About Thelma

Thelma Buchholdt initiated the formation of the Asian Alaskan Cultural Center in 1980. When the center became incorporated in 1983, she was elected president of its board of directors and served in this capacity until 1988. She is a trustee of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS). Born in Claveria, Cagayan on the Island of Luzon, Philippines, Thelma earned her Bachelor's degree from Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles, California, and her Juris Doctor degree from the District of Columbia School of Law in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the Alaska Bar Association. She was elected to the Alaska State House of Representatives in 1974, making her the first Filipino woman elected to a state legislative body in the United States and the first Filipino of either gender to serve in a U.S. mainland state legislature. Re-elected three times, she served her election district in Anchorage until 1982. She is married and the mother of four grown children.

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