Orange County Supervisor, 1st District
Director Nguyen was elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors in February 2007 and overwhelmingly re-elected in 2008 and 2012.
In doing so, Director Nguyen set many firsts in Orange County politics. She became the first woman Supervisor to represent the First District, the first Asian-American and the first Vietnamese-American to serve on the Board of Supervisors, as well as the youngest Supervisor elected in Orange County history. Only the fifth woman to serve on the Board of Supervisors, Director Nguyen’s election, together with that of Supervisor Patricia Bates’ in 2006, marked the first time in Orange County’s history that two women served on the Board simultaneously.
In addition, Director Nguyen is the highest ranking Vietnamese American elected official in California and the highest ranking Vietnamese American woman elected official in the United States.
On December 15, 2009, Director Nguyen was elected to serve as Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Director Nguyen represents more than 600,000 residents in the First District, which covers the Cities of Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Westminster, portions of Fountain Valley and the unincorporated community of Midway City.
Director Nguyen previously served on the Garden Grove City Council where she was the first woman Councilmember elected in nearly 35 years and the youngest member ever elected. Director Nguyen also worked for two previous Chair members of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and served as District Director for a member of the California State Assembly.
Director Nguyen continues to devote much of her time to different organizations throughout the County. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Chair of the OCTA Transit Committee, Vice Chair of the OCTA Legislative Committee, CalOptima, Orange County Fire Authority, National Association of Counties (NACO), Orange County Children’s Partnership, Orange County Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, Orange County Local Remote Access Network Board (RAN), Santa Ana River Flood Protection Agency, and Orange County Council of Governments.
Director Nguyen has been recognized by the Asian Pacific American Legislative Staff Association for the distinction of being the first Vietnamese-American to hold the position of District Director in a state or federal legislator's office. She was awarded the We Give Thanks 2004 Women of Vision Award, which recognizes outstanding women who have provided exceptional services to the community. Director Nguyen was also named to the Class of 2008 Latino OC 100 for her work with the Latino community, and was awarded the 2008 St. Anselm’s Cultural Diversity Award. In addition, the Orange County Register has listed her as one of the "30 Vietnamese Americans to Watch” and she was named one of OC Metro Magazine 2006 “25 Hottest People” in Orange County for her demonstrated leadership and influence in Southern California.
Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Director Nguyen and her family escaped their homeland on a small wooden 10-meter boat sailing across the South China Sea in search of freedom. After passing through numerous refugee camps, Director Nguyen and her family arrived in California in 1981. She is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.
Director Nguyen resides in Garden Grove with her husband and two young sons.