Huyen Bui was born in Saigon in 1969. His father served in the South Vietnamese Navy. When Saigon fell and the war ended, his father was offshore, and his ship sailed to Guam, from whence he was sponsored to come to the United States. The rest of the family, including young Huyen, remained in Vietnam for the next ten years. They tried several times to escape by boat, but they were never successful; eventually, they ran out of money to keep trying. They were finally reunited with Bui’s father in America in 1985 through the Orderly Departure Program. The family settled in Portland, and Bui attended 10th-12th grade there. Despite his limited English, he became an excellent student, scoring well on several AP exams. He was admitted to MIT for his undergraduate education and earned a BS in computer science. He subsequently completed a working Master's program. After several years as a tech consultant, Huyen moved to Silicon Valley and became involved in tech start-ups. He co-founded Esurance, a successful company that was bought by Allstate. He then left the start-up field and became a high-ranking technical specialist; at the time of this interview, he was working with Expedia. Huyen moved to Houston in the mid-2000s to marry his wife, a fellow Vietnamese immigrant whose family settled in Houston. He currently lives in West University with his wife and two young children.