About Shandon Phan
Shandon Phan is currently Director of Communications and Civic Engagement at BPSOS, Inc. and chairs the Organizing Committee of the inaugural National Summit of Vietnamese American Leaders.
Shandon is Founder and President of the Vietnamese American Republican Coalition (VARC). In that role, he oversees the Coalition’s formation and strategic development, devoting his time to building a national network of conservative candidates, leaders, and activists in the Asian Pacific American community and engaging new citizens to play active roles in America’s civic life.
Shandon has over ten years of political experience, starting out as a volunteer and later full-time staff with a gubernatorial campaign in Texas in 2002, and has worked on election campaigns at all levels across the country.
During the 2008 presidential election, while being a full-time law student, he was elected as delegate to the Republican National Convention, winning the second highest vote percentage (with 8,037 votes or 13.7% of total vote) to represent Maryland’s 7th Congressional District and later was appointed to serve as a delegation whip at the convention. As APA Coalitions National Co-Chair for the McCain-Palin campaign, he successfully built a national coalition of leaders and activists and served as a surrogate speaker for the RNC at college events and to international and national media. In 2009, he led the grassroots organizing efforts to mobilize Asian American voters in Northern Virginia to support Bob McDonnell for Governor campaign, contributing to his landslide victory over the well-funded and media-favored Democratic opponent Creigh Deeds. Several board members of VARC, who had no previous political experience prior to joining the organization, have been appointed to various boards and commissions and now play instrumental roles in ethnic outreach and party re-building efforts for the GOP in this battleground state.
Shandon graduated from Tulane University with a B.S.E. degree with honors in Computer Engineering and earned his J.D. from University of Baltimore School of Law. During law school, he was a Marine Corps JAG officer candidate and worked at the United States Attorney’s Office of District of Columbia, United States Immigration Court, and United States Coast Guard’s Office of the Judge Advocate General, as well as the International Republican Institute and the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, where he worked on religious freedom and civil society development initiatives in Asia. For his service, he was recognized with the Special Congressional Recognition Certificate from United States Congress for his “outstanding and invaluable service to the community” in the aftermath of the BP Oil Spill and the “Spirit of Excellence” Award from the United States Coast Guard’s Office of the Judge Advocate General.
Shandon is a former AmeriCorps VISTA joining the service right after 9/11 events. Over the years, he has led key national community organizing and civic institution building efforts in the Vietnamese American community. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vietnamese American National Chamber of Commerce
(VietAmCham) and Director of the Vietnamese American Bar Association of the Greater Washington DC Area (VABA-DC). He is a frequent political commentator on various international and community media outlets, including weekly appearances on SBTN TV and Free Vietnam Radio.
An avid runner and reader in his free time, he has completed four Marine Corps marathons and is writing his first book on Vietnamese American history.