Who's Who
Senator John McCain, recipient of Spirit of Liberty Award at BPSOS Gala


Senator John McCain has a remarkable record of leadership and experience that embodies his unwavering lifetime commitment to service. First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1982, John has led the fight for reforming Washington, eliminating wasteful government spending, and strengthening our nation's armed forces.

Senator McCain's reform agenda to reduce federal spending and lower taxes quickly elevated him to statewide office and he was elected to the United States Senate in 1986, after serving two terms in the U.S. House.

In the Senate, he continued to demand that Congress put an end to loopholes for special interests and fix the broken system in Washington that too often allows lobbyists to write legislation and members of Congress to waste taxpayer money. In November of 2010, Senator McCain was overwhelmingly reelected with nearly sixty percent of the vote.

Former United States Ambassador Grover Joseph Rees to deliver Opening Remarks at BPSOS Gala

Grover Joseph Rees, a native and resident of Louisiana, served as the first United States Ambassador to East Timor from 2002 to 2006. Since January 2009, he has worked with BPSOS as Senior Counselor for International Initiatives.

From October 2006 until January 2009 Ambassador Rees served as Special Representative for Social Issues in the U.S. Department of State.  He was responsible for promoting human dignity, including issues affecting vulnerable persons and the family, within the United Nations system.  He served as Acting U.S. Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Counsel during the fall 2007 session of the UN General Assembly and also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations.

From 1995 until 2002 Rees was a senior staff member on the Foreign Affairs Committee in the United States House of Representatives, where he was responsible for human rights and refugee protection and played a major role in the drafting and enactment of important human rights legislation including the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the International Religious Freedom Act, and the Torture Victims Relief Act.

Ambassador Rees also formerly served as General Counsel of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (1991-93), as Chief Justice of the High Court of American Samoa (1986-1991), and as Special Counsel to the Attorney General of the United States (1985-86).

Prior to his work in Washington, Rees served for seven years as a law professor at the University of Texas.  He has written and spoken widely on international law, human rights, refugees, and related issues.

Rees obtained his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his law degree from Louisiana State University Law School, where he served as Editor in Chief of the Louisiana Law Review and was selected for the academic honor society Order of the Coif.

Rees was born in New Orleans, the oldest of 12 children.  He is married to Lan Dai Nguyen Rees and has one son.  He retired from government service in January 2009 and now lives and works in Lafayette, Louisiana.

In addition to English, Ambassador Rees speaks French, Spanish, Portuguese, Samoan, and Tetum.


Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II to make Welcoming Remarks at BPSOS Gala


Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II was elected Attorney General of Virginia and sworn into office on January 16, 2010.  As Attorney General, he is responsible for overseeing an office of more than 300 attorneys and staff.

Prior to serving as attorney general, he served in the Senate of Virginia from August 2002 to January 2010.  As a state senator and private attorney, he worked to improve the Commonwealth's mental health system.  In private practice, he served as a court-appointed attorney for individuals in Virginia’s involuntary civil commitment process.  After joining the Senate in 2002, he passed legislation that provided for more humane treatment of the mentally ill.

He has also been a champion for Virginian’s property rights, sponsoring a law (and now backing a constitutional amendment) to dramatically curb the state’s eminent domain power, so private land can no longer be taken by government from one private owner and given to another, merely to increase tax revenues, economic development, or private gain.

He made government more transparent and accountable to its citizens by sponsoring a law to put the state’s detailed budget online in a format that citizens could easily understand.

As attorney general, Mr. Cuccinelli works to protect consumers from scams and fraud, take the worst sexually violent predators out of our communities, put gang members in jail, and save taxpayers millions each year by prosecuting Medicaid fraud in the commonwealth.

As a state senator, Ken Cuccinelli led the fight to defend constitutional rights, stop tax increases, protect life and families, and keep Virginia a low-regulation and pro-business state. Ken's Commissions included service on the Public / Private Partnership Advisory Commission, Commission on the Prevention of Human Trafficking, Joint Subcommittee to Study Liability Protections for Health Care Providers, and Virginia Supreme Court Commission on Mental Health in the Justice System. Ken also had a strong record of supporting our police officers as they protect our communities. He passed legislation that stopped local governments from unfairly exploiting our law enforcement officers’ overtime work.

Ken was a small business owner and partner in the law firm of Cuccinelli & Day, PLLC, in Fairfax.  He was a business law attorney with a particular focus on serving as an outsourced general counsel to small and mid-sized companies.

Attorney General Cuccinelli earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia, a master’s degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University, and his juris doctor from the George Mason University School of Law and Economics.


Vy Dao


Vy Thuc Dao is completing her PhD in Sociology at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA and received her MA at the University of Houston. Her research analyzes the intersection of race, class and ethnicity as well as the history of social movements, immigrant communities and ethnic identity. Her doctoral dissertation is an expansive ethnographic study of the economic, social and cultural patterns of rebuilding by the Vietnamese communities in post-disaster New Orleans, the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and Bayou La Batre, Alabama.

Her most recent publications include her work on Vietnamese language erosion in the second generation for Language Diversity in the USA (Cambridge University Press, 2010) as well as the forthcoming history of Vietnamese immigrant settlement in Mississippi (University Press of Mississippi, 2011), and the upcoming edition of The Handbook of Asian American (Springer Press, 2012) features her work on the contemporary Asian American environmental justice movement. Her teaching at Tulane University examines the nature of Southern Vietnamese communities in the US and their social trajectories in relationship to existing Asian immigrant theories of settlement.

She currently conducts research as part of the NIH Gulf Coast Transdisciplinary Research Center for Community Health, a multi-institutional consortium that emphasizes community-based participatory research in disaster vulnerable populations along the Gulf Coast. Upcoming publications will present this study’s data as Building Sustainable Community Disaster Preparedness through Social Networking. Her future projects will be with the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in the department of Environmental Health Sciences where she will study post-Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill effects as part of an upcoming NIH grant.


Prof. Quan Cao


Cao Anh Quan is one of the leading nationally and internationally recognized ESOL, cross-cultural counseling trainers.  He designs and writes curricula, conducts leadership training, facilitates strategic planning and mind-mapping, and performs process evaluations of programs across the USA and in 6 other countries.

Quan’s extensive background and experience in education, cross-cultural human services and community and leadership development include consultancies with private sector multinationals (Siemens, AT&T, Ford Motors, American Express, Scholastic, Center for Applied Linguistics, Houghton-Mifflin, College Board) and public sector institutions (State Departments of Social Services, Education, Health, and Mental Health in 45 states and federal agencies, including NIMH, NCBE, OBEMLA, USHHS, USDOS, USINS).  He is well known with CBO and NGO Board of Directors for his mediation and facilitation skills in the areas of strategic planning, consensus decision building, and team mindmapping.

In addition to his visiting professorship at Florida Atlantic University and Lynn University, he is currently the Managing Partner of Spectrum Knowledge East Coast, and the Senior Clinical Associate of Cao & Associates.

In his capacity since 2003 as the lead consultant for NAVASA’s NECSH/ORR Project and the strategic planner for Houston-based VCSA, he continues to offer expertise and assistance to CBOS, ECBOs and FBOs in grantsmanship, fundraising and development, mind-mapping, strategic planning, group facilitation, mediation training and CIPP evaluation.

Quan’s health and mental health work include bilingual paraprofessional training projects in Colorado, Kansas City, Iowa, Utah and Texas projects, including a community-based anti-gang leadership program in Dallas with the Department of Justice and a cultural video archiving project in Salt lake City with the Division of Libraries and the Humanities Council.

His published works include Forgiveness & Forgetfulness: a symbolic and rehabilitative relationship between society and individuality, Inside Out: Leadership Training for Parents of Exceptional Children, Re-defining: A Book of Questions for the Millennium and In The Echo Chamber are currently in press.

Mr.  Quan earned an International Baccalaureate from Lycee Pasteur, Saigon, a Bachelor of Arts in French, German and International Affairs, a Master of Arts in Transformational Grammar and Existential Theatre, and a Ph.D.(AbD) in Multilingual Multicultural Instructional design and Program Evaluation from the Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.


AnPhong Vo

AnPhong Vo is a Program Director with BPSOS, overseeing a multi-million dollar federal grant providing disaster case management services to over three thousand clients in the Greater Houston area and surrounding counties affected by Hurricane Ike.  AnPhong was nine when she and her family made their 13th attempt to escape Vietnam, by boat. They arrived in a refugee camp in Pulau Bidong, Malaysia.  Three-and-a-half years later, in 1992, they were resettled in Port Arthur, Texas. AnPhong earned her Juris Doctorate and Bachelor of Civil Law at the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Management at McNeese State University. Upon graduation, she joined BPSOS in its Houston office.

AnPhong has extensive experience working with refugees and immigrants as a former staff attorney, providing immigration and family law services to survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence. She developed and supported BPSOS’ Victims of Exploitation and Trafficking Assistance (VETA) and Community Against Domestic Violence (CADV) programs, and served as co-chair of the Coalition Against Human Trafficking (CAHT), a member of the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA)-Houston.  She worked with IOM to coordinate family reunifications for individuals residing in Central America and Asia.  She has has represented BPSOS with partner agencies, local, regional, and national collaborative, and the media, and has hosted legal and immigration workshops and clinics to recruit, train and support interns, pro bono attorneys, law enforcement agencies, and other service providers. Her efforts have assisted clients, refugees and asylum seekers from many countries - including Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Korea, China, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nigeria - and many different religious and cultural backgrounds.

In July 2011, she will be deployed to Southeast Asia to engage in refugee protection and anti-trafficking work, as part of a capacity-building initiative between BPSOS and local grassroots NGOs.


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