The Hon. Lan Diep
Vice President of Programs & Community Engagement
Lan is the first-born son of Vietnamese refugees. Early in his life, he was called on to interpret between English and Vietnamese for his parents and their friends as they navigated basic tasks in American life. This formative experience put him on the path of public service, as he recognized the great need for civic leaders in the Vietnamese American community specifically, but also in immigrant communities more broadly. He brings to APAICS years of experience in community organizing, political campaigns, public policy, and the law.
Prior to joining APAICS, Lan served as a city councilmember representing San José, CA. Through this work he developed a depth of knowledge in the policy areas of economic development, housing, transportation, and placemaking. Notably, he played a role in completing Bay Area Rapid Transit’s long-awaited extension to San José and helped lead the city of over a million residents through the first year of the global covid pandemic.
Lan is an attorney by training and is licensed to practice law in California, Mississippi, Texas, and the District of Columbia. Shaped by the experiences of his childhood, he chose to pursue a career in legal aid. When the BP Oil Disaster devastated America’s Gulf Coast, he moved to Biloxi, MS to serve as an Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps Legal Fellow at the Mississippi Center for Justice. There, he helped limited-English-proficient Vietnamese fisherfolk, tourism industry workers, small business owners, and other victims of the oil spill across the five Gulf States pursue their claims against BP.
After leaving the Gulf Coast, he directed the Vietnamese American Workers’ Rights Project as a Shartsis Friese LLP Public Interest Fellow at the Legal Aid Society–Employment Law in San Francisco. In this role, he educated low-income, Vietnamese American workers about California labor law and helped them defend their rights in the workplace.
Lan Diep’s record of service has won national recognition. The Huffington Post hailed him as the Greatest Person of the Day for April 27, 2011; President Barack Obama deemed him a White House Champion of Change in 2011; and President George H. W. Bush selected him as a Daily Point of Light awardee in 2012. He has also been featured in the Washington Post, CNN, Upworthy, and Nerdist.