Lee Pao Xiong
Paul Hillmer, Mai Neng Vang
Date of Interview
Born in Long Tieng, Laos in 1966, Lee Pao Xiong lived with his father, who had already been recruited into the Hmong army at age 12. His mother and grandparents lived nearby. After the fall of Long Tieng in May 1975, Xiong and his family spent more than a year in Thai refugee camps before migrating to the United States in 1976. Settling first in Indiana, his family moved to the Twin Cities in 1979. Xiong earned a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, an M.A. from Hamline University, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. He has held a variety of important positions, including: Executive Director of Hmong-American Partnership; Executive Director, State Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans; Director, Government & Community Relations, Concordia University; President & CEO, Urban Coalition. In 2000 he became the first Hmong American presidential appointee when Bill Clinton named him to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He is currently the Director of the Center for Hmong Studies at Concordia University – St. Paul. **Editor’s note: One should note that laughter can express a wide range of emotions. In Mr. Xiong’s case, laughter is often used to defuse a tense or even tragic story he is relating.
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Vang, Mai Neng and Hillmer, Paul, "Interview with Lee Pao Xiong" (2006). Hmong Oral History Project. 34.