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Bruce Thao

Director of Programs, Hmong American Partnership (HAP) and Hmong National Development (HND)
Bruce is the son of Hmong refugees who fled Laos during the Vietnam War and came to the United States in 1975. Being the first U.S.-born child and growing up in rural communities, Bruce saw firsthand the struggles his family experienced with language and cultural barriers in navigating American educational, economic and healthcare systems. His life’s work thus far has been a combination of advocacy, research, clinical work, and capacity building to create access for disenfranchised communities. Bruce is currently the Director of Programs for Hmong American Partnership (HAP) and its subsidiary, Hmong National Development (HND), where he oversees programs, policy and strategy. He oversees HAP and HND’s joint work around the Affordable Care Act in Minnesota, California, Arkansas, Missouri, and North Carolina, where they have reached almost 20,000 Hmong and other Southeast Asians. Bruce has an M.S. in Psychology from St. Joseph’s University and an M.A. in Social Welfare from the University of Chicago. He is a 2013 Bush Fellow and advisor to Shades of Yellow (SOY), the first and only Hmong LGBTQ organization in the world.

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