Author’s Note: During the 1990s, Boise State was the first American university to deliver academic programs in Vietnam. Between 1994-1999, we provided our MBA degree to 84 Vietnamese faculty members and businesspeople from around the country. In addition, we helped establish Vietnam’s first international standard business school at the National Economics University. Several of those graduates have become leaders in education, business and government throughout the country. This article profiles Bui Huy Nhuong, one of three who rose to the top of the National Economics University. The other two are Bui Duc Tho and Tran Thi Van Hoa.
— Nancy K. Napier, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Boise State University
Bui Huy Nhuong was born in Hoa Binh town, but grew up in an area near a national forest, about an hour and a half drive northwest of Hanoi. Like so many of his peers, Nhuong says his childhood was hard, he often did not always have enough to eat, but he also remembers fun with his friends and hard work to improve his future life.
In college, Nhuong studied planning, and then project management during his MBA with Boise State. His Ph.D. at the National Economics University focused on international economics. From the time he finished, he was on a fast track toward administration. After teaching international business and foreign direct investment classes at the National Economics University, he became director of advanced education programs in 2010 and then head of the personnel department in 2019. In July of 2021, Nhoung was appointed vice president of the university.
During his time in Boise State’s MBA program, Nhuong met his wife and had two sons. His sons have both attended the National Economics University, with one recently graduating. Like many Vietnamese men, Nhuong is a big soccer fan and watches with friends when he has free time.
On his trip to Boise in 1998, he turned 24, making him the youngest in his cohort. His internship at the Idaho Small Business Development Center exposed him to several firms in the region, where he learned ideas that were useful for Vietnam’s growing small and medium-sized enterprises. Because his group stayed for a semester, including during winter, he was able to see snow and go skiing.