Hao Q. Nguyen, came to this country as a refugee from Vietnam at the age of nine. He grew up in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. Hao was raised alongside his two older brothers by a single mother. After graduating from high school, he attended Saint Cloud State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and Criminal Justice. Hao went on to become a correctional officer, police officer and sheriff’s deputy. Having gained experience of the criminal justice system from firsthand experience as an officer, he sought to further his understanding of the criminal justice system by going back to school. Hao went on to attend Hamline University School of Law and received his jurist doctorate in 2010. The first five years of his legal career he handled the prosecution of misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor crimes, as an assistant city attorney for the Saint Cloud, City Attorney’s Office. In 2014, Hao began his employment as an assistant county attorney, for the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, handling felony level violations from auto theft, criminal sexual conduct violations and murder.
In December of 2022, Hao was promoted to the Director of the Adult Trials Division of the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office. The division consists of two assistant directors and about thirty-four trial prosecutors. The recognition that prosecutors at their core are ministers of justice as opposed to solely utilizing the justice system to punish others has been at the forefront of Hao’s dedication to public service. Hao previously taught eight semesters of Constitutional Criminal Procedure as an adjunct professor at Mitchell Hamline law school. He is the board chair of Asian Women United of Minnesota (AWUM, a nonprofit that provides housing and care for women and children who experience domestic violence and homelessness). Hao is also the Chair of the MCAA (Minnesota County Attorney’s Association) Diversity Committee and is the Minnesota Chapter President of NAPIPA (National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Association).