AAP staff report
MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 23, 2013) — When the list of finalists was named in the search to fill vacant spots on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, a Vietnamese American from the Fifth Congressional District was among them.
Dennis Nguyen, Chairman and Co-Founder of New Asia Partners, a Minneapolis and Shanghai-based private equity investment group, said he is pleased to be considered for the open regent position. He has more than 15 years of private equity, investment banking and consulting experience.
“Given my work experience, education credentials along with the knowledge and support of public higher education, I believe that I am uniquely qualified to serve on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents,” Nguyen said.
A self-described a non-ideological, non-partisan, businessman, Nguyen said he has the skills set to effectively contribute to the Board of Regents. Fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese and Vietnamese, Nguyen lives in Minneapolis and has four children.
Nguyen previously was an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, teaching courses in financial markets analysis and investment banking/private equity/hedge funds. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a joint M.A. in International Studies from JHU-School of Advanced International Studies/NU, a Juris Doctor from the UMN Law School and a double B.A. in Economics and Chinese Literature from University of California Irvine.
Nguyen currently serves as Vice Chairman of Guangyou Food Holdings Limited, a Sichuan, China-based manufacturer of specialty sweet potato food and beverages, and the vice chairman of Huy Vietnam Group Limited, a Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam-based restaurant chain, respectively.
The Regent Candidate Advisory Council voted Jan. 10 to recommend nine individual candidates to a Joint Legislative Committee for final consideration of election to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota. The Joint Committee selects one candidate for each open position, and submits this slate of candidates for consideration by the full Legislature sitting in Joint Convention.
The four open regent seats to be filled include; one student at-large position, one fifth congressional district position, and two at large positions. All appointments will be for full six-year terms.
The RCAC received a total of 33 applications for the four positions. It interviewed 14 applicants. Finalists recommended to the joint committee are (in alphabetical order): Student At-Large: Drew Coveyou, Abdul Omari, and Christopher Tastad Fifth District: Dennis Nguyen and Ertugrul Tuzcu. At-Large: Linda Cohen, Dean Johnson, Peggy Lucas and Kelly Smith.
“The Regent Candidate Advisory Council thanks the 33 citizens who applied for the position of Regent of the University of Minnesota,” said RCAC Chair Pat Duncanson. “The willingness of these people to give of their time, talent and energy to serve the University and the State as a Regent speaks well of them as individuals and shows that the Governing Board of the University attracts people who are well credentialed, experienced and with expertise essential to good governance. The long and careful process of selecting but a few individuals for recommendation to the Legislature’s Joint Committee was difficult, but we are confident the University will be well served by whomever the Legislature selects from the list of well qualified candidates.”
The council was created by the Legislature in 1988 and is responsible to recruit, screen, and recommend regent candidates to the State Legislature. State law requires that a minimum of two and a maximum of four names be forwarded for each open position. The council’s 24 members are appointed by the Legislature.
The University of Minnesota Board of Regents is the governing body of the University of Minnesota. Its 12 members are elected and serve without pay. Eight members represent the state’s congressional districts, and four members are elected at large, as is a student representative. The student member must be enrolled in a degree program at the University of Minnesota at the time of election. The six-year terms are staggered so that four regent positions come up for appointment every two years.
A long time supporter of his alma maters, Nguyen endowed the Dennis Nguyen Graduate Chinese Literature Scholarship in March 2009 and contributed to the Manuel N. Gomez Scholarship Fund in March 2011, both of which at UCI. He has contributed the JHU General Scholarship Fund in June 2006 and joined the University of Minnesota’s President Club Chancellors Society in August 2008. He is a lifetime member of the UMN, JHU and UCI Alumni Associations, respectively.
Nguyen was honored as the “2010 Distinguished Alumnus” by the UCI Alumni Association and the School of Humanities. He was the featured speaker at the 2009 UCI School of Humanities Commencement Ceremony.
Nguyen guest lectured on the private equity industry at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He spoke on the “Ramifications of the Rise of the Chinese Middle Class and its Effect on U.S. China Economic Relations” to the National Committee on U.S. China Relations. He appeared numerous times on CNBC’s Squawk Box, discussing the private equity industry in Asia.
He is a member of the Minnesota Historical Society Executive Council, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the National Committee on U.S. China Relations. He previously was a member of the Economic Club of Minnesota and the Minneapolis Club. He served as a delegate on Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton’s China Trade Mission in June 2012.
Nguyen is a trustee of the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Foundation’s Board of Trustees and previously chaired the UCI School of Humanities Dean’s Leadership Council. He also is a member of the UMN Law School Dean’s Advisory Council, the UMN Law School Board of Advisors, the University of Chicago Alumni Club of the
Twin Cities Board, respectively. He previously served on the Johns Hopkins University (JHU)/Nanjing University (NU) Advisory Council and the UCI Alumni Association Board of Directors, respectively.
He was previously a director of Leviathan Minerals, a Bangka, Indonesia-based company engaged in the exploration and marketing of tin, of Wuyi International Pharmaceuticals, a Fujian, China-based pharmaceutical manufacturer, and of Sino Environmental Technology, a Fujian, China-based provider of waste management solutions.
Nguyen has also served as the Vice Chairman of China Huiyin (predecessor of Huiyin Household Appliances, a Jiangsu, China-based consumer electronics retail chain store operator. He was also Vice President of Daiwa Securities SMBC, where he headed Greater China investment banking activities.
As Associate Director of Equity Capital Markets at Crédit Agricole Indosuez, Nguyen was responsible for the Taiwan/HK markets. He also worked for Citigroup’s M&A department and the management consulting and treasury groups at Northern Telecom.