Conference Speakers

Introducing Our UNAVSA-15 Keynote Speakers! 

With conference less than 2 weeks away, we want to highlight some of our esteemed guests we have invited to share a few words at conference. Our attendees have thoroughly enjoyed the keynotes we have featured in the past, while simultaneously gaining inspiration and motivation from their personal stories. This year, we would like to highlight motivational womxn who are successful in their careers and they are continuing to make great strides in their communities and we are so excited to have them join us for this fantastic weekend! 

Thanh Tran

Thanh Tran

Thursday Keynote

Thanh Tan is a senior communications manager for Microsoft Public Affairs. In this role, she finds and tells stories about how technology empowers people around the world. Prior to this dream gig, she was an award-winning multimedia journalist and documentary producer for commercial and public media outlets including Idaho Public Television, The Texas Tribune and The Seattle Times. She also hosted Second Wave, a podcast from KUOW and PRX about Vietnamese American refugee experiences 40 years after the Vietnam War. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times and This American Life. She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California.

Sylvie Tran

Sylvie Tran

Friday Keynote

Sylvie Tran has been working in the Oil&Gas industry for over 20 years. She is currently the Non-Operated Ventures Manager for Shell’s Deepwater business in the Gulf of Mexico. Sylvie is also passionate about the budding digital transformation in our Industry and is an active leader in this realm at Shell. Prior to her current role, Sylvie worked in various leadership and project management roles in New Orleans LA, Pittsburgh, PA and Calgary, Canada covering Safety&Environment, Deepwater portfolio, shale developments, sour gas developments and coalbed methane exploration. Finally, before joining Shell in Canada (2004), Sylvie worked as a drilling engineer and rig supervisor with various oil and gas companies worldwide in Canada, Australia, France and Algeria. Sylvie holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University. Her, her husband, Jeb, and two children live in New Orleans. Sylvie is passionate about community service and serves on several Boards, including the Board of the Metropolitan Human Services District in New Orleans, ARC of Greater New Orleans and Urban League of Louisiana.

Bee Nguyen

Bee Nguyen

Saturday Keynote

Bee Nguyen is the representative for Georgia House District 89, which includes City of Atlanta and DeKalb County. As the daughter of former refugees from Vietnam, Bee Nguyen cherishes the community’s most diverse voices. She has spent nearly a decade of her life working to empower underresourced girls through Athena’s Warehouse, the nonprofit she started to support high school girls in Atlanta. To date, the organization has served over 600 girls. Bee’s prior experiences include work with the resettlement agency Boat People SOS, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, where she worked on issues such as Medicaid expansion and tax policy. She graduated from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies with a Master of Public Administration in 2012. She is a member of the Atlanta Regional Commission Millennial Advisory Board, a mentor for the Wren’s Nest, a 2015 Georgia Women Policy Institute fellow and a graduate of the 2015 New Leaders’ Council class. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Red Clay Democrats, a political action committee that raises money to support progressive candidates. Before she was elected, she served as chief-of-staff to Rep. Sam Park, where she advocated for progressive policies and fought against discriminatory policy, including policies targeting women, the LGBTQ community, the refugee community, and the immigrant community. Bee currently serves on the House Human Aging & Relations, Governmental Affairs, and Education committees, where she fights to preserve voting rights and full funding for Georgia public schools.

Thoa Kim Nguyen

Thoa Kim Nguyen

Sunday Keynote

Thoa Kim Nguyen originally hails from Denver, Colorado and currently resides & works in the D.C., Northern Virginia area as a project manager for a Forensic Accounting firm. Before becoming a project manager, she operated as a marketing consultant and business strategist specializing in branding. Curious and intrigued by the business world, Thoa pursued a business program with the dreams of owning her own company. She graduated from Johnson & Wales University Business School with Magna Cum Laude honors in both degrees – bachelors in Marketing and an MBA in Business Management. Seeing the importance of serving her Vietnamese community, she continually dedicates time to various projects and organizations. She currently serves as President of the Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations. Her past positions: UNAVSA-6 Entertainment Staff, Southwest Regional Representative, UNAVSA-7 Marketing Director, UNAVSA-8 Co-Executive Director, Co-CPP Campaign Director, and Secretary of the Executive board,. Thoa also served as President of the Southwest Union of Vietnamese Student Associations (SWUVSA) in 2012, an organization she co-founded alongside her brother Phong Kim Nguyen. In her spare time, she enjoys expanding her world by growing her side business as a professional hair and makeup artist, eating extremely spicy food, writing, watching documentaries, singing and chasing after cats.

QUESTIONS ABOUT Programming?

If you have any additional questions about programming, please contact the Conference Programming committee at conference.programming@unavsa.org.