Former SOLster Kathy Tran running for Virginia House of Delegates

In June, Kathy Tran (T’00) won the Democratic primary for the District 42 House of Delegates race in Virginia, and will be on the ballot in November.  For most of her professional career Kathy Tran worked for the U.S. Department of Labor, and most recently she worked for a nonprofit organization on immigration reform issues.  Her campaign for the Virginia House of Delegates is Kathy’s first foray into politics.

Kathy Tran at the 1998 SOL retreat

Kathy Tran joined Service Opportunities in Leadership (SOL) in 1998, during her sophomore year at Duke. Growing up in a family that fled Vietnam as refugees when Kathy was a child, she has had an abiding interest in refugee and immigration issues.  As a SOL student she interned with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) in New York City, an organization that is known for its “welcoming culture,” and for the services it provides immigrants and refugees.  When Kathy worked at LIRS, it was the organization’s first year providing seed grants to Lutheran churches—12 congregations total—so they could launch projects that specifically served immigrants and refugees.  Kathy rejoined SOL for a second summer and worked with International Rescue Committee, an organization founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein to deliver lifesaving care to people fleeing conflict and natural disasters.

Kathy Tran graduated from Duke with a degree in History in 2000.  After earning a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan, Kathy devoted her career to civil service. She began working at the U.S. Department of Labor in 2003, and remained there for the next 12 years, holding positions as Acting Administrator for the Office of Workforce Investment, and Director of the Division of Policy, Legislation, and Regulation.  Kathy shifted to the non-profit sector in 2015, accepting a position as the Policy and Advocacy Assistant Director for Skills and Workforce Development at the National Immigration Forum.

Kathy emphasized during her primary campaign for Virginia’s House of Delegates that helping others prosper in this country is an unwavering commitment for her.  She said that because she saw Donald Trump threatening the livelihoods of those she sought to help, she realized she had to do something about it. She made the decision to run for state government, and on June 13, 2017, she officially became the Democratic candidate for the District 42 Virginia House of Delegates race.

The general election for the Virginia House of Delegates is November 7, 2017. You can learn more about Kathy Tran and her platform here.

Video courtesy of Kathy Tran for Delegate campaign