Willem Smit researches and teaches entrepreneurial and strategic decision making, particularly in the areas of digitalization and internationalization of brands. He earned his doctorate (Management) from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Prior to joining Fulbright and the YSEALI Academy, he was at IMD in Lausanne Switzerland, SMU and NUS in Singapore, and MIT Sloan’s Asia School of Business in Kuala Lumpur, where he designed and delivered MBA and executive development programs for multinational companies in the telecom, pharmaceutical and consumer-packaged goods industries.


Willem has published his studies in the Harvard Business Review, Journal of Business Venturing, and the Financial Times among others. His work has also received media attention in publications, such as Times, Bloomberg and Newsweek. In collaboration with the Asian Development Bank, his recent study on start-up digitalization will inform this year’s G20 policy briefs.


His research has been supported by the Asian Development Bank and the Republic of Korea Government under the TA of 6711-REG: Digital Entrepreneurship in Asia for Resilience and Post-pandemic Recovery. One of the outcomes is a Start-up Tech benchmark website giving entrepreneurs the possibility to benchmark their digital technology adoption: www.digitalentrepreneurshipinasia.com

Dr. Vladimir Mariano (Vlad) is the Lead Faculty for Technology and Innovation at the YSEALI Academy of Fulbright University Vietnam.  Vlad graduated with a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, with research interests in machine learning and computer vision.  He has worked on industrial projects with the National Robotics Engineering Center of Carnegie Mellon University and VideoMining Corporation in Pennsylvania, USA.  He published three U.S. patents with VideoMining.

As an academic, Vlad has served as Director and Associate Professor of the Institute of Computer Science at the University of the Philippines Los Banos.  In Vietnam, Vlad served as Lecturer and Research Coordinator of the School of Science and Technology at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.  During his time in academia, Vlad also co-founded and served as Chief Technology Officer for several technology startup companies.  These startups delivered various services including drone-based aerial surveys, video analysis of retail stores, and mobile app development for human resource services.

On the side, Vlad teaches kids coding, assembling electronics, and making robots.  He enjoys traveling, artwork, and playing the piano.

Ha Thi Hoang, MD, PhD, is the Director of the YSEALI Academy at Fulbright University Vietnam. In this role, Ha Thi will dedicate his efforts to launching new leadership training capacities and long-term growth strategies for the academy.
Previously, he held the position of the YSEALI Academy’s Lead Faculty for Entrepreneurship, where he and his team developed innovative training curricula for budding Southeast Asian entrepreneurs. Before joining the YSEALI Academy, Ha Thi was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School and Flagship Pioneering, a Venture Capital company that builds world-changing biotech companies starting with revolutionary scientific ideas.
Ha Thi’s work has been at the intersection between life science and business. He started 4 biotech companies and consults leading tech transfer offices and innovation hubs across the US and Europe to build better enterprises. Ha Thi is a board-certified physician and neuroscientist by training. He did his PhD in Neuroscience & Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge, his MD at the Free University of Berlin, and was a research scholar at Yale University.
Ha Thi is passionate about empowering Southeast Asian talents. In 2018, Ha Thi went to visit Vietnam for the first time in 10 years. It turned out to be a life-changing trip, where he saw the immense opportunities to empower youths in the region. He thus decided to return to his home country and join the YSEALI Academy.
Born in Vietnam and having lived in different countries and continents, Ha Thi grasps diverse perspectives of East and West cultures, and this definitely will stand him in good stead when he leads the YSEALI Academy team.

Tran Thi Thuy Trang has more than 9 years of working experience in learning design and educational leadership and management. She’s currently the Program Manager of the YSEALI Academy at Fulbright University Vietnam. She’s also the co-founder of Vietnam Learning Design Group, the first and most active community of learning designers in Vietnam. In the past, she founded and ran Domino Education. She led cross-functional teams to provide engaging digital, in-person, and blended learning programs in Vietnam and helped thousands of students and young professionals improve their English and 21st century skills. 

Trang was awarded the Fulbright scholarship and obtained her Master degree in Digital Media Design for Learning at New York University. Trang is passionate about bringing research-based strategies into practical design work. She created a Youtube channel about learning design and got great interest from the community of educators in Vietnam. Trang is frequently invited to provide training on learning design for educators, professionals, and organizations in Southeast Asia. She also delivered a TEDx talk about the power of co-design in education. Trang is selected as a featured alumna at New York University ECT Program.

Huynh Trung Dung (Dung Huynh) is the Lead Faculty for Public Policy of the YSEALI Academy at Fulbright University Vietnam. Huynh’s research interests include Asia-Pacific international relations, political economy, and policy making. From 2016 to 2021 he worked for the RAND Corporation (in the United States), where he participated in diverse research projects on Indo-Pacific security and defense as well as healthcare policymaking, apart from a research externship on US-Southeast Asian relations at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), California.

Prior to joining RAND, Huynh was a lecturer in public policy, leadership, and strategic management at the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (currently the FSPPM at Fulbright University Vietnam) and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT) Vietnam after working in Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for eight years. He holds a Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School (the United States), an M.P.P. from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Singapore) and undergraduate degrees in international relations and economics (Vietnam).