Chi Jones was born and raised near Saigon, Vietnam, before moving to Illinois in 1970 at the age of ten. His family was a sponsor for later Vietnamese immigrants to the United States. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and moved around Illinois, working for Teradyne before the company was bought, giving him the option to move to Portland. In 1995, Jones moved to Portland where he continued his job with the new company. He was the president of the Van Lang Vietnamese School starting in 2000 and left in 2004 with other members of the board to create a new school, Lac Hong at Portland Community College Rock Creek. He did so through the Vietnamese Science & Culture Society of Oregon (VSCSO), a non-profit organization which Jones founded. The VSCSO helps other organizations and groups by supplying them with funding. At the time of this interview, Jones runs the Lac Hong School and is employed at Applied Materials, a semiconductor equipment company, and also helps at his wife’s Kumon tutoring business, where individual students receive tailored instruction.

In this oral history interview Jones discusses his family, his life in both Illinois and Portland, the positions he has held in those cities, and his organizations. He begins his interview describing how his parents met and how, after immigrating to the United States, his family sponsored other Vietnamese immigrants. He describes how he met his wife at the University of Illinois and recounts the discrimination he and other Asian Americans faced while in Illinois. He goes on to discuss his and his wife’s decision to sell their businesses and move to Portland due to new ownership of Teradyne, the company where he worked. He then describes his position as president of the Van Lang Vietnamese School and his subsequent founding of the VSCSO and the Lac Hong School. He elaborates on the funding systems in place for the VSCSO, as well as the controversy he faced while president of Van Lang. After detailing the program at Lac Hong, Jones describes his full time job and other responsibilities in the Vietnamese community before concluding with his outlook on the future of Vietnamese schools in Portland.