Thuan emigrated from her native Vietnam at the age of 10, without any spoken, written, or signed language. She attended public schools and later transferred to the Oregon School for the Deaf. Thuan earned her B.A. in deaf studies from Gallaudet University in 2000 and her M.A. in Deafness Rehabilitation Counseling from New York University in 2002. She returned to Gallaudet to serve as mentoring program coordinator. Currently, she is coordinator of residence education and of residence hall programming for the Office of Student Affairs.
Thuan has presented nationally and internationally on race, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Her presentations at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, the National Black Deaf Advocates, the World Federation of the Deaf, National Asian Deaf Congress Conference (NADC), and various college campuses—such as the University of Vermont, have illuminated the issues of inclusion, race, and leadership with an emphasis on Asian deaf identity and the challenges of cultural assimilation.
Thuan has also distinguished herself as a leader and advocate within the deaf community. She served as program coordinator for the National Deaf People of Color Conference in 2010; co-founded the Deaf Women of Color organization; directed the Asian and Pacific Islander Deaf Student Collegiate Leadership Institute during the NADC conference; and was appointed to the board member of the National Association of the Deaf. She was also the first woman president of the Greater Washington Asian Deaf Association, a chapter of NADC, and was recently selected the president of the National Asian Deaf Congress (NADC).