Where are you originally from and why did you come to Philly? 

I was born in Vietnam and came to the United States with my family when I was eight years old. I attended elementary, middle, and high school in the Philadelphia school district and attended Lehigh University for higher education. Although I was not born in the city, I was raised in Philadelphia and I have called it my home ever since I came to the States. 


Why are you interested in working for the Office of Immigrant Affairs? 

As both the daughter of immigrants and an immigrant myself, I intimately understand the hardships and struggles that immigrants face in the United States. Witnessing these challenges firsthand in Philadelphia fueled my desire to make a difference in my community.


I’ve seen language barriers hinder not just my mother but many immigrants from feeling fully integrated into their communities. I aim to enact change that fosters a sense of belonging for immigrants and ensures that city policies align with the needs of all residents, especially those who have been historically overlooked. Being an immigrant entails more than just relocating to a new country; it’s about embracing a new home and contributing to its vibrancy. Philadelphia is enriched by countless immigrant stories and experiences, and I’m passionate about amplifying these narratives through my work at OIA.


Tell us a little bit about your career before joining OIA? 

Prior to joining OIA, I held roles within the City of Philadelphia. Most recently, I worked at the Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO), where I served as a grants compliance monitor, overseeing grants for community organizations aimed at uplifting underserved communities.


Before that, I worked at Philly Counts as the Operations Manager, ensuring that our programs received the necessary resources to thrive. My career has always centered on making a tangible impact on communities. Before coming to the City, I was with VietLEAD, focusing on serving Southeast Asian immigrants in Philadelphia.


What do you do in your free time? 

In my leisure time, I love learning and experiencing new things. I value spending time with friends and family. I love traveling to different cities and countries and experiencing the culture, food, and people. 


What do you hope to accomplish in your new role? 

During my time at OIA, my primary goal is to foster community and bridge gaps among diverse immigrant populations. I aspire to elevate immigrant voices and ensure that the community’s concerns are not only heard but also addressed. Ultimately, I aim to cultivate a Philadelphia that embraces and celebrates its immigrant residents wholeheartedly.


Sign up to receive the Philadelphia Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA) newsletter. The newsletter typically includes information from OIA and our partners on policies, employment, and funding opportunities, and programs and convenings.