Executive Director, OCA National
Thu Nguyen is the Executive Director for OCA National, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), where she oversees storytelling, relationships, fundraising and operations.
Ms. Nguyen found her way into the nonprofit sector through organizing Asian American students on her college campus and bridging partnerships between student groups and local community organizations.
Before OCA, she freelanced for nonprofits and Asian-owned start-ups to do community outreach and social media marketing.
Ms. Nguyen brings a unique understanding of grassroots organizing and design to her work at the national level. During her spare time, she focuses on the intersection of advocacy with small businesses. As the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, she was raised in a nail salon (and is a Texas state certified nail technician) and learned the importance of community building as an entrepreneur. This has led to her work freelancing with restaurants, hotels and museums to create spaces that bridge sociopolitical issues with cultural activities such as supper clubs, zine-making, and more.
Ms. Nguyen is a graduate of Rice University, where she earned degrees in chemistry and sociology. She also curated the first Asian American student art gallery at Rice, which pioneered the university’s annual underground Asian American art exhibition.