For Lan Nguyen, the Obama Foundation Scholars Program offers the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience that will help her strengthen local economic governance in Vietnam, where she worked to shape the success of the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI). The PCI has conducted annual surveys of thousands of private businesses to reflect their perceptions about governance quality in 63 cities and provinces, thus pushing for stronger reforms in order to cultivate a strong private sector. Over the fourteen years since the initiation of the PCI project, the index has promoted changes to specific activities of the government, as well as enhanced a collaborative mindset for business.

Nguyen’s BA in Economics and MBA in Foreign Trade, both from the Foreign Trade University of Hanoi, guided her focus on local economic governance in Vietnam. After graduation from the Obama Foundation Scholars Program with a master’s in international development and policy, she will return to Vietnam and work to further improve the local governance to promote the growth of the private sector.

“The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Harris strengthened my belief that there is strength in numbers, especially for policy-makers, who want to make better change. All the tools, knowledge, and experience that I gained during my time at Harris will help me fulfill my goal of designing and promoting better policies to enable the private sector in Vietnam.”