Fluet Partner France Hoang was featured in The Ichabod, Washburn University Alumni Association’s quarterly publication. Read an excerpt of the article below, or read the full article here (see page 10-11).


Applied Service: Lessons from online learning part of Hoang’s success story

By Chris Marshall  |  The Ichabod, Washburn Alumni Association, Winter 2019

Every stage of France Hoang’s life thus far has a remarkable story or an accolade to go with it.

As a child, an evacuation organized by the United States government pulled Hoang and his family from war-ravaged Vietnam. Grateful for the opportunities that came with an upbringing in the U.S., Hoang was an academic standout, graduating with honors from West Point and Georgetown University Law Center.

After working for all three branches of the U.S. government and being appointed associate White House counsel and special assistant to President George W. Bush, Hoang, mcj ’00, is now a partner at Fluet law firm in Washington, D.C., and a board member of boodleAI, a peer-to-peer fundraising platform that helps nonprofits find donors.

Bridging the gap between West Point and Georgetown and the illustrious career opportunities that followed is a degree in applied studies from Washburn University. A SWAT commander and deputy chief of police at Fort Leavenworth by day, Hoang was a Washburn student by night, pursuing his master of criminal justice in some of the university’s earliest online courses.

At the time, he was pleased with how many lessons from class could be applied instantaneously. Even more important is how many remain with him today.

Repaying a Debt

Hoang knew from his earliest years in the United States what he wanted to accomplish in life, it was just a matter of how his goal would be achieved.

Born in 1973 in Saigon, Vietnam (now Ho Chi Minh City), Hoang’s father was a South Vietnamese Army officer, and his mother a Vietnamese civilian working for the U.S. Naval attaché. The family was informed in the closing days of the Vietnam War they had only hours to get to the airport for an evacuation in 1975 known as Operation Frequent Wind.

Hoang, his parents, sister and grandma were among the 130,000 evacuated in what Hoang calls “a forgotten chapter in U.S. history” as well as “one of the nation’s greatest humanitarian acts.” The Petersons, a host family in Tumwater, Washington, took the Hoangs in, and France came to realize it was through good fortune and American people that led to his rescue from Vietnam.

“I grew up feeling I owed a debt to America, the American people and the American military,” he said. “I felt obligated to repay that debt, and that led me to join the military.”

Dialed In to Education

Hoang graduated in the top 1 percent at West Point and summa cum laude from Georgetown Law, where he received his juris doctor. His military deployments include Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia, and he was stationed at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas when he discovered Washburn as a nearby option to receive his master’s degree. 

Continue reading the article here  (see page 10-11).