White House Appoints New VEF Board Members
April 12, 2005--The White House announced the appointment of Dr. S. Malcolm Gillis and Dr. Con G. Pham to the VEF Board of Directors. VEF is an independent U.S. Federal Agency founded by the U.S. Congress to strengthen the science and technology communities in Vietnam through educational exchange and scientific and technical cooperation.
From 1993-2004, Dr. Malcolm Gillis served as the President of Rice University in Houston, Texas. Dr. Gillis began his career at Duke University as an assistant professor of economics, then spent 15 years at Harvard University before returning to Duke in 1984 as a professor of economics and public policy. From 1986 to 1993 he served as Vice Provost and later Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In 2004, he returned to Duke as a visiting professor at the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy and a distinguished research fellow at the Duke Center for International Development. He will return to Rice in August 2005 as University Professor. Dr. Gillis is noted for his academic research in the areas of fiscal reform and environmental policy.
Dr. Pham Gia Con is an associate clinical professor of anesthesiology at the University of California in Los Angeles, School of Medicine, and Director of the Interventional Pain Clinic at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. In addition, Dr. Pham is a noted Asian-American community leader in Orange County, California, having founded and been the former president of the Vietnamese-American Physicians Association of U.S.A.
Dr. Gillis and Dr. Pham replace outgoing Board members Mr. Herbert Allison, CEO of TIAA-CREF, and Dr. Robert Bryant, J.M. Kreps Professor of Mathematics at Duke University. VEF Chairman Frank Jao expressed his sincere appreciation for the tireless efforts of Mr. Allison and Dr. Bryant, both of whom made multiple trips to Vietnam during their tenure to further VEF's mission. "The groundbreaking work Mr. Allison and Dr. Bryant accomplished as founding Members of the VEF Board of Directors will continue to influence the success of VEF long after their departure. We are grateful for their devotion to VEF."
Dr. Gillis and Dr. Pham join an exceptional group of VEF Board Members, including Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Secretary John Snow, Secretary Margaret Spellings; Senators John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, Representatives George Miller and Chris Smith, Mr. Frank Jao, President and CEO of Bridgecreek Development Company; Dr. Marilyn Patillo, Professor of Clinical Nursing, University of Texas; Dr. Charles C. Nguyen, Dean of the School of Engineering, Catholic University; and Dr. Vo Van Toi, who holds a joint appointment at Tufts University in the School of Medicine and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
VEF now counts more than 100 Fellows studying at top universities across the United States; 50 additional Fellows are slated to depart for the U.S. by the end of 2005. MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, Princeton, University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and Michigan represent a sampling of the prestigious universities at which VEF Fellows are studying in a wide range of science and technology fields, including mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, and computer science.