What is your name?
Where were you born?
I was born in Saigon, which is in southern Vietnam.
How important is community outreach to you?
Everyone lives and connects in some form of community, regardless of the size or number of members. I try to make a difference in any community that I’m a part of by contributing my available resources and providing appropriate services and activities to those who might not have adequate access to those services. At the NIH, I served as President for the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, became involved with various NIH Budget Working Groups, served as a mentor, and hosted new interns. Outside work, I’ve served on the Advisory Board for my Homeowners Association, volunteered in a local church, and participated in my kids’ various school activities. I enjoy making a difference along with building strong and healthy communities.
How long have you been at the NIH?
It’s been an honor for me to be working at the NIH for 17 wonderful years. NIH is an amazing and fascinating place to work.
What is your professional background?
Prior to joining the NIH, I spent 5 years in a commercial real estate investment trust, commercial banking, and county government. Currently, I’m serving as Chief of the Financial Management Branch for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).
How have you helped to inspire scientific change at NIH by outreach or administrative support?
In my position as Chief of the Financial Management Branch for NIDCR, I’m responsible for managing, tracking, monitoring, and planning NIDCR’s $462 millions of appropriation funds for the Institute to conduct and invest in medical research and finding new discoveries. I work diligently with various key stakeholders to ensure that NIDCR Intramural and Extramural scientists have an appropriate level of financial resources to accomplish their scientific research in making discoveries and finding cures that will improve the health of the nation.
What does AAPI mean to you here at NIH?
To accomplish the mission of "improving health and saving lives," the NIH depends on its very diverse workforce with various unique talents, strong skills, and extensive scientific knowledge from its employees. AAPI employees represent approximately 15% of the NIH workforce, which is one of the HHS agencies with highest percentage of AAPI background. It’s imperative to the AAPI community that NIH is dedicated to promoting its diverse workforce and allows employees with all ethnic backgrounds to perform at their greatest potential while contributing ideas that enhance the mission.
What is your leadership style?
I gravitate towards the servant and transformation leadership style. Over the years, I’ve discovered what motivates me and my colleagues and what makes a team work well to achieve goals, while I also developed empathy and compassion for others. I focus on living by the people’s first approach. I prioritize people’s satisfaction, getting to know the people and the organization, creating a respectful work environment, increasing employee motivation to serve organization objective, encouraging teamwork and collaboration, and building strong morals.
What does success mean to you and any last words?
Success can be looked upon in different ways. Success to me is when my work brings me joy, provides a sense of purpose, directly ties to my values, reflects my inner self, and makes a difference in the lives of people around me.
I would like to leave you with a parting thought – live well; maintain a healthy body and mind so that you can live a joyous and fulfilling life which will benefit others.
Do you have a story idea for us? Do you want to submit a guest blog? If it's about equity, diversity, or inclusion, please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.