About Design Capital Asia


The organization was started by a team of dedicated Vietnamese Americans who are committed to poverty eradication and alleviation in Vietnam. The team recognized that Vietnam’s social, development, and economic challenges need new strategies in addressing the needs of 15 million chronic poor individuals in Vietnam. The team incorporated the organization as Design Capital Asia (DCA) in the USA in 2013 as a non-profit organization (NPO) and non-governmental organization (NGO). We design economic development, public health, and environmental sustainability programs in Vietnam that provide capital loans, business development and training, vocational training, health education, and environmental sustainability services to youth, social entrepreneurs, small businesses, and job seekers.


We are a team of experienced and committed individuals who have worked in humanitarian and development programs serving disadvantaged and marginalized communities in Vietnam and the USA for over three decades. The team members have pioneered innovative development initiatives, led non-profit organizations, and partnered with academic institutions in addressing socio economic development, education, community development, and public health issues. Together we had 60 years combined years of experience in public health, economic, technology, and education. The executives and management team members have received a number of recognitions for their innovative contribution to sustainable poverty eradication and alleviation in communities in Vietnam and awards for their contribution in reducing health disparities in communities in the USA.

Meet the Team

Thien-Nhien Luong, MPH

Co-Founder and CEO

Luong (BA in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from UCSB and MPH specializing in Epidemiology, HIV/AIDS, and International Health from UCLA’s School of Public Health) has had over 15 years of experience in Public Health, Health Promotion, Disease Control and Prevention, Program Management, Planning, Research and Evaluation, Community Development, Capacity Building, Emergency Preparedness, and International Health consulting. She worked for the Santa Clara County Public Health Department for almost 10 years where she held various positions including Chief Epidemiologist and Sr. Health Care Program Manager.

Huy Thai

Board Member, Secretary

A highly motivated Biomedical Engineer, Huy’s academy research project is in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) focus on the force-sensitive resistor (FSR) application in a helmet to monitor head trauma and reduce TBI. His past research at the University of California, Davis, applied the groundbreaking gene-editing method CRISPR/Cas 9 to gene-edit Arabidopsis’s antiporter DNA. Since 2011, Huy has served in the US Army. From 2018-19, Huy directed a multi-profession team to provide health/medical training for thousands of U.S military personnel and local nationals in Central America. Huy volunteers as the Event General Director for Miss Vietnam Northern California since 2016 and as the Director for Golden Heart Charity since 2012.

Phạm Văn-Ngọc

Program Co-Director

Bio to be updated.

Huyền Nữ Phương-Vinh

Program Co-Director

Bio to be updated.

Võ Thị Kiều-Hân

HIPE Manager

Vo received her BA in Interpretation from Hue University, College of Foreign Languages . Before DCA, Vo worked in hotel guest relations, promoting community-based and responsible tourism. In March 2013, she found herself with HIPE, where she coordinates school and community projects. Her expertise lies in HIPE’s community-based programs, such as the Experienced Summer program, PSA Media program, Health Fair, recycling activities, making trash receptacles, mobile library, and mobile cinema. Vo specializes in taking a holistic approach to sustainable community development, collaborating with other charities and youth organizations in order to help PHEs understand local issues and to inspire the youth to take charge of the change in their communities.

Lê Thị Nhật-Hằng

RONG House Manager

Huế-native Hằng received a BA in English from Hue University, College of Foreign Languages and a second BA in Business Management from Danang University, College of Economics. Her main role at HIPE is to support the project manager and associate with other coordinators and volunteers to offer health education led by school-age peer educators in schools and high risk communities in Thưa Thiên Huế Province.

Aside from her HIPE duties, she is also an English teacher, teaching both children and adults. She has experience in Human Resources and Administration procedures, training, and customer service.

Trần Thị Như-Hồng

HIPE Coordinator

One of the original Cohort I PHEs, Hồng just received a BA in English from Hue University, College of Foreign Languages. She has been working in HIPE in many main tasks: training new peers, leading some peers in Quang Dien district and Hue City, holding school-based health sessions at school, etc. Later as a Coreteam member, she collaborated with the others to organize many big programs and events such as Health fair, Green Sunday, mobile library, ASRH presentations, and condom education at Hue University. She is very dedicated to community activities and especially loves to volunteer in impoverished areas like A Luoi, and Nam Dong. In 2019, she was hired on as full-time staff!

Hoàng Tuấn-Anh

HIPE Coordinator

Tuấn Anh is a final year student at Hue University, College of Medicine and Pharmacy, majoring in Public Health. He started with HIPE 2 years ago and is now a HIPE assistant coordinator, supporting the program through photography, filming, graphic design, PR/advertising, as well as holding school and community health sessions. He loves being able to put his academic knowledge to practice in a meaningful way. He is also a member of many community organizations at his university and has served as a speaker at the 2018 Da Nang Summer Camp and an instructional assistant at the Early Childhood and Care Education Program in A Luoi. In 2020, he was hired on as full-time staff!

Hoàng Thị Vy

HIPE Intern

Vy is fourth year student at Hue University, College of Medicine and Pharmacy, majoring in Preventive Medicine. She joined HIPE in 2014 as a volunteer and is now an assistant coordinator. She supports HIPE by holding the health sessions, practicing and supporting HIPE PHEs to improve their knowledge and skills, joining HIPE community activities, and so on. She also is the moderator of the HIPE Team Facebook page, a leader of the Phu Mau and Huong Thuy groups. Her strengths are creativity, public speaker, presentation skills, problem solving, and leadership skills. Becoming assistant coordinator of HIPE is a great opportunity to improve her skills and knowledge for her major.

Nguyễn Thị Minh Trang

SEED Intern, HIPE Peer Health Educator & Coreteam Leader

Trang is a second-year student at Hue University, College of Economics. Since 2015, Trang has been involved in HIPE and is currently doing two main jobs: training new members, as leader of the Nguyen Dinh Anh group and collaborating with other members to organize programs such as green Sunday, mobile library, and so on. Additionally, she is a member of SEED project. She has dedicated herself to the project and wants to create a better society.

Phan Hồ Bảo Ngọc 

SEED Intern, HIPE Peer Health Educator & Coreteam Leader

In her final year at Hue University, College of Economics, Ngọc is set to graduate this 2020. Since 2013, Ngọc has been involved in HIPE, teaching various health topics, preparing spring and summer training sessions for the leadership team, and facilitating program activities, including the mobile library and cinema. Moreover, she is also Social Entrepreneur and Economic Development (SEED) intern, mainly operating in Quảng Điền and Phú Vang districts. Her work includes surveying, selecting documents, communicating with clients, and more. Working in a professional environment helps her to develop a career and have a clear direction for the future.

Nguyễn Thị Xuân Ni

RONG House Intern, HIPE Peer Health Educator & Coreteam Leader

Ni is 19 years old, born and bred in Hue City. Currently, she is a sophomore at Hue University, College of Foreign Languages, majoring in English. She has been working in HIPE since 2015. As a core team member, her main task is leading the peer health educators in Thuan An Town. Over the years, she has aided in the organization and execution of many HIPE programs–health sessions at schools, the annual Health Fair, Green Sunday, university condom trainings, etc. On top of that, she is also an assistant for RONG in program development and planning. This work makes her more confident and love the kids.

Nguyễn Thị Hồng Nhung

RONG House Intern, HIPE Peer Health Educator & Coreteam Leader

Nhung is a fourth year student of Hue University, College of Medicine and Pharmacy, majoring in Traditional Medicine. Nhung has been a HIPE member for since 2014. Currently, Nhung is the leader of the Phu Mau group, instructing younger Peer Health Educators to develop presentation skills, teamwork, organization, and support to hold health session at school and environment activities at local community. Nhung is serious, hard-working, and creative in work. In everything she does, she enjoys adding an artistic element, like craft things, doing and creating with paper and plastic. Now, she is assistant coordinator for RONG.

Megan Aikawa

RONG House Lead Advisor, VANGO Network Board Officer

Megan joined DCA at the start of 2019 to provide an on-the-ground perspective of the needs of the communities served by DCA programs. With a passion for early childhood development and community mental health, she is excited to support DCA RONG House staff, interns, and volunteers in their pursuit to offer an innovative center for community development in Hue City. In addition to supporting RONG House, she continues to work in social welfare in Hanoi and plans to pursue a master in social work upon return to USA.

Cathy Lam

RONG House Advisor, Our1World Co-Founder and President

Lam has partnered with DCA annually for several years, holding workshops on Nutrition and Healthy Living, emphasizing environment and marine conservation to students and early childhood educators. As former board member of the Newport Bay Conservancy, she advocated on watershed issues, plastic pollution, preservation and restoration of natural habitat. She was actively involved with the Soymilk Nutritional Supplement program in Central Vietnam from 2005-2007 and founded Our1World in 2005. O1W projects include Solar Energy Appliances Photovoltaic Solar Ceiling Fans, Rocket Stove, and Melaleuca Habitat Restoration. Lam holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from UC Irvine.