|Member of the Minnesota Senate
from the 67th district
January 8, 2013
|Preceded by||redrawn district|
|Political party||Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party|
|Residence||Saint Paul, Minnesota|
|Alma mater||University of Kansas (B.A.)
Rochester Institute of Technology (M.S.)
|Profession||multimedia producer, legislator|
Foung Hawj (also Foung Heu | Chinese: 侯祝福 | Lao: ຝົງ ເຮີ) is a Minnesota politician and member of the Minnesota Senate. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), he represents District 67, which includes the east side of Saint Paul in Ramsey County in the central Twin Cities metropolitan area.
Early life, education, and career
Hawj was born in Laos. His father was a military officer and public transportation official in Vientiene and Long Tieng. He grew up during the Vietnam War and lived in refugee camps with his family before coming to the United States. In 1990, Hawj received his B.A. in Theatre and Film and Computer Science from the University of Kansas. He earned his M.S. in Applied Science and Technology from New York's Rochester Institute of Technology in 2001.
Hawj was a series producer for Twin Cities Public Television in the 1990s before starting his own multimedia business in 1996, Digital Motion LLC. He co-founded the Hmong-American DFL Caucus in 1992.
Hawj was one of nine DFL candidates vying for Mee Moua's seat in 2010, losing in the primary to St. Paul police chief John Harrington. Hawj ran for Senate again in 2012, supported by the Sierra Club and a broad coalition that included the Hmong-American community, but also Latino, Somali, and African American voters. He emerged from the primary victorious. He then secured election to the Senate, defeating Republican candidate Mike Capistrant. As Harrington had vacated his seat prior to the election, Hawj was expected to be seated immediately. Hawj's special legislative concerns include foreclosure prevention, environment, education, and senior healthcare.
Hawj is an outdoorsman and has worked as a videographer and scriptwriter, producing Hmong environmental videos. Hawj lives at the south end of Lake Phalen and is captain of a dragon boat team. He spells his last name Hawj so that English-speakers can better approximate its pronunciation.
- Lee, Fong (January 14, 1995). "Profile: Television Producer Foung Heu". Asian Pages.
- "Biography". Foung for State Senate 67. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "Foung Hawj is seeking DFL endorsement at the Senate District Convention". Hmong Times. March 28, 2012.
- Perry, Steve (June 7, 2010). "Nine vie for Moua seat; biggest primary field ever?". Politics in Minnesota.
- Moua, Wameng (2012-12-17). "The nice guy finishes first in race for St. Paul Senate seat". Hmong Today. Retrieved 2013-03-29.
- Melo, Frederick (August 18, 2012). "St. Paul: Foung Hawj's victory in DFL primary shows he got out the vote". Pioneer Press. Archived from the original on December 8, 2012.
- "State Sen.-elect Foung Hawj is still waiting to be seated". Pioneer Press. 28 November 2012.
- "Senator-elect Foung Hawj (DFL) District 67". Minnesota Senate. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Boyd, Cynthia (May 27, 2011). "Taking advantage of Hmong storytelling culture to teach conservation". MinnPost.
- Lymn, Katherine (May 15, 2011). "Film helps Hmong ease into outdoors". Star Tribune.
- Foung Hawj at Minnesota Legislators Past & Present
- Senator Foung Hawj official Minnesota Senate website
- Senator Foung Hawj official campaign website
- Digital Motion LLC
- Foung Heu at WorldCat
||Senator from the 67th district