Executive Director


As the diversity and quantity of trafficked persons, immigrants, and refugees increase, AAU names a veteran non-profit leader to replace retiring Dr. Shu Cheng.

Salt Lake City, UT, February 21, 2023– The Asian Association of Utah (AAU), serving the refugee, immigrant, and trafficked persons of Utah, has named Mr. Scott Cougill as its new Executive Director. Mr. Cougill takes over for Dr. Shu Cheng who is retiring after 45 years of exceptional leadership and impact at AAU. Dr. Cheng is assisting with the onboarding and leadership transition.

Mr. Cougill brings extensive national and international (Asia and Pacific Islands) non-profit and for-profit leadership experience. He specializes in helping organizations thrive and have maximum impact on the communities they serve. For example, while the Asia Pacific Director of YFC International, he helped engage, equip, and empower indigenous leaders across Asia to expand youth outreach from 17 countries to 23 in five years, implement world-wide leadership coaching training, and develop regional youth leadership initiatives that are still thriving 15 years later.

“The Board of Directors of the Asian Association of Utah is grateful for the wisdom and leadership of Dr. Shu Cheng. And, we are excited to welcome Scott Cougill, a proven multi-disciplinary leader of both for-profit and non-profit organizations, to help us meet the new challenges we face serving victims of human trafficking and new populations of immigrants and refugees,” stated AAU Board Chairperson, Eunice Lane.

Originally established over 45 years ago to support Asian immigrants and refugees in their transition to life in Utah, AAU has expanded its resources and services to support trafficked persons, immigrants, and refugees from all over the world. With over 60 staff members from 17 different nationalities and over 30 languages, AAU offers comprehensive services in one physical location, reducing transportation barriers and promoting access to a wide range of resources. Individuals and families in need can get case management services, employment help, counseling and mental health treatment, English classes, after-school tutoring and more. AAU works closely with the Utah resettlement agencies, refugee communities, state protective services, the US Department of Justice, and many others to ensure maximum support.