Ms. Le Ly Hayslip

Founder of

Global Village Foundation

The East Meets West Foundation

Author of

When Heaven and Earth Changed Places

Child of War, Woman of Peace


Heaven & Earth

Le Ly is an internationally known Vietnamese-American author, philanthropist, peace activist, and speaker. She grew up in Ky La (now known as Xa Hoa Quy), Vietnam during the American-Vietnam War. She wrote two best-selling memoirs—When Heaven and Earth Changed Places and Child of War, Woman of Peace, based on her painful and ultimately triumphant journey from a traumatizing childhood in war-ravaged Vietnam to her new life in America. Having grown up in Central Vietnam as a woman, Le Ly shares a perspective that is unique when it comes to the Vietnam War. She received raving reviews for both books, including from The New York Times and The Washington Post. When Heaven and Earth Changed Places was included in the 1990 edition of Reader’s Digest’s Today’s Best Nonfiction. Her memoirs, having been published in 17 different languages throughout the world, are now used in several universities as course material to study women in history, the American/Vietnam War, and other topics. In 1993, the books were adapted into the film “Heaven & Earth,” directed by the award-winning director Oliver Stone and starring Hiep Thi Le and Tommy Lee Jones. 

Le Ly’s life as a humanitarian began after she arrived in the US in 1970 and became a US citizen, but returned to her native Vietnam in 1986. Her shock from the devastation, poverty, and illness left by the war became the impetus for her two philanthropic organizations, East Meets West Foundation and Global Village Foundation. Both organizations dedicate their efforts to humanitarian relief, education, and development to help rebuild Vietnam through providing basic needs (shelter, clean water, medical facilities, education), establishing revolving loan programs, and finding homes for several hundreds of orphaned children. Hayslip continues to lead groups and delegations in cultural and anthropological studies in her home village.

Le Ly has earned awards for her philanthropic work across global, including:

  • The Crocket Global Citizen Award from the World Affairs Council (2014) 
  • The Pride of America Award from Great Immigrants (2008)
  • A biography written by Green Tree: “Who is Le Ly Hayslip?”-Asian Series Biography
  • The Living Legacy Award from the Women’s International Center
  • 3 Emmy Awards – From War to Peace and Beyond (documentary)

and many more.

After 30 years of hard work and succeed her own life story and phillandtropic mission, Hayslip now focuses on helping the next generation with her worldly experiences. Through her conversations with high school and college students, she conveys the violent realities and consequences of war, creating an unsaid but stark comparison of the students’ life in a country that has never been touched by international war versus a war-torn third world country. With her words, she paints vivid images of poverty, her loss of family members, the physical and mental torture, and how she overcame her strifes from growing up in a war-ravaged country. Hayslip enlightens her audience as she passes down her wisdom, compassion, forgiveness and strength gained from her unique experiences. Her talks focus on teaching the value of education and discuss the power possessed by an self educated and compassionate person. One of the many purposes of her discussion is to have every person realize their ability to impact the world. Hayslip leaves audiences touched and empowered by her speeches. 

Are you interested in hosting a talk with Le Ly? You can contact Le Ly at Le Ly looks forward to discussing with you.