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Vietnam Public Policy Program

A critical participant in Vietnam’s policy dialogue, informing the country’s ongoing reform process

Photo by Tran Phu on Unsplash

Established in 1988, the Vietnam Public Policy Program is a recognized leader in the study of Vietnam’s political and economic development. Through a combination of teaching in Vietnam, research, and policy advising, the program is an influential participant in Vietnam’s policy dialogue, informing Vietnam’s ongoing reform process.

About Our Work

Our Approach

Why do so many countries that succeed in escaping poverty subsequently stagnate? How can Vietnam and others avoid this trap? The program doesn’t approach development through the lens of a single discipline. Understanding the challenges confronting Vietnam and clarifying the policy options available to overcome them requires a sophisticated grasp of the rich fabric of contemporary Vietnamese society and the political, economic, and cultural factors that shape it.


The Vietnam Public Policy Program engages with dilemmas that are central to the broader study and practice of development. Improving the governance of public and private institutions is an important part of the economic development equation. Because of the primacy of governance to the challenges confronting Vietnam and other developing countries, the program engages in an ongoing and dynamic interchange with the other initiatives of the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia.

Policy Dialogue

The Vietnam Executive Leadership Program (VELP) provides a forum for an elite cohort of approximately twenty high-ranking policymakers and executives to engage in a weeklong series of structured, research-based discussions about the central policy challenges confronting Vietnam and the world, with prominent international scholars, policy-makers and business leaders. The Vietnamese government’s flagship international executive program for senior leaders, VELP is organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Vietnam Program at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia.

Fulbright University Vietnam Partnership

The Vietnam Program was an integral part in the creation of the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP) commonly known as the Fulbright School. FETP started as a partnership between the Vietnam Program and the University of Economics-Ho Chi Minh City in 1994. Now known as the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, the school has evolved into a leading center of public policy teaching and research offering a Master’s of Public Policy (MPP) — the first degree program of its kind in Vietnam — and executive training programs for senior officials. Today, the school is a part of the emerging Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV), Vietnam’s first independent university not for profit university. The Vietnam Public Policy Program continues to facilitate scholarly exchanges between Harvard, the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, and the broader Fulbright University.

Team Members

Anthony Saich
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Anthony Saich

Daewoo Professor of International Affairs and the Harvard Kennedy School; Director of the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia

Thomas Vallely
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Thomas Vallely

Senior Advisor, Mainland Southeast Asia

David Dapice
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David Dapice

Senior Economist, Vietnam Public Policy Program

Hien Le
Headshot of Hien Le

Hien Le

Program Manager, Vietnam Public Policy Program