From L-R: Donna McGowan, Dr Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, Sophie Ha Nguyen, Dr Hoang Thi Thu Huong, Marcus Winsley, Pham Kieu Oanh, Le Quoc Vinh

The judging panel for the Alumni Awards 2022–23 in Viet Nam brings together a wealth of expertise in education, entrepreneurship, arts, communications, and national policy.

Find out more about them and their work below.

Donna McGowan, Director, British Council in Viet Nam

Donna McGowan is the Director of the British Council in Viet Nam.

With 25 years’ experience of British Council international work, involving team leadership and development in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and now South East Asia, Donna has designed and implemented programmes with partners and stakeholders across a variety of fields. During this time, her various roles have helped strengthen relationships across our work in education, arts and social development with public, private and voluntary organisations and institutions.

Donna holds a degree in French and Politics, a Master’s in European Politics and Policy, and a professional diploma in Marketing.

Marcus Winsley, Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy Hanoi

Marcus Winsley is the Deputy Head of Mission of the British Embassy Hanoi.

He has managed the UK-ASEAN bilateral relationship over the last nine years, involving team leadership and development in Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and the Philippines. He has 30 years of work experience in different fields, such as Trade and Investment, Communications, Counter Proliferation, Political-Military Affairs, Security Policy, Know How Fund, and International Development.

Marcus holds a Master of Arts in Modern Languages, and a Master of Philosophy in History and Philosophy of Science at St John’s College, University of Cambridge.

Associate Professor Dr Hoang Thi Thu Huong, Lecturer, School of Environmental Science and Technology at Hanoi University of Science and Technology

Dr Hoang Thi Thu Huong is currently Associate Professor at the School of Environmental Sience and Technology at Hanoi University of Science and Technology.

She graduated from Adelaide University in 2001 with a Master of Applied Science in Soil and Water and received her Ph.D. in Biological Science at Ghent University, Belgium, in 2009. She therefore understands very well the challenges and advantages of studying overseas.

She has 25 years’ experience in higher education and research in the field of environmental protection, the impact of climate change and sustainable development. Her research interests and activities focus on environmental issues in aquatic ecosystems, especially freshwater bodies, and their impacts on human health. Her research line can be described as follows: biological and human lives are directly affected by environmental pollution. Hence, research on the impacts of pollution on human and biological lives is crucial.

Le Quoc Vinh, Chairman and CEO, Le Group of Companies

Le Quoc Vinh is Chairman and CEO of Le Group of Companies, with four subsidiaries: Le Media JSC, Le & Brothers Limited (Le Bros), Le Digital Co., Ltd., and Creativa JSC, which are recognised as leading publishing, media, marketing, PR and event management companies in Viet Nam. 

After graduating from Hanoi University in 1990, he chose journalism as a career, and has experienced different positions within the field, such as journalist, editor, and magazine editor of various magazines: Quan He Quoc Te, Vietnam Investment Review, and Dau Tu. He then developed his career by founding several magazines: Nha Dep (Beautiful Home), Dep (Beauty), The thao Van hoa & Dan Ong (Sports, Culture & Gentlemen) and Doanh Nhan (Business People).

Vinh is also an expert in marketing and communication. He is seen as a public relations guru, and guest speaker and lecturer of public relations for the Academy of Journalism and Communications (AJC), University of Social Sciences and Humanity (USSH) and RMIT.

He is the founder and Chairman of Vietnam Creative Entrepreneurs’ Club, with more than 9,000 members. He is also the co-founder of PR Elite School, a public relations (PR) training and practicing school which was established early in 2014.

Dr Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, Researcher, Vietnam National Institute for Culture and Arts Studies

Dr Nguyen Thi Thu Ha has been a long-term researcher at the Vietnam National Institute for Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) since 2004.

Since 2012, she has been a core member of projects which have strongly impacted the development of cultural and creative industries in Viet Nam, such as the National Strategy for the Development of Cultural Industries in Viet Nam to 2020, Vision to 2030 (2014-16), Cultural and Creative Hubs Vietnam (funded by the EU, implemented by British Council Viet Nam in partnership with VICAS, 2018-2021), the IFCD-funded ‘Strengthening Intellectual Property Enforcement in Vietnam 2020-2021’, Cultural City Profile: East Asia (funded by British Council). She is also co-founder of Viet Nam’s Creative Hub Initiative (ViCHI), a network of creative hubs in Viet Nam established in 2019.

Since 2017, she has been assigned as Manager of VICAS Art Studio, a position that facilitates her continuing support to the arts and cultural scene in Viet Nam by offering diversified programmes for artists and the creative community.

Pham Kieu Oanh, Founder and Director, Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion

Pham Kieu Oanh is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP).

She is a pioneer and expert in social entrepreneurship development, women’s rights, child protection and other vulnerable population. From 2009 to 2022, Oanh led the CSIP to create a new sector of social entrepreneurship and social enterprises in Viet Nam. Oanh is also a key mover in initiating policy changes to create a conducive environment for the growth of the social enterprise and social impact businesses sector in Viet Nam, including the inclusion of social enterprises in the Enterprise Law (2014).

Oanh holds various leadership positions at national and international development organizations including UNICEF in Viet Nam, ActionAid International, the National Committee for the Advancement of Women, and World Concern International. She is a founding member of the Social Enterprise Network Asia (SENA), Global Social Enterprise Network (GSEN) and Asian Venture Philanthropies Network (AVPN), which are enabling the growth of a dynamic and vibrant social enterprise environment in Viet Nam.

Sophie Ha Nguyen, ICF Coach and Accredited Expert in Personal Image and Personal Branding

Sophie Ha Nguyen is an UK alumnus, graduated MBA in Strategic Management at Aston University, co-sponsored by Chevening scholarships and the Lord Mayor of the City of London.

Sophie is now an accredited expert in Personal Image, Personal Branding and an ICF coach. She founded Style Academy to share, teach and mentor thousands of women to become the best version of themselves.

Sophie was also a successful with her start-up, the children’s fashion brand Skabella. Prior to that, she had over ten years’ experience working and managing at various MNCs, such as Deloitte London, HSBC Vietnam, ANZ Vietnam, and so on.