Name: Quyen Nguyen
External links: LinkedIn
Candidate: International Treasurer
Member since: 2018
I founded an educational consulting business and manage approximately 10 contractors across four countries. I also manage a joint venture, working to expand my current business into a new market. Previously, I served as Director of Education at an education nonprofit located in Thailand and managed a team of 20. In this role, I also did business development and helped the organization expand their client base to other countries.
Prior to this, I was a Fulbright fellow in Vietnam where I received an award for exceptional contribution. I also worked for two education nonprofit organizations in the US: Teach For America (TFA) and KIPP. I held teaching and operational management roles, and volunteered for TFA as co-leader of the Fundraising and Development committee for the Atlanta chapter.
I’ve led fundraisers for organizations and individuals in vulnerable situations (such as low-income students and refugees) totaling nearly USD 100,000.
Describe your volunteer work with DA and cite your greatest DA accomplishment
I have served as chair of DA Colombia since 2019. I was also co-chair of the Global Youth Caucus when it re-formed in 2020—I recently stepped down from the steering committee only because I passed the maximum age limit! I am also a founding member of the Global AAPI Caucus and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
I believe my greatest strengths are in building and managing teams of people with diverse backgrounds and skill sets, using data to drive decision-making, and adaptability. Working with my executive committee in Colombia, I created a strategy to recruit and mobilize a team of over two dozen volunteers; we had an extremely high engagement level for the 2020 elections. I am also proud of my work re-establishing the Global Youth Caucus. Though I knew my time leading it was limited, I felt confident stepping back and letting others take the lead once I left.
Why are you running for this office?
I am running for International Treasurer because I believe I have the skills and experience necessary to excel in this position.
Now that we have reached nearly USD 1 million in budget in a single year and are approaching 200,000 verified members, I believe we need to professionalize our management systems and build a team to carry out the accounting and finance work more strategically and efficiently. My first goal will be to propose that the ExCom implement a modern political software system, which will help DA better track and report on our budget and finances. I also plan to create a long-term budget and projections plan to ensure that we have a more accurate vision of where we are and where we want to be financially. I will do this in part by analyzing historical fundraising and donations data to create financial forecast models. I also plan to build on the expertise we already have in the organization by working closely with professional accountants, grant writers, and fundraisers. This will help us expand the reach of our work and create a system of checks and balances to ensure we are in compliance with elections laws and regulations.
How will your skill sets and experience contribute to DA's success?
I’ve built a successful business by meticulously creating and carrying out a business plan. I wear many hats for it, including managing the budget and finances. My business met the profit goal in its first year, and profits doubled by the second year. In my startup position in Asia prior to this, I initiated several community projects, which led to winning the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from the American Chamber of Commerce. Before my experiences in Asia, I lived in the US and worked at two prominent education nonprofit organizations, TFA and KIPP. I held operations management roles, which allowed me to gain experience in building strategy and hiring and managing teams. Later, during graduate school at Harvard, I worked with a Boston area nonprofit organization to improve their donor strategy. I believe my experiences in nonprofit management and budget strategy will be assets in my work as Global Treasurer.
Are there any DA organizational or practical issues (not political goals) that you would like to address should you be elected?
I am passionate about diversity and inclusion, and hope that I can work with the next global executive committee to expand leadership opportunities for a more diverse range of individuals. As I mentioned above, I also care about further professionalizing our organization. I believe that by thinking more strategically and by employing data-driven decision making, we will get to clearer and more purposeful results. If DA can present a clear strategic plan and financial forecast, I believe we will be able to get more donations from our current members and win more grants from outside organizations. I am running for Global Treasurer because I believe that we need to maximize our financial resources as an organization to reach our goals. I want to have a voice with the global executive committee so that I can take part in conversations and have a vote for larger organizational matters as well.
How can Democrats Abroad best raise our profile among American voters abroad and better work to elect Democrats?
We can begin to do this by creating a serious programming strategy at the global level, then building a financial strategy around it and raising the funds necessary to carry it out. We have already seen how putting money towards communications (e.g., advertisements) and Vote From Abroad can significantly boost membership. We should search for more politically neutral environments to continue expanding our growth and exposure in these areas. We also have seen that we have a broader reach in countries with active committees. Therefore, focusing on ways to help country committees better engage members will help us strengthen our profile within our membership and beyond. Finally, we need to continue promoting the importance of fundraising to our leadership and to build easy-to-follow plans and incentives (such as matching grants) to encourage and support regional and country-level fundraising.
Endorsement from Katie Solon, DNC Member 2020-2024, International Chair 2013-2017, International Treasurer 2011-2013, global Fundraising Committee chair 2011-2013
I wholeheartedly endorse Quyen Nguyen for the position of International Treasurer.
Quyen has precisely the skills needed to track and report on DA’s finances, develop and help implement a financial strategy, and be responsive to other DA leaders and decision-makers. Within DA, she has taken initiative in critical areas, exhibited steadiness and persistence to keep teams and projects going, and shown that she can work with data and with everyone.
On the financial side, Quyen has founded and successfully run a company, developed and implemented business plans and fundraising programs, recruited and managed teams.
On the DA side, she’s been an inspiring team leader in reinvigorating her country committee (as chair) and the Global Youth Caucus (as co-chair), and a critical team member helping start up the Global AAPI Caucus and the global Diversity and Inclusion Committee. (All this in three years!) She understands all aspects and levels of our quickly evolving political party -- especially the key elements of country committees, caucuses, and global teams.
Living and working in both the Americas and Asia/Pacific regions, Quyen brings a truly global perspective.
Our organization and budget have about doubled since I served as International Treasurer, but the core work and issues remain the same. Having done the job, and as an active witness to and participant in our growth and growing needs, I am absolutely certain that Quyen would be an excellent fit for this job and am thrilled that she is willing to step up. Please vote for her.
Endorsement from Kathy Rothschild, RVC for the Americas, Treasurer for DA-Costa Rica
Quyen will be able to lead the call to create a more sustainable financial structure for DA. She is a remarkable leader and will definitely be an asset to the Global Excom as well as benefit the entire organization.
Endorsement from Courtney Newman, Co-chair, DA Global Youth Caucus; Events and Fundraising Coordinator, DA Germany; Youth Caucus Leader, DA Germany
I proudly endorse Quyen Nguyen for Democrats Abroad (DA) Global Treasurer!
I have had the honor to work with Quyen as part of the Global Youth Caucus (GYC) since it was re-established in June 2020. As co-chair, she was a critical component in ensuring the organization and smooth start up of the GYC. Re-establishing the GYC was no easy or clear task - there were new procedures to learn, work to be distributed, and documents to be prepared. Quyen guided the steering committee through the process with her professionalism, support, and experience. She was a knowledgeable resource for the entire GYC steering committee.
Quyen’s communication and strategic thinking skills allow her to effectively and efficiently lead teams. For someone like myself who was new to DA at the time, I could always call on Quyen when I had questions or concerns. She takes the time to listen, to share her expertise, and if there is ever a question she does not know the answer to, she works diligently to find a solution. If Quyen has an idea or offers to help, she follows through with it on time and with exceptional execution.
Although I have only worked with Quyen for a short time, I see the passion she brings to all she does. She is an inclusive, reliable leader that anyone would be privileged to work with. Quyen would make an outstanding Treasurer for DA Global and I enthusiastically endorse her for this position!