Đỗ Hoàng Điềm

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Do Diem
Đỗ Hoàng Điềm
Do Hoang Diem.jpg
Born1963 (age 56–57)
Occupationdemocracy activist

Do Hoang Diem (Đỗ Hoàng Điềm, also known as Diem Do) is the current chairman of pro-democracy Việt Tân. He is a prominent leader in the Vietnamese democracy movement.

Early life and career[edit]

Do Hoang Diem graduated from the University of Houston with an MBA degree. Following business school, he worked as an executive in diverse industries including banking, entertainment, health care and electronics.[1]

Diem became very active in the Vietnamese American community. He served on the Vietnamese Professionals Society’s first Board of Directors from 1991 to 1992, was a radio and TV talk show host for Little Saigon Broadcasting and was also a member of the Executive Board of the Vietnamese Community of Southern California. Most notably, as a member of the Vietnamese Public Affairs Committee (VPAC), a grassroots organization aiming to empower Vietnamese Americans, he testified numerous times in the United States Congress about human rights violations in Vietnam and US-Vietnam relations.[2]

International advocacy[edit]

Do Hoang Diem and Congressman Edward Royce after a 2007 Congressional Human Rights Caucus hearing.

As chairman of Việt Tân, Do Hoang Diem meets often with policymakers and non-governmental organizations in Canberra, Paris, Washington, D.C and other capitals.

Speaking before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on May 10, 2007, Diem stated: "It is no longer the question of if democracy will triumph in Vietnam, but when."[3] In his testimony, he recommended Congress to pressure the Vietnamese government to stop jamming Radio Free Asia broadcasts.[4]

From the left: Do Hoang Diem, Nguyen Ngoc Bich of the National Congress of Vietnamese Americans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, prominent Buddhist leader Thich Giac Duc, and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.
Việt Tân chairman Do Hoang Diem (2nd from right) meets with U.S. President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney on May 29, 2007 urging the president to increase pressure on Vietnam to respect human rights

On May 29, 2007, chairman Do Hoang Diem was invited by US president George W. Bush together with three other Vietnamese-American activists to the White House on a meeting about Vietnam's increasingly harsh treatment of anti-government activists and an upcoming visit by Vietnam's president Nguyen Minh Triet to the United States.[5][6] During the 45-minute meeting, Do Hoang Diem urged the president to increase pressure on Vietnam to respect human rights and asked for the United States to support openly democratic forces to bring change to Hanoi.[7] During Nguyen Minh Triet's visit to the US, Do Hoang Diem also met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shortly before her meeting with the Vietnamese president to stress the importance of raising the issue of Vietnam's poor human rights record.[8]

On March 12, 2008, he appeared before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs to encourage lawmakers to call for the release of imprisoned activists in Vietnam including several Việt Tân members.[9] He told the Senate panel: “After more than 50 years in power, for the first time, the Vietnamese Communist Party is facing numerous and unprecedented challenges to its rule. The desire for real changes in Vietnam is stronger now than ever before. In response, the regime is using terror tactics to silence opposition, and severely violate human rights of not just political dissidents but also bloggers, farmers, workers, students or whoever dares to question the regime’s authority."[10]

On March 19, 2009, Diem testified before the Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Australian Parliament. He addressed the issues of arbitrary arrest and detention, freedom of expression, religious freedom and workers rights.[11]

He is a frequent speaker at public events.[12][13] His op-ed articles on Vietnam have been published in the Wall Street Journal[14] and Asia Times.[15]

During 2013 Conviction of 14 Vietnamese Dissidents, he also appeared on public media including Saigon Broadcasting Television Network as well as Al Jazeera to speak out against this "blatant crackdown."[16]

Việt Tân membership[edit]

Diem joined Việt Tân in 1982 while he was still in college.[17][18] Diem eventually quit as a senior health care executive to work full-time in Việt Tân.

After having been a member for almost ten years, he became the Southern Californian Regional Director from 1991 to 1995, afterwards he became the External Affairs Director from 1996 to 2004, and briefly held the position of Policy Director in 2005-2006. In September 2006 at the 6th Party Congress, he was elected as the chairman of Việt Tân, replacing the previous chairman, Nguyễn Kim.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Viet Tan, Leadership biographies
  2. ^ House Ways and Means Committee, "United States - Vietnam Trade Relations", June 17, 1999.
  3. ^ Baptist Press, "Vietnam crackdown sparks call to action", May 14, 2007.
  4. ^ Leadership Council for Human Rights, "Greater U.S. response to crackdown in Viet Nam called for at Congressional briefing", May 11, 2007.
  5. ^ Alex Wong (2007-05-29). "Bush Meets With Vietnamese Democracy And Human Rights Activists". Getty Images. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  6. ^ John Boudreau (2007-05-30). "Bush meets with backers of Vietnamese democracy". Mercury News. Archived from the original on 2016-01-19. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  7. ^ Associated Press (2007-05-29). "Vietnamese-American activists call for US to pressure Vietnam on human rights". Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  8. ^ Kathrine Schmidt (2007-06-20). "Orange County pushes discussion on Vietnam". Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  9. ^ Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "The United States and Vietnam: Examining the Bilateral Relationship", March 12, 2008.
  10. ^ Chicago Tribune, "Vietnamese rights activists press Congress to act", March 12, 2008.
  11. ^ Viet Tan, "Testimony before the Parliament of Australia Human Rights Sub-Committee", March 19, 2009.
  12. ^ Daily Bruin, "Panel reveals efforts for democracy in Vietnam", March 7, 2007.
  13. ^ Viet Tan, "From Burma to Vietnam: Implications for the US in Southeast Asia", February 16, 2012
  14. ^ Wall Street Journal, "Vietnam 'Democracy' in Action", May 31, 2007.
  15. ^ Asia Times, "Fight for the right to choose in Vietnam", May 23, 2007.
  16. ^ "Crackdown on Vietnam's voices". Al Jazeera. 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  17. ^ ON LINE Opinion, "Government attacks boost democracy movement", November 11, 2009
  18. ^ Orange County Register, "Democracy activism a 'battle without boundaries'", April 22, 2007.

External links[edit]