Hai-Vu Phan grew up in Los Angeles, California, USA. She received her B.A. from Yale University, double-majoring in Political Science and International Studies. Her theses pertained to solar energy policy in Japan and the role of reputation in microfinance repayment in Latin America.
Upon graduating, she received the Capital Fellowship to work as a policy consultant for the California State Senate Governance and Finance Committee.Currently, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Southern California. Her interests lie in renewable energy, environment, sustainable development, and political psychology, and her doctoral thesis will compare national rural electrification policies in Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador. In her free time, she likes to travel, go backpacking, or surfing. She speaks English, Vietnamese, Spanish, Japanese, and French.