Margaret was born at Stanford Hospital and raised in San Mateo by immigrant parents from Japan. She attended public schools K-12, and went on to Harvard University for college, where she earned her bachelors degree in government in 1992.
After graduation, Margaret joined Congresswoman Anna Eshoo’s district office staff. She then went on to serve as Associate Director of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute (APALI) at De Anza College. Margaret also owned and ran a small business– an indoor cycling fitness facility – before taking leave from the business to raise her children. Her more recent work experience includes servingn as Foundation and Corporate Relations Manager for Asian Americans for Community Involvement, the largest non-profit health and human services agency focused on the Asian community. In 2015, she was District Director for California State Assemblymember Evan Low of the 28th District, and currently works for Synopsys Corporation as a government affairs manager.
Margaret began her elected office service as Trustee for Area 1 on the Santa Clara County Board of Education in 2002.
She was then elected to the Mountain View City Council in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. Margaret served as Vice-Mayor in 2008, and as Mayor in 2009, making her the first Asian American female to serve in those capacities in Mountain View's history. On the City Council, Margaret championed the issues of public safety, affordable housing, environmental sustainability, youth and families and health and wellness.
Margaret represented Mountain View on regional bodies including the Santa Clara County Cities Association serving as President and Vice President; the Silicon Valley Regional Interoperability Agency, the Santa Clara County Emergency Operational Area Council, and on the Santa Clara County Local Agency Formation Commission of Santa Clara County.
She also served on the Valley Transportation Authority Board of Directors and Chaired the Board in 2011. Margaret led the agency to financial solvency through the economic downturn and worked to maintain and continue progress on capital projects like the BART extension, light rail improvements and the Bus Rapid Transit system. She also served on the VTA’s Policy Advisory Committee and the Levi’s Stadium Transit Program Task Force.
In 2012, Margaret was appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown to serve on the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board overseeing water quality issues in the Bay Area.
In addition to elected service, Margaret has been active in the community. She currently serves on the boards of CHAC – Community Health Awareness Council in Mountain View, Charities Housing – a non-profit affordable housing developer, the League of Conservation Voters, and Carbon Free Mountain View.
Her past service includes being a Human Relations Commissioner and Environmental Planning Commissioner for the City of Mountain View, boardmember of the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley, Vice-Chair of the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association, boardmember of Avenidas Senior Services, boardmember of the Mountain View Sister Cities Association, boardmember of the Silicon Valley Japanese American Chamber of Commerce, President of the San Jose Taiko Board, and boardmember of the San Mateo JACL.
For her leadership, Margaret has been recognized with various awards including:
- Working Partnerships USA Champion for Change 2014
- South Bay Labor Council AFL-CIO Rookie of the Year Award 2011
- Silicon Valley Business Journal's Top 100 Women of Influence, 2010
- Mountain View Chamber of Commerce Athena Award, 2010
- Association of American University Women Los Altos Mountain View Chapter's Woman of the Year 2009
- California Assembly's Woman of the Year for Assembly District 22, selected by Assemblymember Paul Fong, 2009
- Silicon Valley Business Journal's Top 40 under 40 years of age, 2008
- Asian Americans for Community Involvement Youth Achievement Award 2004
- Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss' Asian American Hero Award, 2001
Margaret is also a member of the American Leadership Forum Class XXII, an Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute (APALI) Senior Fellow, and a graduate of the Working Partnerships Leadership Institute as well as Leadership Mountain View.
Margaret and her husband Yotto have two daughters, Aili and Aina who attend Graham Middle and Mountain View High Schools. She also cares for her mother.
For her hobbies, she teaches indoor cycling classes and enjoys running and biking. She also holds a third degree in Kendo, the martial art of Japanese fencing.