Vy Nguyen, '12

Vy NguyenVy Nguyen is a Seattle area born and raised native with a background in community development and passion for social justice and equity issues. Vy’s work has taken her as far as Azerbaijan with the U.S. Peace Corps, the other Washington as an intern for U.S. Representative Jim McDermott, and locally in White Center and Seattle’s Little Saigon around community building issues.  She currently works for an immigrant rights advocacy non-profit as a policy staffer on early learning, adult education, economic and workforce issues with local and national partners. Vy was the lead researcher and author of a report on brain waste (a term describing the trend of immigrants and refugees with foreign degrees or professional careers who are not able to fully bring their skills and talents to the local workforce due to financial, cultural, and systemic barriers) and has also contributed to national platforms on immigrant integration. For Vy, what success looks like in her field is when community members, advocates, and decision makers work together to achieve outcomes, especially when it comes to improving the education and experiences of immigrant and refugee families through recognizing the strengths and assets they bring into their new communities.

As first generation new American and one of the first in a large family of Vietnamese Catholic refugees born in the U.S., Vy has always been intrigued by power structures, culture, and language in society and how it impacts everyday life and the ability to empathize with one another. Her interest in power relationships is reflected in her education: a BA in Political Science at UW Seattle and a MA in Policy Studies at UW Bothell.

Contact Vy at iasalum@uw.edu.