Two Vietnamese-American women who are strong community organizers in Houston and San Jose were appointed by President Barack Obama to the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Education Foundation.
In announcing the appointment, President Obama said, “These individuals have demonstrated knowledge and dedication throughout their careers. I am grateful they have chosen to take on these important roles, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.” He said those words not only of the two women but also of a 3rd appointee announced the same time – the first U.S. ambassador to Burma after 22 years of interrupted diplomatic relations.
The two new Board members of VEF are Anhlan P. Nguyen (Nguyễn Phúc Anh Lan) from Houston and Quyen N. Vuong (Vương Ngọc Quyên) from San Jose.
Nguyen is known for the activities organized by the Vietnamese Culture and Science Association (Hội Văn Hóa Khoa Học Việt Nam), a multi-faceted, well-funded group who gets its finger in just about everything going on in Houston, including the controversial election of community leaders.
Vuong, on the other hand, is almost exclusively focused on human services. She previously spent a year with the UNHCR (High Commissioner for Refugees) in Hong Kong as a Fulbright scholar.
Vuong is currently the Executive Director of the International Children Assistance Network (ICAN), an organization she co-founded in 2000, which helps Vietnamese disadvantaged students both in Northern California and in Vietnam.
Created by Act of Congress and funded by the U.S. government, the VEF is an independent agency whose mission is “to strengthen the U.S.-Vietnam bilateral relationship through educational exchanges in science and technology.”
In addition to Presidential appointees, the Board of VEF include ex oficio members from the Cabinet – the Secretaries of Education, State, and Treasury – and bi-partisan members drawn from both houses of Congress.
The White House press release include more details about the appointees’ background:
Anhlan P. Nguyen, Appointee for Member, Board of Directors of the Vietnam Education Foundation
Anhlan P. Nguyen is currently an IT project portfolio manager at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Vietnamese Culture and Science Association. In 1998, Ms. Nguyen established the National Youth Leadership Development Camp in 1998, and in 1990 she helped found the Vietnamese Youth Center of Toronto. Ms. Nguyen won the Women’s Leadership Empowerment Award by the Texas Women Empowerment Foundation in 2011 and was named one of the “Top 25 Women of Houston” by Comerica Bank and the Steed Society in 2010 for her leadership and community involvement. In addition, she won the Outstanding Community Leader Award from the Youth Leadership Council of Houston in 2004 and was selected as one of five outstanding young Houstonians by the Junior Chamber of Commerce in 2000. Ms. Nguyen has a B.S. and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto, Canada.
Quyen N. Vuong, Appointee for Member, Board of Directors of the Vietnam Education Foundation
Quyen N. Vuong is the Executive Director of the International Children Assistance Network in San Jose, CA, an organization she co-founded in 2000. She is also a board member of the Pacific Links Foundation, an organization she co-founded in 2001, and a founding member of the Vietnamese American Non-Governmental Network, created in 2004. Ms. Vuong serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation, the Community Advisory Committee for San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum, and the Advisory Board for the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution for Mission College. She received a Fulbright in 1989 and worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Hong Kong. Ms. Vuong holds a B.A. in Economics from Yale University, and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.