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Vietnamese American woman who serves as security advisor of the White House

A woman has always tried her best in promoting cooperation relations between Vietnam and the United States for many years. She is Ms. Elizabeth Phu – a security adviser of two presidents of the United States. 

Ms. Elizabeth Phu – a security adviser of two presidents of the United States.

Ms. Elizabeth Phu – a security adviser of two presidents of the United States.

Elizabeth Phu who people friendly call as Liz was born in 1976 in Phu Quoc island district in the southern province of Kien Giang. She was appointed Director of the US Bureau of Southeast Asia and Oceania Affairs, and a member of the National Security Council cum a senior advisor to former US President Barack Obama. 

This woman played an important role in helping US President Barack Obama to shape policies in her fields, including promoting comprehensive cooperation relationship with Vietnam and implementing the policy of revolving to Asia – Pacific of Washington. Additionally, she was also a chief-drafter of the support program on building maritime capacity for some ASEAN countries.

At the meeting between US President Barack Obama with nearly 1,000 Vietnamese youth members of the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI) in Ho Chi Minh City during the visit to Vietnam in 2016, the US President told about Elizabeth Phu, a security advisor at the White House, as one of the typical Vietnamese American people with extraordinary successes.

President Barack Obama said that Liz's family started a new life in California with only US$ 20 in the pocket and her family had taught children about the importance of education.

Ms.Liz has been working very hard and became one of top advisors about Asia at the White House, the President added.

The talent woman graduated from University of California, Barkeley to grab a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Political Science and a master's degree in Pacific International Affairs at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. Ms. Phu had been trained at the National Defense University, the Dwight D.Eisenhower school.

During 16 years of working at the Department of Defense and the White House, Elizabeth Phu had opportunities to work in the administration of President George W.Bush and President Barack Obama, played many important roles in the U.S. Department of Defense since 2002 -2007, as an assistant of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s policies to Russia and Ukraine.

Vietnamese American woman who serves as security advisor of the White House ảnh 1 Ms. Elizabeth Phu at a meeting with former President of the United States Barack Obama
With her outstanding achievements, the US Government honored and handed over the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medals for Exceptional Civilian Service, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control Meritorious Award and the National Security Council Outstanding Service Award for several time. 

For her, the most important lesson is that the success comes from careful preparation in combination with confidence.

Being an official for the US Government, she determines careful preparation, hard work, being ready for contribution and fulfilling assigned duties are most important.

At the White House, Ms. Phu was the president's effective assistant in shaping policies for nations in the Southern Asian region which has been evaluated by the White House owner as an extremely important role in trade and strategic alliance. This Vietnamese American woman is widely regarded as a silent connector between the White House and the Southeast Asian region, creating a spectacular swing of the foreign policy in the 44th US presidency.

In particular, she participated in preparing and arranging political, defense and economic agreements for the meetings between US President Obama and senior leaders of Vietnam, visits of leaders of the two countries, including the highlight is the US has lifted a decades-old arms embargo on sales to Vietnam. 

Sharing on the personal Twitter page after the US-Vietnam joint statement was released on May 23, 2016 during President Obama's visit to Vietnam, Ms. Phu wrote: “Congratulations on a strong joint statement… a big foundation to reach true cooperation”.

Elizabeth Phu also participated in drafting texts for the US President about the aid budget for Asia-Pacific region, such as equipment aid and training for the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia with budget around US$ 150 million.

She is also the chief-drafter of a US program relating to enhancing maritime capacity for some ASEAN countries, including Vietnam, which was announced by the White House at the end of 2015. Besides that, the woman played an important role in helping President Obama shape policies in these areas, including promoting cooperation with Vietnam.



BY YEN HUYNH- Translated by Huyen Huong

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