Dao Nguyen was born and grew up in Vietnam’s first national park – Cuc Phuong. She studied languages and culture and then conservation biology. She started her conservation career with WWF Vietnam focussing on protected areas and species conservation, then moved to the Western Indian Ocean to work with Nature Seychelles on small island biodiversity. She then worked for WWF International on international biodiversity policy. Since 2017, she has been working for IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as the IUCN Species Survival Commission Coordinator, with a special focus on international environmental policy for species conservation.