Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations

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The Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations (UNAVSA) (Vietnamese: Liên Hội Sinh Viên Việt Nam Bắc Mỹ Châu) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, community-based organization founded in 2004 as a means for Vietnamese organizations from across North America to network, share common resources, collaborate with one another to build strong sustainable communities, and engage in philanthropic work.


During the Third International Vietnamese Youth Conference in 2003 in San Diego, there were initial talks for creating a network of Vietnamese Student Associations in North America modeled after the Federal Vietnamese Students Association of Australia. Through a collaboration of the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations of Southern California along with the New England Intercollegiate Vietnamese Student Association, the first North American Vietnamese Student Associations (NAVSA) conference was held in the Summer of 2004 in Boston, and with that NAVSA was born. Only with the second conference in 2005 in Chicago, was the name of NAVSA changed to The Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations (UNAVSA) to better reflect that nature of this organization as a union.

Regional Partners[edit]


The UNAVSA conference attracts hundreds of undergraduates, graduates, and young professionals from around the country participate in the multi-day event to hone their leadership skills, hold discussions with distinguished speakers, and explore issues in the Vietnamese community domestically and abroad. The majority of attendees are current and future officers of Vietnamese American student groups (VSAs, VSUs, UVSAs, etc.) seeking to develop personal leadership abilities, build organizational management skills, and network with other leaders from around the country.

The first conference was held from July 2, 2004 to July 4, 2004 at Emerson College in Boston. The second conference was held in Chicago as a joint-conference with the Vietnamese Interacting as One conference in July 2005. The third conference was held from July 13, 2006 to July 16, 2006 at the San Jose State University in San Jose. The 2007 conference was held in New Orleans, Louisiana from July 26, 2007 to July 29, 2007. The 2008 conference was held in Portland, Oregon from July 31, 2008 to August 3, 2008. The 2009 conference took place in Atlanta, Georgia from July 30, 2009 to August 2, 2009. The 2010 conference was held in Washington D.C. from July 29, 2010 to August 1, 2010. The 2011 conference was held in Denver, Colorado from July 28, 2011 to August 1, 2011. The 2012 conference was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota from July 26, 2012 to July 29, 2012. The 2013 conference was held in Anaheim, California.

Collective Philanthropy Project[edit]

The CPP is an initiative created in 2004 for Vietnamese-American students and community organizations to collaborate toward a common charitable cause. The CPP’s goal is to further UNAVSA’s mission of developing leadership, preserving the Vietnamese heritage, and creating a unified national effort to help those in need. Each year, the top three candidates are asked to present their projects at the UNAVSA national conference. After the attendees vote, a beneficiary is announced at the conference banquet. In years past, CPP has partnered with several non-profit organizations, raising over $300,000 in the last seven years.

List of CCP Beneficiaries
Year CPP Beneficiary
2012 M.E.M.O.
2011 Children of Vietnam
2010 Blue Dragon Children's Foundation
2009 Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation
2007 Vietnamese Overseas Initiative (VOICE)
2006 The Catalyst Foundation
2005 VietACT


The UNAVSA executive board is headed by the President. The current President is Lan Anh Nguyen, who took over from Dan Huynh in 2012 and will conclude her term at the UNAVSA Conference in 2014. The President is responsible for the strategic direction of UNAVSA and is tasked with ensuring the organization is operating within the scope defined by its partner organizations.

List of UNAVSA Presidents
No. Name Region of origin Took office Left office Note
1 Quoc Phan Southern California 4 July 2004 31 July 2005
2 Tony Ngo Southern California 31 July 2005 16 July 2006
3 Hai Ton Northern California 16 July 2006 3 August 2008 First two-year President
4 Brian Vo Mid-Atlantic 3 August 2008 1 August 2010
5 Dan Huynh Midwest 1 August 2010 29 July 2012
6 Lan Anh Nguyen Mid-Atlantic 29 July 2012 Incumbent

See also[edit]

External links[edit]