The judging panel for the National Awards in Vietnam brings together a wealth of expertise in education, entrepreneurship, arts, communications, and national policy. Find out more about them and their work below.
1. Ms Donna McGowan - Director of British Council Vietnam
Donna McGowan is the Director of the British Council in Vietnam. With 25 years experience of in British Council international work, involving team leadership and development in Latin America, Sub Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and now South East Asia.
2. Ms Phan Lien Huong - Research and Innovation Programme Manager, British Embassy Hanoi
Huong has managed the UK – Vietnam bilateral research and innovation partnership over the last seven years at the British Embassy Hanoi. She has more than 15 years of work experience in various development projects in international NGOs and diplomatic missions. Her background is in Biology and Environmental Management.
3. Mr Nguyen Xuan Vang - Consultant, Former Director General of Vietnam International Education (VIED) - the Ministry of Education and Training
Vang received his education in applied linguistics and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) in Vietnam, the UK, and Australia.
He was appointed Director of the ESP Resource Center in 1991, Vice President of Hanoi University of Foreign Studies in 1997, and President of Hanoi University of Foreign Studies in 2000. He served Hanoi University of Foreign Studies for two terms (2000-2008).
In 2008, he was appointed Director General of Vietnam International Education (VIED) of the Ministry of Education and Training, responsible for inbound and outbound students and international education development for Vietnam. Before he retired from the Government service in 2017, he served as Director-General of the International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Education and Training.
With nearly 40 years of service in the education sector, Vang’s contributions have been recognized through notable awards from the Presidents of Vietnam, Italy, Brazil, New Zealand and honorary professorships and honorary doctorate degrees from a number of foreign universities
He had been in the position Rector of Hanoi University in period 2000-2008 (formerly Hanoi University of Foreign Studies).
4. Mr Cuong Dang - CEO - Forbes Vietnam
Cuong Dang is an entrepreneur, senior advisor, investor, and publisher. He has a diverse background in digital, mobility, logistics, and media. Cuong is currently leading Forbes Vietnam (PHC Media) as CEO and Partner. Forbes Vietnam is about celebrating entrepreneurship and the future leaders of this country. Cuong’s plan to focus on telling successful and inspiring stories of Forbes Under 30, Forbes Women, as well as Vietnam’s up and coming big businesses in various industries.
Cuong studied abroad in London in the early 2000s in International Management then built a successful career in software development in the US while being author, trainer, and speaker for MNCs across the country and Europe.
5. Mr Nguyen Trung Dzung - CEO – BK Holdings
Nguyen Trung Dzung is an expert in innovation and entrepreneurship certified by the Vietnam-Finland Innovation Partnership Program (IPP), Leadership Innovation Fellowship Program at Cambridge University (UK), Mashav Innovation Program (Israel). He is currently a lecturer at Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) as well as the CEO of BK Holdings in charge of science and technology enterprises system, innovation, and entrepreneurship of the university. Dzung has over 20 years of experience in investment, training, incubation, and technology transfer in Vietnam.
Since 2001, he has been the founder and investor of more than 10 educational institutions, systems integration companies, science, and technology enterprises. He is also consulting for government, organizations, and enterprises in innovation as well as in the executive boards of organizations and associations in this field such as Board member of Hanoi city in an Innovation project, Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), Vietnam Mentoring Initiative (VMI), Chairman of Junior Achievement Vietnam (JA)…
In 2017, he was selected as the Ambassador of Vietnam by the World Innovation Forum (WIF).
6. Ms Nguyen Phuong Thao - Head of Arts and Creative Industries Department – British Council Vietnam
Nguyen Phuong Thao has been the Head of Arts and Creative Industries of British Council Vietnam since July 2016.
She is an arts manager with ten years of experience in varying disciplines from visual to performing arts, music, publishing, photography, and contemporary dance. She has management skills in a wide range of arts projects, including large-scale public events, exhibitions, conferences and workshops, and online and printed publications, mostly in Vietnam or closely connected to Vietnam. Phuong Thao hold the Master degree of Arts in Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
7. Mr Nguyen Ho Quang Ha - Managing Director of UK Alumni Association in Vietnam (UKAV)
Ha has got an MBA from University of Southampton, UK. In 2014, he was appointed as managing director of UKAV which was sponsored by British Council in Vietnam. He initiated and led many exciting activities of UKAV, for example, ‘Connect the Dots’ job fairs for fresh graduates from the UK which often had the participation of many leading companies in Vietnam. He is now holding the position of Hanoi branch director at Marsh & McLennan Companies.
8. Dr Tran Van Thanh - London Metropolitan University - Alumni Award Winner 2021 of Vietnam for the category Professional Achievement
Dr Tran Van Thanh is the first Vietnamese international certified lighting designer and now is Co-Founder of ASA Lighting Design Studio which stands among the most respected lighting design practice in Vietnam and South East Asia. He received the prestigious award from the International Association Lighting Designer (IALD) in 2012 for the gorgeous lighting design scheme of the Dragon Bridge in Da Nang.
His UK experiences have created a path and shaped his perspective, with its niche expertise, professional network, along opportunities to work at UK lighting design companies. Now as a Vietnamese lighting designer pioneer, he is striving to spread the knowledge, raise awareness of good lighting through local activities and education, sponsorship, and awards, and nourish and inspire young creative professionals to grow the passion of good Vietnam lighting design.
9. Mr Denzel Eades - Board Member of BritCham, Managing Director of Pioneer International Consulting
Denzel is the co-founder and Managing Director of Pioneer International Consulting (PIC) and manages the firm's offices in Hanoi and Singapore. PIC works with investors and developers to deliver clean energy projects, strategies, and transactions in Vietnam. The firm provides comprehensive advisory and project development services with a particular focus on offshore wind.
Denzel has over 17 years of experience working with both global financial institutions and leading law firms in both Europe and Asia. He previously worked with Clifford Chance LLP and during a 10-year career with the firm worked in London, Moscow, Tokyo, and Bangkok. He moved to Asia in 2008 and was based in Hanoi from 2010 to 2012, whilst seconded from Clifford Chance to the local law firm VILAF. He subsequently worked in the global project finance team at MUFG Bank in Tokyo and with HSBC in Hong Kong, focused on project finance and distressed debt.