Pang Yang is a refugee data specialist in the Resettlement Programs Office. She oversees the design, development and implementation of the Minnesota Refugee Information System by providing online support and statewide security, and resolving technical and situational problems.
Yang has more than 13 years of nonprofit and government experience managing data systems and training staff in public assistance programs at Hmong American Partnership, Ramsey County and now the Minnesota Department of Human Services, where she started working in 2017.
She arrived in California with her mom and two sisters when she was about 6 years old. They traveled from a Thailand refugee camp, Ban Vanai, after “escaping our war-torn country and navigating the jungles of Laos with nothing but the clothes on our backs,” she said. She added, as a refugee, she learned that “freedom is not free” and enjoys being a part of helping refugees move forward on a successful journey in the United States.
Yang is most proud to be a first generation college graduate from Metropolitan State University and a role model for her children, she noted. She does not take her parents’ sacrifice to live in the U.S. for granted, and uses her parent’s example to help others today, she said.