Duy Nguyen is a Planning Commissioner for Clark County and a community leader of two local nonprofits serving Las Vegas and Nevada—One APIA Nevada and the Asian Community Development Council.
BE GREAT AND DO GOOD: BUILDING POWER FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
At just 11 years old, Duy Nguyen and his family fled war-torn Vietnam to reunite with his father, who had left seven years prior, in America. While America promised a safer and better way of life, he and his family had to start from nothing.
Growing up in a trailer park, Duy experienced first-hand what it was like for New Americans—struggling financially, navigating an unfamiliar new country unable to speak the language, and working hard to build a better life to as not to have to struggle again.
From a young age, his grandmother instilled in him the importance of giving back and doing good—but he never imagined this would lead to him running for public office. Having fled a country where one’s voice and the vote didn’t matter, the ability to start a new life, become a citizen, and run for public office, no matter how humble your beginnings is something that could only happen in America.
TRAILBLAZING FOR AFFECTING EQUITABLE CHANGE AND BETTER REPRESENTATION
Finishing high school early, Duy started college at just 16 years old—the first in his family to go to college. He got involved in student government, making history as the first Vietnamese American and second Asian American to hold the position of Vice President—bringing his perspective, creating visibility, and opening the door for other students like him to see what was possible.
This experience proved formative for Duy as he continued to get more involved with activism, joining OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates to fight injustice and speak out on issues facing the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community. He knew policy change could not happen if the community continued to be silent and just accept things as they were.
After years of committed advocacy work and leadership alongside his corporate career, Duy was asked to relocate to Las Vegas to chair the 2005 OCA National Convention, after which he never moved back—seeing an opportunity to bring his years of corporate and civic leadership to Nevada. Using his decades of civic, corporate, and personal experience, he immediately set to work building two nonprofits from scratch that would serve the unique needs of Nevada’s communities—the Asian Community Development Council (ACDC) and One APIA Nevada.
Duy heads engagement and outreach strategy for voter education and engagement as well as health and wellness education initiatives and workforce development as a leader of two nonprofits serving Nevadan communities at a local and state level. His recent appointment in 2019 as Planning Commissioner for Clark County made him the first AANHPI to serve on the Planning Commission in Nevada’s history. As a Planning Commissioner representing one of Nevada’s fastest-growing districts, Duy has clear insights into how, with the right perspective and vision, community and local government can work together to create positive, equitable, and lasting growth for all.