Quyen is the Executive Director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC). Originally formed in 1979, SEARAC was founded by a group of American humanitarians as a direct response to the refugee crises arising throughout Southeast Asia as a result of U.S. military actions. Today, SEARAC is a civil rights organization that represents the largest refugee community ever resettled in America. It works to empower Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese American communities to create a socially just and equitable society through policy advocacy, advocacy capacity building, community engagement, and mobilization.
As Executive Director, Quyen has advocated for Southeast Asian Americans on key civil rights issues including education, immigration, criminal justice, health, and aging. Quyen has spoken widely about Southeast Asian American communities and has appeared in American RadioWorks, NBC, Public Radio International, and Voice of America. Under Quyen’s leadership, SEARAC has authored national legislation and passed California legislation calling for transparent, disaggregated data for the Asian American community. Quyen has also extended SEARAC’s coalition presence and leadership in other civil rights and social justice movements through her leadership roles with the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), Detention Watch Network (DWN), the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC), RISE for Boys and Men of Color, and Allies Reaching for Community Health Equity (ARCHE) Action Collaborative. Prior to SEARAC, she built lasting infrastructure for the International Children Assistance Network (ICAN) in San Jose, CA, serving Vietnamese immigrant parents, grandparents, and youth.
Born to Vietnamese refugees, Quyen identifies as a second-generation Vietnamese American. She holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Quyen was born in New Orleans, LA, and grew up in Orange County, CA, and San Jose. She currently resides with her husband in Washington, DC.