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.

Conference Location Theme Date
NAVSA Boston, MA NAVSA (Self-Titled) July 2–4, 2004
uNAVSA-2 Chicago, IL Acting in Unity: Making Hope a Reality July 2005
uNAVSA-3 San Jose, CA In Common Unity, Building Local Power July 13–16, 2006
uNAVSA-4 New Orleans, LA Recognize, Inspire, Strengthen, Empower (RISE) July 26–29, 2007
uNAVSA-5 Portland, OR Sharing Our Past, Shaping Our Future July 31-August 3, 2008
uNAVSA-6 Atlanta, GA Pursue Your Passion, Define Your Path July 30-August 2, 2009
uNAVSA-7 Washington DC Uncommon Power for the Common Voice July 29-August 1, 2010
UNAVSA-8 Denver, CO Blueprint of our Legacy July 28–31, 2011
UNAVSA-9 Minneapolis, MN Bước Qua (Step Through) July 26–29, 2012
UNAVSA-10 Anaheim, CA Nơi Nương Tựa (Safe Haven) August 1–4, 2013
UNAVSA-11 Dallas, TX Together, Let's Fly July 24–27, 2014
UNAVSA-12 Seattle, WA Momentum: Ripples of Progress June 26–29, 2015
UNAVSA-13 Boston, MA Light the Way July 21–24, 2016
UNAVSA-14 New Orleans, LA Unlock the Present July 20–24, 2017
UNAVSA-15 Atlanta, GA Stand up, Stand Out! August 2-5, 2018
UNAVSA-16 Vancouver, BC Beyond the Horizon: Y[ours] to Discover July 25–28, 2019

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 CPP Beneficiaries
Year -
2018 Children of Vietnam
2017 Pacific Links Foundation
2016 Catalyst Foundation
2015 Kids Without Borders
2014 Foodaid.Compassion
2013 One Body Village
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 Catalyst Foundation
2005 VietACT


The UNAVSA executive board is headed by the President. The current President is Phuc Hong Phan, who took over from Thoa Kim Nguyen in 2018 and will conclude his term at the UNAVSA Conference in 2020. 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 27 July 2014 First female President
7 My-Phuong Ly Midwest 27 July 2014 24 July 2016
8 Thoa Kim Nguyen Southwest 24 July 2016 05 August 2018
9 Phuc Hong Phan Southeast 05 August 2018 Present

See also[edit]

External links[edit]