Amanda Nguyen

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Amanda Nguyen
How Will We Govern Ourselves in Space? (48322984212).jpg
Born1991 (age 30–31)
EducationHarvard University (BA)
OccupationFounder and CEO of Rise[1]
Known forSexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act
Awards24th Annual Heinz Awards in Public Policy (2019)[2]
Time 100 Next[3]
Forbes 30 Under 30[4]

Amanda N. Nguyen[5] (born c. 1991)[6][7] is a social entrepreneur, civil rights activist, and the CEO and founder of Rise, a non-governmental civil rights organization.[6] She was involved in proposing and drafting the Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act, the 21st bill in modern U.S. history to pass unanimously through Congress.[8] Nguyen has also been credited with kickstarting the movement to stop violence against Asian Americans after her video calling for media coverage went viral on February 5, 2021.[9][10] Nguyen received the 24th Annual Heinz Award in Public Policy,[2] Time 100 Next,[11] Forbes 30 Under 30,[4] and received the Nelson Mandela Changemaker Award.[12][better source needed][13] She was also credited with a Top 100 Global Thinker by Foreign Policy.[14]

Education and career[edit]

Nguyen earned a Bachelor of Arts at Harvard University, graduating in 2013.[5][15][16]

She interned at NASA in 2013,[4][17][18] and has also worked at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.[19] She worked as the Deputy White House Liaison for the U.S. Department of State.[6][15] She left her job at the State Department in 2016 to work full-time at Rise.[20] Encouraged by her mentors during her time at NASA, she is in training to become an astronaut.[21][15][19][22][23] Nguyen is also on the board of directors of R Street, an American conservative and libertarian think tank.[24]


In 2013, Nguyen was raped while she was in college at Harvard in Massachusetts.[6][4][25] Nguyen chose not to press charges immediately since she did not feel she had the necessary time and resources to participate in a trial that could potentially last for years.[26][27] After police officers informed her there was a 15-year statute of limitations for rape in Massachusetts, she decided she would press charges at a later date when she was ready.[28] She had a rape kit performed and discovered that, if she did not report the crime to law enforcement, her rape kit would be destroyed after six months if an extension request was not filed.[4][22][29] She was also not given official instructions on how to file for an extension.[6] Nguyen considered this system to be broken, partially because the extension request would be an unnecessary reminder of a traumatizing experience.[4][22] Nguyen met other survivors with similar stories and concluded that the current legal protections were insufficient.[22] She has created publicized events such as a fashion show during New York Fashion Week in the Museum of Modern Art, with models who were survivors of sexual assault.[30]


In November 2014,[31] Nguyen founded Rise, a nonprofit organisation which is aimed to protect the civil rights of sexual assault and rape survivors.[15][4][22] Nguyen headed the organisation in her spare time[23][31] until September 2016.[20] Everyone who works with Rise is a volunteer,[19] and the organisation has raised money through GoFundMe.[6] Nguyen explained that the organisation was named Rise to "remind us that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can rise up and change the world."[22] Nguyen's aim is for Rise to pass a Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights in all 50 U.S. states as well as on the national level.[6] She has also travelled to Japan where a similar bill was presented.[20][27]

Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act[edit]

In July 2015,[26] Nguyen met with New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen to discuss legislation that would protect survivor rights on the federal level.[4] Legislation that Nguyen had helped draft was introduced to Congress in February 2016 by Shaheen.[6][4] Nguyen collaborated with and comedy website Funny or Die to draw attention to the legislation and encourage voters to support it.[32] Nguyen launched a petition that called on Congress to pass the legislation.[31] The Funny or Die video and petition received support from Judd Apatow and Patricia Arquette on Twitter.[33] As of 28 February 2016, the petition gained 60,000 of the 75,000 requested signatures.[31] By October 2016, there were more than 100,000 signatures.[34]

The bill passed through the Senate in May[6] and the House of Representatives in September.[26] It passed unanimously in both chambers of Congress,[6][26] and was signed into law in October 2016 by President Barack Obama.[6][15][4][17] The new law protects, among other rights, the right to have the evidence of a rape kit preserved without charge for the duration of the statute of limitations.[4]

On October 12, 2017, California governor Jerry Brown approved a bill titled "Sexual assault victims: rights".[35]

We the Future Portrait[edit]

In 2018, Shepard Fairey created a portrait of Amanda Nguyen for Amplifier's "We the Future" campaign, a series of commissioned art pieces that were sent to 20,000 middle and high schools around the United States to teach about various grassroots movements.[36]

Awards and honors[edit]

Awards and prizes

Personal life[edit]

Born in California,[33] Nguyen resides in Washington, D.C.[6][15]


  1. ^ "Risers". RiseNow. Rise. Archived from the original on 13 November 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Amanda Nguyen receives the 24th Heinz Awards in the Public Policy category". 12 September 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-25.
  3. ^ "Time 100 Next 2019". Retrieved 2019-12-24.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "'30 Under 30' Honoree Amanda Nguyen Is Fighting for Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights". NBC News. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  5. ^ a b "Students Help Draft Sexual Assault Legislation". The Harvard Crimson. 19 January 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "How a 24-Year-Old Rape Survivor Is Pushing Congress to Change the Way the U.S. Handles Sexual Assault". People. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  7. ^ "Who Is Amanda Nguyen? The Young Women's Honoree Worked With President Obama To Protect American Women". Bustle. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  8. ^ Nahmad, Erica (2019-01-29). "All RISE for Amanda Nguyen: The Force Behind the Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act". BeLatina. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  9. ^ Liu, Jennifer (2021-03-01). "How millennial Nobel Prize nominee Amanda Nguyen's viral video sparked coverage of anti-Asian racism". CNBC. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  10. ^ "Why More Policing Isn't the Answer to a Rise in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes". Time. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  11. ^ "Time 100 Next 2019". Retrieved 2019-12-24.
  12. ^ a b "WORLDZ - Nelson Mandela Changemaker Recipient". 11 September 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-25.
  13. ^ "Amanda Nguyen". Retrieved 2021-10-19.
  14. ^ "Amanda Nguyen, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and the CEO and Founder of Rise". UW Oshkosh Today. Retrieved 2021-10-19.
  15. ^ a b c d e f "Amanda Nguyen". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  16. ^ "Amanda Nguyen - CEO and Founder, Rise". LinkedIn. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  17. ^ a b c "Global Thinkers 2016: Amanda Nguyen". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  18. ^ "Rising Stars 2017: Advocates". Roll Call. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  19. ^ a b c "Rape survivors have fewer rights than you'd think. Amanda Nguyen is trying to change that". The Boston Globe. 7 April 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  20. ^ a b c "Sexual Assault Bill Author Encourages Youth Activism". The Harvard Crimson. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  21. ^ Ronan, Alex. "The Lenny Interview: Amanda Nguyen". Lenny Letter. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  22. ^ a b c d e f "Navigating the broken system was worse than the rape itself". The New York Times. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  23. ^ a b "Meet the 24-year-old who could change how the US handles sexual assaults". The Guardian. 23 February 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  24. ^ Team
  25. ^ "The woman behind the sexual-assault survivor 'bill of rights'". PBS. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  26. ^ a b c d "How One Victim's Fight Got Sexual Assault Bill to Obama". Roll Call. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  27. ^ a b "24-Year-Old Rape Survivor Is Pushing Congress to Pass Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights". Time. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  28. ^ "Obama Expected To Sign Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill Of Rights Into Law". NPR. 9 September 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  29. ^ "To combat rape, a 'bill of rights' for survivors". The Christian Science Monitor. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  30. ^ Gupta, Alisha Haridasani (2021-09-12). "A Fashion Show With an Unexpected Focus: Sexual Assault Survivors". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-10-19.
  31. ^ a b c d "Do We Need a Bill of Rights for Sexual-Assault Survivors?". TakePart. 28 February 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  32. ^ "Here's What a Bunch of 'Supervillains' Think About U.S. Sexual Assault Laws". Fortune. 26 February 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  33. ^ a b "This Rape Survivor Just Helped Get a Huge Bill Passed Through the House". The Cut. 28 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  34. ^ "Obama Just Signed The Sexual Assault Survivors' Bill Of Rights". Refinery29. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  35. ^ "Bill Text - AB-1312 Sexual assault victims: rights". Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  36. ^ Grant, Daniel (September 18, 2018). "Political Posters by Shepard Fairey and Others Are Coming to 20,000 US Classrooms". Observer. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  37. ^ "Marie Claire Magazine Young Women's Honors Award Recipients 2016". Marie Claire. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  38. ^ Alawa, Silla; Keane-Lee, Jalena (2016-12-29). "40 Women to Watch: The 2017 Edition". The Tempest. Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  39. ^ "The Frederick Douglass 200". 5 July 2018. Retrieved 2019-12-25.
  40. ^ "Bright Sparks: The 2019 Global Goals List". 1 March 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-24.
  41. ^ "Time 100 Next 2019". Retrieved 2019-12-24.

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