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Spring Commencement Speaker

May 03, 2016

Cuong T. Nguyen, CEO of Ellacy Global Trade and Investment and a 1996 graduate of Angelo State University, will deliver the commencement address during ASU’s spring graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 14, in the Junell Center/Stephens Arena.

Cuong T. NguyenCuong T. NguyenNguyen will address graduates of the College of Education and the Archer College of Health and Human Services during a 10 a.m. ceremony. He will speak to graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business in a 2 p.m. ceremony. Close to 850 ASU graduates are expected to walk across the stage during the two graduation exercises. 

A native of Vietnam, Nguyen has been CEO of Ellacy Global in Washington, D.C., since 2015, specializing in education, trade, consulting and investments in the U.S. and Vietnam. Prior to that, he spent a year as vice president of the BMEI Group following his retirement from a stellar career in the U.S. Air Force. 

During the first part of his Air Force career, Nguyen was involved in some of the military’s most advanced defense and weapons systems. He worked on the National Missile Defense System and the Defense Messaging System, as well as Air Force radar systems and the targeting systems for A-10, F-15, F-16 and F-22 fighter aircraft. He later moved into cyber-attack and cyber-defense systems and was the chief analyst for the Air Operations Center weapons system. 

Nguyen also served as the branch chief for Manpower and Total Force at Air Force Personnel Headquarters at the Pentagon and was the chief analyst to represent the Combined Forces Air Component Commander at the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. His analysis of future force structure became the actual framework for the 2014 draw-down of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan. He finished his nearly 20-year career with the rank of major and as deputy director of the Cyber Test Division at Kirtland Air Force Base in Virginia. 

Nguyen and his father originally left Vietnam in the late 1970s as “boat people” refugees, spent time in a UN refugee camp in Indonesia and were eventually granted asylum in the U.S., settling in the West Texas town of Andrews. He earned a Carr Scholarship to ASU and went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and his Air Force commission through Angelo State’s ROTC program. He also holds a master’s degree in operations research from the Air Force Institute of Technology. 

Earlier this spring, Nguyen hosted an ASU delegation in Vietnam and helped facilitate a series of agreements with education, business and government officials that will bring Vietnamese students to study at ASU and dramatically increase campus diversity. 

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