Tracey Lam was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, where she grew up an active member of the Bay Area’s vibrant Chinese and Vietnamese communities. She earned her B.A. in Economics and Asian Studies from Rice University and while there, also captained the Division I volleyball team as a two-time All-America performer, Rice’s female student-athlete of the year, and three-time Conference USA volleyball scholar-athlete of the year. Tracey has been involved with immigrant communities her whole life, including at Rice, where she worked with first generation Chinese immigrants in the Houston community to break ground for the Houston Asian American Archive, the first Asian American historical archive in Houston. She also led Japanese tutorials and volunteered with battered women as a member of Rice’s Students In Free Enterprise chapter.
As the child of Chinese-Vietnamese immigrants, Tracey has always felt pulled towards refugee resettlement work. Her two years as a Fulbright Korea ETA solidified her interest in working in international development, with refugees and displaced peoples in particular. Tracey had volunteered extensively with Chinese immigrant children in her San Francisco community and upon arriving in South Korea, sought the opportunity to serve in a similar capacity. She helped start her local branch of Fulbright Korea’s North Korean Defector English Education Program and represented the program at the American Studies Association of Korea’s Annual Conference. She is excited to continue working with refugees, displaced peoples, and in human security as a USAID Foreign Service Officer.
As a Payne Fellow, Tracey is pursuing a Master in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is honored to be part of the 2014 class of Payne Fellows and looks forward to developing the skill and expertise for a successful career in the USAID Foreign Service.