Francis Tanglao-Aguas is the founding Director of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies Program at William and Mary. He is a playwright, performer, director, producer, and teacher of theatre, film, and dance. He was born and raised in Pampanga, Philippines until his family left for Nigeria, West Africa where he completed his primary education. He graduated at the top of his class from the UCLA School of Theatre, Film, & Television receiving both his B.A. in Theater, Magna Cum Laude, and his Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing. At UCLA, he was Founding Artistic Director of Theater Underground, the university's undergraduate resident theater company.
He is the first faculty of color to be tenured (2009) and promoted to full Professor (2016) in the performing arts at William & Mary. Students have honored him with the William and Mary Image Award for Outstanding Professor (2007), the NAACP Perseverance Award (2009), and the Class of 2015 Distinguished Professorship. Directing the Program of Africana Studies from 2012 to 2016, Professor Aguas initiated the expansion of faculty appointments in the program. President Taylor Reveley appointed him to the President's Task Force on Race and Race Relations in 2016.