ATLANTA—MPA alumna Bee Nguyen, the first Vietnamese American to win a house seat in Georgia, will be keynote speaker at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies fall 2017 commencement ceremony on Friday, December 15.
Just 10 days earlier, December 5, 2017, Nguyen was elected to represent the citizens of Georgia House District 89.
Nguyen, prior to earning her Master of Public Administration in 2012, founded and led Athena’s Warehouse, a nonprofit that educates and empowers Atlanta’s underserved teen girls.
She also worked three years with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute and has served on the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Millennial Advisory Board, working to address public education in Atlanta.
A 2015 Fellow with the Georgia Women’s Policy Institute, Nguyen lobbied to pass the Pursuing Justice for Rape Victims Act. Since its passage, thousands of untested rape kits have been tested and DNA matches have been made.
Nguyen has facilitated a series of conversations on racial justice and, in 2016, she was on the host committee for the national Facing Race conference where she helped curate the bus tour, “Atlanta: A Tale of Two Cities.” She has also worked with high school teachers and undocumented students to develop a public art exhibition highlighting the importance of cultural identity.
In 2016, Nguyen served as campaign manager to Representative Sam Park, helping to elect the first openly gay Asian-American to the Georgia General Assembly. She then served as his chief of staff, drafting and tracking legislation and developing policy recommendations.
“We are so pleased to have Bee speaking to our graduates,” said Interim Dean Sally Wallace. “She lives a very full life demonstrating policy in action!”