Bringing the United States and Vietnam Closer Together through Educational Exchange

Malcolm Gillis Elected Chairman of Vietnam Education Foundation (Based on our enabling legislation and the impending closure of VEF in 2018, VEF is no longer offering any Fellowships or Grants)

print version Print version


In the U.S. - Lynne McNamara: 703-351-5053
In Vietnam - Long Nguyen: 04-936-3670
Washington, D.C.
January 19, 2007 - The Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) announced today that Dr. Malcolm Gillis, Zingler Professor of Economics at Rice University, has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors. President George W. Bush first appointed Gillis to the Board of VEF in April 2005.
From 1993-2004, Gillis served as the President of Rice University in Houston, Texas. He 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. Serving on its Board of Governors, Gillis was instrumental in the establishment and development of Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany. Gillis is noted for his academic research in the areas of fiscal reform and environmental policy.
"Malcolm Gillis is an outstanding leader in academia and is dedicated to international development,"said Frank Jao, the outgoing Chairman of VEF. "He is exceptionally able to help VEF further its mission of building Vietnam's capacity in science and technology through educational exchange and thereby strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam."
"I am honored to be selected by the Board and will respect their trust,"said Dr. Gillis. "Frank Jao has led VEF for the last two years during its outstanding development in which VEF has become recognized as a leading force in U.S.-Vietnam relations. I will continue along that path while working with the scientific, educational, and government communities of both the U.S. and Vietnam to achieve our mutual goals."
VEF ( is a special initiative by the U.S. Congress to bring the U.S. and Vietnam closer through educational exchanges related to science and technology. The Foundation is in its fourth year of operations and incorporates assistance from the U.S. National Academies in developing and executing VEF programs. As its flagship activity, the VEF Fellowship program has placed nearly 200 Fellows at more than 50 top U.S. graduate institutions, mostly for doctoral degrees. VEF Fellows are required to return to Vietnam after completing their academic programs in the U.S.
VEF is governed by a Board of Directors whose thirteen members consist of three U.S. Cabinet members, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, and Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson; U.S. Senators John Kerry and Chuck Hagel; U.S. Representatives George Miller and Chris Smith; and six Presidential appointees (Dr. Malcolm Gillis, Zingler Professor of Economics, Rice University; Trung Dung, Founder and Chairman of BlueKey Services; Frank Jao, President and CEO of Bridgecreek Development Company; Dr. Marilyn Pattillo, Professor of Clinical Nursing, University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Van-Toi Vo, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University; and Richard Wall, J.D., Managing Partner, O'Donnell, Waiss, Wall & Meschke).
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Click here for Vietnamese version