Asian American Pacific Islander Month Employee Reflections Sandra Y. Sherlock

Sandra Sherlock ATF Senior Industry Operations Investigator Sandra Sherlock is an ATF recruiter and senior industry operations investigator with 22 years of experience at the agency. She also serves as a team lead for ATF’s Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Employee Resource Group (ERG) and the ATF liaison to the Department of Justice’s Pan Asia Employee Group.

Sherlock believes it’s important to expand access to opportunities for members of the AAPI community by partnering with diverse organizations to help everyone move forward. This includes encouraging employees to support ERGs, sharing leadership opportunities with team members, volunteering to support ATF activities, taking on detailSandra Sherlock's paternal grandparents stand next to her parents on their wedding day in Japan 1957 assignments and enrolling in professional development programs. As a leader in ATF’s AAPI ERG her vision focuses on ensuring that members will continue to work together on the hard issues such as combating anti-Asian hate crimes.

One of Sherlock’s earliest memories is the story of how her parents met. Her dad was a marine stationed at a U.S. military base in Fukuoka, Japan in 1957 and her mother was a barber working at the same location. Sherlock’s mom grew up in Kure City, a province of Hiroshima, and her family are survivors of the U.S. attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

Sherlock’s parents fell in love and wanted to get married but faced strong opposition and prejudice from their respective families and governments. They fought an uphill battle for the right to get married, and finally secured permission from both the U.S. Marine Corps and Sherlock’s maternal grandparents. Her parents remained happily married until her father passed away 14 years ago. This story reminds her that it is important to fight for what is right and stay the course despite huge challenges. 

Sherlock reminds everyone that “success is not about the destination,  it’s about the journey.” 

Last Reviewed May 3, 2022