VEF Board Elects Frank Jao as Chairman
February 22, 2005--VEF announced today that Mr. Frank Jao, CEO of Bridgecreek Development Company, has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors.
President George W. Bush first appointed Mr. Jao to the Board of VEF in 2002 and reappointed him again in 2003 for a three-year term. He is a community leader and real estate developer who is credited with the establishment of Little Saigon, an economic and cultural hub of the Vietnamese and Asian-American communities in Orange County, California.
"Frank Jao is an exceptional person and leader," said Herb Allison, Jr., the outgoing chairman of VEF. "He is superbly qualified to help VEF accomplish its mission of expanding educational opportunities for Vietnam's talented young people and strengthening the friendship between the United States and Vietnam."
"I am humbled by the trust of my friends and colleagues," said Mr. Jao. "Herb Allison has taken VEF from its infancy to remarkable success, and we admire his leadership. I look forward to working with the U.S. scientific and educational community, Vietnam's institutions of higher education and our governmental counterpart, the Advisory Council of Vietnam, in expanding our collaboration and achieving our shared objectives."
VEF (http://www.vef.gov) is a special initiative by the U.S. Congress to bring the U.S. and Vietnam closer through educational exchanges. VEF is in its third year of operation and receives the full support of the U.S. National Academies in its Fellowship selection process. Currently, VEF has more than 100 Fellows at 37 top U.S. graduate institutions, mostly for doctoral degrees.
All 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 members include Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Treasury John Snow, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, U.S. Senators John Kerry and Chuck Hagel; U.S. Representatives George Miller and Chris Smith; and six Presidential appointees (Frank Jao, President and CEO of Bridgecreek Development Company; Herbert Allison, Jr., CEO of TIAA-CREF; Dr. Robert Bryant, Professor of Mathematics, Duke University; Dr. Charles Nguyen, Dean of the School of Engineering, Catholic University of America; Dr. Marilyn Pattillo, Professor of Clinical Nursing, University of Texas at Austin; and Professor Toi Van Vo, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Tufts University).