A longtime parishoner at the Church of the Nativity, in Burke, Corazon Sandoval Foley is an advocate and leader for collecting stories of Asian American immigrants through oral history and research projects within her community.
A native of Manila, Philippines, Corazon Sandoval Foley (b. 1950) earned a degree in economics at the University of the Philippines. She moved to the United States in 1970 to pursue an M.B.A. at the George Washington University and has lived with her family in Fairfax since 1980. Like her husband, she joined the U.S. Department of State, first working overseas with the foreign service. She later transferred to the civil service as a senior economic analyst for the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, focusing on economic and commercial developments in East Asia and the Pacific region. She sponsored several Asian-American themed exhibitions at the State Department, including "Witness: Japanese American Soldiers of WWII who Helped Liberate Dachau" in 1999.
After retiring in 2007, Foley pursued her interest in documenting the history and contributions of Filipinos and other Asian immigrants who compose a significant minority of the population in Fairfax County. With the support of the county's board of supervisors she developed the Fairfax County Asian American History Project to research, record, and preserve the experiences of Asian Americans in the region. The first book containing oral histories was published in 2010 and a second focusing on Asian Americans serving in local law enforcement and the military was published in 2013. Foley has also reached hundreds of senior citizens in her community through the Burke/West Springfield Senior Center without Walls, which she spearheaded to provide supportive programs for aging in place.
Reprinted with permission of the Library of Virginia.