Neill Tseng – Lawyer and Surfer

San Francisco, CA

I am an Assistant U.S. Attorney who defends the United States and its agencies and employees in court.  I am proud to serve my nation every day.

tseng.neill3Who are you?

I am a Taiwanese American who grew up in Houston and, in many ways, was part of a “typical” Taiwanese American family.  In other words, when I was growing up, I played piano, went to Taiwanese school on the weekends, accompanied my parents to various TAA activities, and was encouraged by my parents to be a doctor.  Nevertheless, my parents also gave me freedom to have fun and pursue what I wanted to.  I went to school on the east coast, bounced around various cities trying different things, and now I am a government lawyer in San Francisco.

What do you do?

I am an Assistant U.S. Attorney who defends the United States and its agencies and employees in court.  I am proud to serve my nation every day.  In my free time, I enjoy surfing, volleyball, rock climbing, and most sports and physical activities in general.  I also like reading, salsa dancing, and keeping up with news and current events.

Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?

I am a second-generation Taiwanese American.  I have been involved in Taiwanese American activities my entire life, mostly as a result of the fact that my parents were (and are) heavily involved in the Taiwanese community and taught me what it means to be Taiwanese and why it is important.  They brought me to Taiwan every few years when I was growing up, which helped me to know it and know my numerous relatives there.  I am proud of my Taiwanese heritage because, despite a history of colonization and oppression, the Taiwanese people have persevered and prospered both in Taiwan and abroad.  And, of course, Taiwanese food is the best!  I love to visit Taiwan and love the culture and spirit of its people.

What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?

I think Taiwanese America will continue to expand and diversify beyond the “traditional” careers we have seen so far.  We are already seeing Taiwanese Americans break into other areas such as music, the arts and sports, and I believe that will continue as there are more generations of Taiwanese Americans and they become more entrenched in American society.  Even within the more traditional professions such as law, I believe Taiwanese Americans will attain new heights and visibility (such as Goodwin Liu’s possibly being confirmed to a federal appellate judgeship).  Hopefully we’ll have a Taiwanese American NBA player someday soon (Jeremy Lin?).


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