Bringing the United States and Vietnam Closer Together through Educational Exchange

Vo Van Toi Named Executive Director 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)

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In the U.S. - Dr. Lynne McNamara: 703-351-5053
In Vietnam - Mr. Long Nguyen: 04-936-3670

Washington, D.C., February 22, 2007 - The Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) announced today that Dr. Vo Van Toi has been named Executive Director of VEF.

Dr. Vo has served as Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University where he held a joint appointment with the School of Medicine and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He created the Biomedical Engineering Program and helped establish the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts. Prior to his appointment at Tufts, Dr. Vo served as a post-doctoral fellow at the Biomedical Engineering Center in the Division of Health Sciences and Technology-a combined program of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During his career at Tufts, while on sabbatical, he was a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He also helped create, and was vice-director of, the Eye Research Institute in Sion, Switzerland. Dr. Vo has dedicated his expertise to helping Vietnam by co-founding the Vietnamese North American University Professor (VNAUP) network; by creating the Biomedical Engineering Consortium of Vietnam-International Universities and the Vietnamese Association of Biomedical Engineering; and by initiating a virtual Biomedical Engineering Department of Vietnam within Tufts' Biomedical Engineering Department.

"Dr. Toi is an outstanding professor in Biomedical Engineering and is dedicated to the development of science and technology as well as higher education in Vietnam," said Dr. Malcolm Gillis, Chairman of the Board of Directors of VEF. "With an excellent understanding of both American and Vietnamese cultures and their respective languages, Dr. Vo is an exceptionally able leader of VEF to advance its mission of building Vietnam's capacity in science and technology through educational exchange, and thus strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam."

"I am highly honored to be selected as Executive Director of VEF by the Board and respect the trust that they have placed in my leadership," said Dr. Vo. "I will dedicate my efforts to furthering the already proven success of VEF and will work closely 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; two U.S. Senators-Senators John Kerry and Chuck Hagel; two U.S. Representatives-Representatives George Miller and Chris Smith; and six Presidential appointees-currently Dr. Malcolm Gillis, Zingler Professor of Economics, Rice University, and Chairman of the VEF Board; Trung Dung, Founder and Chairman of BlueKey Services; Frank Jao, President and CEO of Bridgecreek Development Company; Dr. Marilyn Pattillo, Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing, University of Texas at Austin; and Richard Wall, J.D., Managing Partner, O'Donnell, Waiss, Wall & Meschke. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director, Dr. Toi served as a Presidential appointee on the VEF Board of Directors since 2004.

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