Jao fled Vietnam in 1975 and came to the United States; he took real estate classes at Coastline Community College in Westminster, California, and went on to found Bridgecreek Development, the biggest real estate developer in the Vietnamese American enclave of Little Saigon in Orange County, California. He developed and currently owns the highly-popular Asian Garden Mall on Bolsa Avenue, which houses numerous Vietnamese shops. Aside from his business activities, Jao serves in various non-profit capacities as well. In 2005, he was appointed by George W. Bush as head of the Vietnam Education Foundation, which seeks to improve relations between the United States and Vietnam. The Le-Jao Center at his alma mater Coastline Community College is named in recognition of donations by Jao and Chieu Le, the entrepreneur and owner of the Lee's Sandwiches chain in California.