Born in Kentucky to parents from Saigon, Minh Le is a first-generation Vietnamese American and an architect in the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO). Minh’s father served as an FSN at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon towards the end of the Vietnam War – employed as an English and French interpreter for the Office of Defense Cooperation. He, along with Minh’s mother and older brother, were among the few fortunate Vietnamese who were airlifted from the rooftop of the U.S. Embassy that fateful day on April 30, 1975. It would be 19 years before Minh would eventually meet his grandparents and extended family for the first time.
Minh followed in his father’s footsteps and began studying French at an early age. However, it was his passion for architecture that led him to the University of Virginia where he earned a B.S. in architecture and a minor in French language and literature. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis summa cum laude (equivalent) with a master of architecture. It was only by coincidence that Minh now finds himself working for the U.S. Department of State, just like his father almost 40 years ago. Before joining OBO in 2007, Minh worked at two different architecture firms in DC where he was first introduced to embassy architecture. At OBO, he is the post architect for nineteen posts in Africa and East Asia and Pacific bureaus, including multiple francophone African countries. Minh currently resides in Capitol Hill with his partner of 10 years.