Where are you from?
I am an economist from the United States but have worked in Vietnam since 1992. My work in Vietnam has been centered at the Ministry of Health since 1999, and in the Health Policy Unit of the Planning and Finance Department of the Ministry since 2003. I have been involved in implementing households surveys as well as mentoring Vietnamese researchers to do empirical policy research in the health sector, focused on health financing and health equity issues. Since 2007 I have also helped to compile the Joint Annual Health Review, a joint effort of international agencies, donors and the Vietnamese Ministry of Health. Through reviewing existing data and research, and consultations between all parties involved, the Review aims to identify priority issues and propose policy solutions on all building blocks of the health system.
What sparked your interest in public policy?
My interest in studying public policy stems from an attempt to understand why recommendations for international best practice solutions, backed by evidence on suitability in Vietnam, end up being watered down or neglected, while various health system problems remain unresolved.
Why did you choose to pursue a PhD at LKYSPP?
I chose to pursue my PhD at LKY school because of a number of professors working on similar issues of evidence-based policy-making , who also have experience working in Vietnam and other developing Asian nations.
What do you enjoy the most about your studies or research work at LKYSPP?
I have only begun my studies, but feel that the LKY environment will help expose me to new ways of thinking about the issues I have been working on, and will allow me abundant opportunities for engaging with others with similar interests to debate policy approaches.
What are your career goals?
Eventually I would like to return to work as a policy advisor in the health sector in Vietnam, and expand my work and experience to include other countries in Asia.