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Nhìn Ra Bốn Phương

Thứ Tư, 28 tháng 6, 2023


Anh Duong (Dương Nguyệt Ánh), born in 1960, Viet Nam, is known for the creation of the Thermobaric weapon.[1] She is noted as “one of the most important weapons-developers of the modern era” by the Director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, as reported by the Washington Post.[2] At the end of the Vietnam War, her family fled from their homeland, right before the fall of Saigon in 1975. They arrived in the Philippines and were eventually given political asylum in the U.S. 
She graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maryland,College Park with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering and in computer science, and with a M.S. degree with honors in Public Administration from the AmericanUniversity, Washington D.C. In 1983 she started working at the Indian Head Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC/IHD) in Maryland and became a nationally and internationally recognized explosive developer. From 1991-2002, she directed all Navy exploratory research and advanced development programs in explosives. She successfully put 10 high-performing explosives into 18 different U.S weapons, which is an unprecedented record of its kind. She led the U.S. Delegation for the NATO AC310 Subgroup I for Explosives, chaired or served on many national and international Panels/Technical Steering Groups.

After the terrorist attack in the U.S. on September 11th, 2001, while American troops began the task of eliminating terrorists in Afghanistan, she was called upon to urgently develop a new weapon to defeat mountainous tunnels used by the Taliban as hide-outs. 

She led a team of nearly one hundred scientists, engineers and technicians togo from concept to development and fielding of the U.S. first thermobaric bombs in only 67 days which set a record! [3][4]. Her team also developed a thermobaric warhead for the US Marines’ Shoulder-Launched Multi-Purpose Assault Weapon (SMAW) and delivered 800 of them to Iraq in just months. In 2002, Anh became NSWC/IHD’s Director of Science and Technology, overseeing all areas of military science and technology and focusing on the creation of future weapons. She was the first female, the youngest and the first Asian American achieving this position, as compared to her predecessors and her counterparts at other NSWC divisions.

In 2005, she became Science Advisor for both the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Strategies, Plans and Operations in the Pentagon, and the Director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). One of her important achievements was the successful creation of a mobile forensic capability in Iraq to rapidly identify terrorists via biometrics.

In 2008, Anh entered the rank of Senior Executive Service, equivalent to the military
rank of Generals/Admirals, as she assumed leadership of the Borders and Maritime
Security Division for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T).

In 2016, she stood up a new DHS S&T Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and was integral in securing for DHS its long-sought legal authority and ability to counter nefarious UAS. She chaired various Task Forces under the White House’s National Security Council and National Economic Council, and represented DHS on other inter-agency Executive Steering Groups. Since 2018, she leads DHS S&T’s Operations and Requirements Analysis Division, responsible for understanding the gaps in all homeland security operational capabilities that can be closed by technical solutions and align DHS S&T investments accordingly.


In 1999 Anh was awarded the Dr. Arthur E. Bisson Prize for Achievement in Naval
Technology. Her name was on a plaque in display at the Office of Naval Research.
In 2002, Anh was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service Award for superb
leadership, technical expertise, and contributions in the area of High-Performance

In 2007, Anh was honored with the prestigious Service to America Medal for National Security.[6] Each year, a few dozen among the total 1.9 million federal employees are nominated for these medals by various Departments/Agencies, based on their impactful contributions to the U.S, and only a handful number are finally selected. In front of a highly distinguished audience at a black-tie gala, Anh proudly wore the traditional Vietnamese “Áo Dài” while delivering her acceptance remarks: "Thirty-two years ago I came to this land as a refugee of war with a pair of empty hands and a bag full of broken dreams."

Describing America as a paradise, she said: "This land is a paradise not because of its beauty or richness but because of its people - compassionate, generous Americans who took my family and me in 32 years ago and healed our soul, restored our faith in humanity, and inspired me to public service. There's a special group of people that I'm especially indebted to, and I would like to dedicate this medal to them. They are the 58,000 Americans whose names are on the wall of the Vietnam War Memorial and the 260,000 South Vietnamese soldiers who died in that war for people like me to earn a chance to freedom. May God bless all of those who are willing to die for freedom, especially those who are willing to die for the freedom of others.”

She received standing ovation which, according to some attendees, was first in the
history of this event. George Will, a Pulitzer Prize winner and syndicated columnist/commentator, subsequently dedicated his column on Newsweek to write
about Anh and concluded: “Anh, consider your debt paid in full, with interest.” [7] In 2008, Anh received a Superior Civilian Service Medal for her accomplishments while serving as Science Advisor in the Pentagon.

In 2009, Anh received the Distinguished Alumnus Engineering Award from the University of Maryland (UM) at College Park which annually honors a few from the
hundreds of thousand alumni for their successes & contributions to making UM a
distinguished school.

In 2010, Anh was among the four recipients of the Outstanding American Citizen by
Choice Award [8]. This award recognizes naturalized citizens among the 50+million
former immigrants who made significant contributions to the United States. She was
also saluted by the Naval Sea Systems Command during Women’s History Month.
In 2011, Anh was recognized in the Proceedings and Debates of the United States
111 th Congress as an outstanding federal employee.

Other awards and special recognitions:
• 1 patent and 32 publications on military propellants and explosives
• Featured in the documentary film Why We Fight, Sundance Film Festival First Prize
• Featured in the “Future Weapons” documentary by Military Channel, as a
mastermind of U.S. weapons with maximum impact
• Featured in the book Changing Our World: True Stories of Women Engineers by
S. E. Hatch; American Society of Civil Engineers
• Keynote Speaker, University of MD School of Engineering 2010 Commencement
• Featured in the Asian American Yearbook, 2008 edition.
• Featured on Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Washington Post, The Sun, Asian
Week… and on radio & television networks (NPR, VOA, BBC…)

Michigan State University

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