Mission and history, Staff, Board, Community Advisory Council and partners

MDA Mission and History  The Montagnard Dega Association (MDA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Community-Based Organization formed in 1988. We exist to unite and strengthen the fraternal ties of all persons of Montagnard heritage, to create a positive environment for all to meet, to build safe, healthy communities, to inspire education and to preserve our cultural heritage. North Carolina is home to many Montagnards outside of Southeast Asia and comprises a major portion of the local AAPI population. MDA works in cooperation with mutual assistance organizations, community groups, faith organizations, local, state, and refugee resettlement agencies. MDA is a refugee service provider recognized by NCDHHS. We have expanded to include a youth branch, Montagnard American Organization (MAO), research network, and community advisory council. We work closely with Bhutanese, Cambodian, Karenni, Sudanese, Liberian, and Swahili-speaking communities on education, health and Covid response. 

Who are the Montagnard people?  We are the indigenous peoples of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The term Montagnard is French for “mountain people” or "highlanders", and is often used to refer to us, the indigenous people of the region. There are over 30 different Montagnard tribes.  We were some of the frontline fighters during the Vietnam War, alongside with U.S. Special Forces. Today, North Carolina holds the largest population of Montagnards outside of Southeast Asia... (more)


Executive Director 

Zainab Rahimi Refugee Support Services (RSS) Case Manager 

Mica Bunjang

Youth Program Director /Civic Engagement Specialist 

Stephanie Cheston

Senior Employment Specialist 

Andrew Young

Program Coordinator 

Dr. Ysiu Hlong

Montagnard Community Health Worker 

Prince Mundeke

Swahili Community Health Worker

 Marthalenar Nya Mar

Karenni Community Health Worker/Civic Engagement Specialist 

Janma Subba,

Bhutanese Civic Engagement Specialist 

Satta Sedi-Johnson

Liberia Community Health Worker



Sel Mpang

Traditional Arts Program Dance Instructor 

H'Debra Siu 

Traditional Arts Program Dance Assistant Instructor 

Karpuih Moyun

Traditonal Arts Program Coordinator 

Yit Ksor 

Traditonal Arts Program Music Instructor 

Carl Mize

Vocational Industrial Sewing Instructor

H'Luon Nie

Vocatinal Industrial Sewing Assistant Instructor

Irina Sidlouski 

Social Work Intern, UNCG, BSW 2023

Tanajuh Rouse

Social Work Intern NCA&T, BSW 2023

Nicolette Daniluk

Social Work Intern,

UNCG, BSW 2023

Xuem Siu

Public Health Intern,

UNCG, MPH 2023

H'Missy Ksor,

The Montagnard Legacy Scholar 2022-2023

H'Gloria Eban, The Montagnard Legacy Scholar



Y'Thong Hmok 


Yeremy  Budam,


Y Hin Nie

Senior Pastor, United Montagnard Christian Church Advisory Board 

Lila Nie Miles


Pierre K'Briuh

Deacon, St Mary's Catholic Church

Advisory Board 



Y'Siu Hlong, PhD

Director Emeritus

Advisory Board 

Caitlyn Polito 


Daniel Touprong Ho-le

Owner, Ho-Le Accounting

Advisory Board 

H'Lat Mlo


Raleigh Bailey, PhD

Director Emeritus, Center for New North Carolinians

Advisory Board 

Brao Bolton



Dock Rmah

1996 NC Hertiage Award recipient

Advisory Board 

Elizabeth Thinh, BA

Vice Chair 

H'Yiu Ksor, RN


Gelly Long, BA


Sharon Morrison, PhD


Member, Academic Liaison 

Andrew Young, MFA


Member, Technical Adviser