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Director, risk management
BioMed Realty L.P.
Lan Nguyen, who came to the United States from Vietnam when she was a small child, never forgets the lessons her family has taught her.
“I have always learned from them to push hard and to strive and to basically remember why we left our home to come to a new country in the first place, which is to give me that freedom that allows me to have opportunities.”
After high school, Ms. Nguyen decided not to pursue a college degree right away and went to work at San Diego-based Sempra Energy starting as a legal assistant.
Eventually, Ms. Nguyen said, she reached a point in her career “where I was either going to continue to stay at a staff level or needed to complete my education.” So she enrolled in night classes at the University of San Diego.
At one point during this period, she was working on a large project involving assessing and settling 2,500 cases stemming from a wildfire — and she was pregnant. “I would leave work at 6 o’clock at night, run back to the university, run back to work, go home and then start my day over again.”
Ms. Nguyen earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and information systems. “Once I decided to power through, it took me a good five or six years to be done,” she said.
After 13 years at Sempra, where her last position was senior insurance and risk advisory analyst, Ms. Nguyen became senior risk management analyst for the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority in August 2016.
Two years later, she moved to BioMed Realty L.P., a real estate services company, as assistant risk manager, before being promoted to risk manager and, in January of this year, director of risk management.
Ms. Nguyen has served as a mentor to others. She said she doesn’t see many Asian women who have been given the opportunities she has, so “it’s hard for me to say ‘no.’”
Her volunteer work includes serving as president of the San Diego chapter of Risk and Insurance Management Society.
Ms. Nguyen has a son, 9, and a daughter, 8. She met her husband, who is an internal auditor, at Sempra.
The Business Insurance Women to Watch awards program highlights the achievements of female leaders in the insurance sector to celebrate their success and promote gender diversity in the industry.