Mar 21, 2024 1:28 pm

For over 20 years, Ha Nguyen has served the students of Washington state’s community and technical college system, advocating for students of color and other minoritized students, and leading statewide efforts to advance racial, social, and economic justice. 

Nguyen is also a Vietnamese refugee whose family was part of the first wave of Vietnamese Boat People, joining the thousands who fled by sea seeking refuge following the collapse of the South Vietnamese government. Her childhood memories include her mother’s stories of their escape – praying for her children’s survival and splitting rations of rice with other people on the boat – and talking enduringly about the importance of higher education.

Most recently, Nguyen served as Green River College’s first Vice President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. During her time at GRC, Nguyen was instrumental in securing nearly $1.9 million in federal funding for GRC’s first Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) program; coordinated efforts for GRC’s emerging Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center; provided key supports to the Black Caucus for developing the UMOJA Black student excellence program; and sponsored the college’s first Indigenous and Native Student Success event in collaboration with GRC’s Indigenous Student Success Center.

Now, as she steps into a new role as the Pierce College District's Vice President of Equity, Engagement and Belonging, Nguyen said she looks forward to collaborating with colleagues across the district and within the broader community to accelerate critical components of the college’s equity strategic plan.

“I am honored by the opportunity to be a part of Pierce College’s long-standing pursuit of excellence towards educational equity and am thrilled to join this community as it aspires to build an antiracist institution through bravery, care, and purpose,” Nguyen said.