Skip to main content

Introducing Our New Vice President for Equity and Justice: Huong Nguyen-Yap

In my three years at NCG, we have shown that racial equity is our North Star. We recognize this requires us to evolve our organization to sharpen racial equity from just a theory to committed practice. Drumroll please, for our newest team member Huong Nguyen-Yap, who as the Northern California Grantmakers’ first Vice President for Equity and Justice will be accelerating racial equity efforts not only for NCG but for the philanthropic field. Huong stood out in a field of more than 150 applicants for this position, and we are so thrilled that she will be bringing her strategic thinking, commitment to marginalized communities, and heart to our team. You can read more about Huong here.
Please join us in welcoming Huong and learn more about her expertise in transforming ecosystems and traveling with very few carry-ons. You can set up a 1:1 with Huong at


-Dwayne March CEO of NCG

Dwayne S. Marsh: What is your vision for philanthropy?

Huong Nguyen-Yap: One thing that has always been true for me is how deeply rooted I am in my communities. As a child of refugees, my family instilled in me a strong sense of what it means to be in and accountable to communities. When I was reflecting on this question, I thought a lot about the critical work that BIPOC leaders are engaged in to transform our ecosystems towards something more equitable. While there’s been investments in this work from the philanthropic sector, we know it hasn't been nearly enough to see the kind of transformation needed. Leaders continue to call on philanthropy to increase their investments, take risks, and move with more trust.

I’ve been privileged to be in this work for a decade and throughout this time have had many mentors, colleagues, and community leaders that have shaped my vision for our work. Philanthropy’s work should be to actively work towards reparations and the redistribution of wealth, capital, and power back to communities, especially Black, Indigenous, and communities of color that have been intentionally excluded. The hope is one day philanthropy doesn’t exist in the same way that it does today or maybe not at all because communities have what we need to thrive. In the meantime, I hope that philanthropy heeds the calls of movement leaders and communities working for racial, gender, and economic justice to “fund like they want us to win”.

D: What excites you about this role?

H: I've known NCG for as long as I've been in the philanthropic sector, and they've been a partner and resource throughout my work as a resource mobilizer, and more recently, as a funder. NCG has an ability to meet funders where they’re at while also remaining committed to their vision for philanthropy. Throughout the interview process, it was clear that NCG is led by a dynamic, intelligent, and fun group of individuals who are committed to working towards shifting resources, capital, and power back into historically marginalized communities. I’m looking forward to partnering with the team and our members to build on the work of centering equity across programs, membership activities, and internal culture and operations. I’m excited about what’s possible for our communities and region because of the work we’re doing to organize and transform the sector. 

D: What special gifts or skills are you bringing to NCG (can be fun or professional)?

H: My special skill is that I’m a light and strategic packer. I prefer to travel light even with two young kids. Last year, our family of four, went abroad for 15 days and we managed 3 carry-on bags. We could’ve probably gotten away with two but we needed to pack diapers for our then 1 year old. This has also come in handy for moving, packing for an event, and bagging groceries. I find it oddly satisfying to bag my own groceries. 

My other gift is my love of bringing people together. I appreciate any opportunity to create space for folks to gather and it always includes plenty of food! 

D: What brings you joy?

H: I just asked my 7 year old what he thinks brings me joy. He said, your kids! Parenting has been one of the hardest jobs to date and yet also full of joyful moments. I love seeing them grow into their personalities and how they are navigating the world around them. They remind me that life is filled with joyful moments daily, we just have to look for them. 

Other things that bring me joy right now: sharing a good meal with people, hiking, exploring new places, playing mahjong, and watching 2nd graders play basketball. 

Find More By:
News Type