Thao was born and raised in the Napa Valley, commonly known as the Wine Country, located in Northern California. In June of 2010, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Throughout her coursework at UCSD and in her spare time, she takes every opportunity to dedicate herself to the broader community. She played a very active role in multiple student organizations at UCSD while researching and volunteering throughout San Diego. She continues to work with the Little Saigon Foundation a non-profit dedicated to encouraging economic and community investment in City Heights through the creation of the Vietnamese themed Little Saigon District in the City of San Diego (centered around El Cajon Blvd. and 46th St).

In a few years Thao hopes to attend graduate school in Planning to both broaden her knowledge base and learn a specialization. She believes that real life work experience in the planning field will better prepare her for her continued studies. This has already come into play by being selected as the Authority’s Airport Planning Intern. She is ecstatically motivated to learn the “ins-and-outs” of how an airport functions at the local and regional levels, including the airside, landside and everything else “behind the scenes” at the Authority. She is positive that the Authority will be a perfect introduction to the dynamic field of Planning.