Linh Tran

Master of Public Policy (MPP) Class of 2024

The best thing is that the SPP provides unparalleled access to world-class professors, remarkable course mates with decades of experience in different fields, and heads of state, senior leaders and academics who visit London and choose to stop by LSE for a talk with students.


Linh Tran sq

Name: Linh K. Tran

Programme and year: MPP Class of 2024

Nationality: Vietnamese


Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Previously, I had five years of experience as a communications and project manager in the nonprofit, government, and private sectors in the US, UK and Vietnam. 

Can you tell us about your recent experience presenting policy reforms at the European Parliament? How were you selected to take part?  

Contributing to shaping the future of Europe through the European Student Assembly (ESA) at the European Parliament was one of the most incredible experiences I have had this year.  

The application process was open to students from all nationalities, fields and levels of study as long as they are registered in a higher education institution participating in one of the 50 Erasmus+ European University Alliances. 250 students were selected out of 2200+ applications. Because of my background managing health policy research and advocacy projects at AstraZeneca, I was selected to join ‘Panel 8 – Cure of the Future’ about the advancements of biomedicine in the EU. 

I was honoured to participate alongside LSE ISPP student, Francesca Nicolodi, as representatives of CIVICA – the European University of Social Sciences. I’m grateful for all the support from ESA and LSE which made it possible for me to attend. 

What was your policy topic and what did the planning process involve?  

Our topic was very technical – it’s not just about healthcare as a whole, but about biomedical innovation specifically to future-proof the EU’s health system. We had to do a significant amount of research to understand the current legal framework, policy gaps, and then come up with something new and creative that would also be useful, inclusive, and cost-effective.  

Over three months, my teammates and I met online several times a week to narrow down the scope. There was a lot we wanted to touch on, but little time and space in the final report. 

I was acutely aware that healthcare budget has been cut across the continent amidst economic and geopolitical challenges since the pandemic, thus every solution we put forth had to make sense ethically, politically, and financially.  

ESA arranged for us to speak to European political experts who helped us make sense of the complex political structure of the EU and pinpoint the relevant departments for each policy recommendation. Senior colleagues at the European Medicine Agency (EMA) also provided us with valuable insights that were incorporated into our proposed solutions.  

What I valued most was that all the students put so much time, effort and passion into ESA, in addition to being full-time students, some even with part-time jobs like myself. When we met in Strasbourg (France) in April, we immediately bonded and worked effectively to cross the finish line.  

Linh Tran ESA 1

What recommendations did you put forward? 

My panel presented the following six policy recommendations, all of which were voted in favour for by the assembly:  

  • Secure investment for the research and development of personalized and predictive medicine in the EU. 
  • Strengthen pathways for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) in Europe. 
  • Accelerate the uptake of innovative home-based biomedical technologies amongst elderly citizens to improve long-term care. 
  • Integrate novel wearable biosensors into European healthcare systems to improve patient care. 
  • Reduce patients' waiting time and support healthcare personnel with a trustworthy medical Al assistant. 
  • Strengthen EU Member States' national capacities for pathogen genomic surveillance to prevent infectious disease outbreaks caused by climate change. 

More details about all policy recommendations can be found in this handbook. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments! 

What were your highlights from this experience? What were your main takeaways and learning points about developing and presenting policy recommendations? 

Having meetings, debates, and voting sessions for three days straight at the European Parliament, where actual policies are made on a daily basis. I felt deeply inspired by the robustness of this institution and the commitment and ethics that are required from policymakers.  

The voting process went by fast; less than 5 minutes were allocated to each policy recommendation, and there were 82 of them in 11 different policy themes. It makes it clearer now why my SPP professors always urge us to prioritise quality over quantity in our memos and try to make our case as succinct as possible before policymakers.  

ESA has also taught me so much about youth empowerment, participatory democracy, and collaboration with peers from 59 other nationalities. It feels liberating and humbling at the same time to be able to raise our voices about such important issues.  

Linh Tran ESA 2

Why did you choose to study the MPP programme at LSE SPP?  

I felt all roads were leading to LSE!  When I was working at AstraZeneca, I coordinated a health policy programme in Vietnam that was co-founded by LSE, the World Economic Forum and AstraZeneca. That was when I fell in love with policy research and advocacy. When the time came for me to pivot, I didn’t think twice about choosing the MPP programme at LSE. It really is the perfect match as it’s amongst the top policy programmes in the world, for mid-career students, and in the vibrant, charming megacity that is London. 

What are the best things about being a LSE SPP student?  

The best thing to me is that the LSE SPP provides unparalleled access to worldclass professors, remarkable course mates with decades of experience in different fields, and heads of state, senior leaders and academics who visit London and choose to stop by LSE for a talk with students. We even had three Nobel prize laureates giving lectures on campus in the same week. It’s truly a privilege to be in the centre of action where a lot of these exchanges of knowledge happen so frequently.   

What are your hopes, ambitions and career goals after graduation?    

I have collaborated with the Vietnamese government through different projects, however have never worked in the public sector in Vietnam. I would love to apply the knowledge and skills I have learned through the MPP to make an impact as a civil servant in my home country after graduation.  

How would you describe the SPP in three words?   

Worldclass. Visionary. Fast-paced.  


Linh is happy to connect on LinkedIn.