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Profiles of Members of EPA's Asian-American and Pacific Islander Community: Lisa Pham

Profiles of Members of EPA's Asian-American and Pacific Islander Community

Picture of a smiling woman.Lisa Pham, Environmental Engineer
Water Quality Protection Division
Dallas, TX (Region 6)

Where were you born?

Saigon, Vietnam

What brought you to EPA?

EPA was “born” 5 years before the end of the Vietnam War. I remember that because it was the time that many Vietnamese came to this country without anything. My family was among those.  The U.S. government and the Americans have opened their arms to let us in this country.  Their generosity and compassion inspire me to public service.   Working with EPA is not only a privilege but also a meaningful way to pay back the huge debt that my family and several hundred thousands of Vietnamese refugees owe this great country.

What type of work do you do at EPA?

I’ve been working with EPA Region 6 since April 1994. Currently, I am coordinating aquifer exemption projects of Region 6’s Office of Water and managing the Underground Injection Control (UIC) programs in New Mexico. As Region 6’s liaison to the Vietnamese-American community, I have initiated many of EPA’s Environmental Justice outreach efforts to address environmental and health issues that they are facing daily, notably, the Nail Salon Project. During the EPA response to the devastation of hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and the BP Oil Spill Response, I was deployed to assist the Vietnamese community living along the Gulf Coast. I also have translated numerous EPA documents into Vietnamese and actively developed the EPA’s Vietnamese web page.

What is your highest level of education? What was your major?

I received my Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University.

What message would you like to send other Asian Americans who are considering college or a career in environmental protection?

EPA is a great place to be considered for a career in the environmental field.  Your knowledge and skills will be fully utilized in order to address the many environmental issues that Americans are facing. With a diverse workforce, EPA has been effectively helping various impacted communities throughout the United States. 

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