Tuan Nguyen

Location of Interview
Collection Name

Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster Oral History


NOAA's Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster Oral History documents the experience of people living in Gulf  of Mexico  oil-spill-affected fishing communities. The oral history data complements other social and economic data about the spill collected by NOAA and other governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Date of Interview

Stephanie Scull-DeArmey
Linda VanZandt

Biographical Sketch

Mr. Tuan Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American living in New Orleans who is the Deputy Director of Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corporation and served on Louisiana Congressman Joseph Cao's oil disaster Rapid Response Team following the BP Deepwater oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. Nguyen was born, one of thirteen children, in 1980 in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Thanh Nguyen and Than Nguyen of Phu Quoc, Vietnam. During his childhood, his mother worked as a seafood processor and his father worked primarily cutting aluminum and metals for a local business. In Vietnam, his father had been a fisherman and helped the family escape on their boat in 1975. The Nguyen family was sponsored by a family in Illinois, then later settled in New Orleans. Mr. Nguyen graduated from the University of New Orleans with a degree in Business Management. After graduation, he worked for Walgreens for approximately five years before becoming Deputy Director of Mary Queen of Vietnam (MQVN) Community Development Corporation, in the New Orleans East Versailles Community in 2006. After the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in April 2010, Mr. Nguyen was recruited by Congressman Joseph Cao to serve on his oil disaster Rapid Response Team. Mr. Nguyen has been an active member of MQVN Catholic Church all of his life and an advocate for his community since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. His wife, Mary Nguyen, helped establish MQVN CDC. Together they have one child

Scope and Content Note:
He discusses New Orleans East, Versailles Vietnamese community, MQVN CDC office, growing up in New Orleans East Catholic community, Vietnamese traditions and language, education, reasons for staying in community, parents' expectations, mother's occupation in seafood industry, father in factory, parents' life and escape from Vietnam, history of MQVN church and CDC, Katrina memories, Father Vien Nguyen, MQVN CDC efforts post-Katrina and BP oil spill, Gulf Coast Claims Fund, Congressman Joseph Cao and oil spill Rapid Response Team, Congressional hearing, MQVN CDC future goals.

Please Note: The oral histories in this collection are protected by copyright and have been created for educational, research and personal use as described by the Fair Use Doctrine in the U.S. Copyright law. Please reach out  Voices@noaa.gov to let us know how these interviews are being used in your research, project, exhibit, etc.  The Voices staff can help provide other useful resources related to your inquiry. 

The NOAA mission is to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. The Voices Oral History Archives offers public access to a wide range of accounts, including historical materials that are products of their particular times, and may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes.

Voices Oral History Archives does not verify the accuracy of materials submitted to us. The opinions expressed in the interviews are those of the interviewee only. The interviews here have been made available to the public only after the interviewer has confirmed that they have obtained consent.