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  • Viviane Nguyen

First Vietnamese American Woman Elected to Congress

The first Vietnamese American woman elected to Congress is 37-year-old Stephanie Murphy from the 7th Congressional District in Florida. Murphy defeated a 12 term Republican representative John Mica and took home 51 percent of the vote.

Photo of Stephanie Murphy from

Murphy, a daughter of Vietnamese refugees, arrived in the U.S. at the age of one. She was the first in her family to earn a B.A. from College of William and Mary and then a M.S. from Georgetown University.

As an educator, businesswoman, and former national security specialist, Murphy has demonstrated her ability to serve as a representative without prior experience in the political office. In September, a couple months before the election, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report changed her race as a toss up and deemed it as the “ultimate House race of 2016.”

Vietnamese Americans like Murphy are breaking barriers by becoming one of the firsts to run for a specific office. Murphy spearheaded the road to encourage more Vietnamese Americans to pursue public office in Congress and other legislative offices.

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Viviane Nguyen She is a lover of politics. She has researched and worked in different levels of government in San Jose, Sacramento, Washington D.C., and Thailand. She is motivated to highlight issues impacting the Vietnamese-American community and Asian American communities at large. She was formerly a Cal-in-Sacramento Fellow at UC Berkeley and notably a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at the Goldman School of Public Policy. She wants to write to show why politics, especially in 2016, is important.

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