Garcia Hernández Sawhney, LLP is delighted to announce that Thuy Thi Nguyen (Thúy Thị Nguyễn) joined us as a partner in our Education Law and Equity Leadership Practice Groups.
In July 2016, Nguyen became the first Vietnamese American college president in the country when she was appointed President of Foothill College – a position she served for over five years. Prior to Foothill, Nguyen served as interim general counsel for the California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office in Sacramento. For over eleven years, Nguyen was the General Counsel for the Peralta Community College District in the East Bay. At different points during her tenure at Peralta, she served in additional roles as Acting Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and District-wide Strategic Planning Manager. From January to June 2015, Nguyen took temporary leave from Peralta CCD to serve as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community College League of California.
When she was 3, Nguyen and her family joined the wave of “boat people” who fled Vietnam after the end of the war. They drifted in the Pacific Ocean on a boat for more than 20 days before a commercial ship rescued them and took them to a refugee camp in Japan. Eventually, the family relocated to Wichita, Kansas, and then moved to the warmer climate of New Orleans.
When she was 14, the family settled in the Oakland where she attended Castlemont High School, a predominately African American and Latinx-populated school. Nguyen served as a student representative on the Oakland Unified School District’s Board of Directors and cadet colonel Oakland brigade commander in the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. Upon graduation, the mayor of Oakland declared June 23, 1993 “Thuy Thi Nguyen Day.” Nguyen is the founding president of the Castlemont High School Alumni Association and has been inducted into the school’s Alumni Hall of Fame.
Nguyen co-published a book, “25 Vietnamese Americans in 25 Years,” showcasing the contributions of 25 distinguished Vietnamese Americans to mark the anniversary of the fall of Saigon. The book is archived in the Library of Congress and many public and university libraries across the country. (Library of Congress, No. 002283307)
Nguyen was the founding Board Chair of California LAW Pathways. In 2016, for her leadership in creating the community college pathway to law school initiative, Nguyen received the coveted Diversity Award from the State Bar of California – an award given to an individual who has helped diversify the legal profession.
Nguyen is also the founding board member of Cal MEDICINE, a sister statewide initiative to diversify the medical profession in California. She currently serves on the board of Silicon Valley Education Foundation and Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland, and recently served on the board of the American Council on Education.
For more on Thuy Nguyen, click here.