Madison Nguyen

Executive Vice President, The Silicon Valley Organization (Formerly the San Jose/Silicon Chamber of Commerce)

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HOW DID YOU CHOOSE A PATHWAY IN PUBLIC SERVICE?

Growing up in a large Vietnamese refugee family and working in the agricultural fields during my teenage years made me realized that positive change could only happen when everyone, regardless of socio-economic background, is given an opportunity to succeed. One of the best ways to advocate for change is through my work in public service. It is also by the far the most rewarding career to date. During my tenure on the San Jose City Council, I have successfully advocated for the development of more affordable housing for low-come families, assisted minority business owners with issues related to running a small business, partnered with local school districts to help bring more funding from major corporations and foundations to provide much-needed academic programs for students. I have also worked on getting legislations passed that brought positive impact to our city in the areas of transportation, economic development, homelessness, the environment and among others.

WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?

My mother inspired me everyday to be a better person by helping others in every way possible. I am constantly reminded that being a leader is not about the title or the position, it’s about how you treat others and how to assist them in their time of need.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR AAPI GIRLS AND WOMEN WHO WANT TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PUBLIC SERVICE?

There is never a good time to think about pursuing a career in public service. That time comes when you have the fire that keeps igniting in your body and would not subside unless you get up and do something about it. When you experience that flaming fire, it’s time.