The Hon. Thang Nguyen Barrett is a judge for the Superior Court of Santa Clara County in California. He was initially appointed to the Santa Clara Municipal Court by former governor Pete Wilson in 1997. He was then elevated to the Superior Court of Santa Clara County after the unification of the courts in 1998.
Barrett earned a B.A. in philosophy from American University in 1985. He then received a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1988.
He began his legal career as a research attorney for the Superior Court of San Francisco County in 1988. The following year, he joined the Office of the District Attorney of Santa Clara County, where he served as a deputy district attorney until 1997. During his eight-year tenure there, he worked in its Sexual Assault Team.
Barrett has served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Southeast Asian Refugee Resettlement, the Asian Law Alliance, and the Girl Scouts of Santa Clara County.
He is a recipient of the Freedom Award from the Asian Americans for Community Involvement.
Barrett was born in Saigon, Vietnam. His father was an official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Vietnam). As such, he spent his early childhood in Laos before moving to Belgium. While living in Belgium, his mother re-married L. Col. (Ret.) Robert Barrett, an American who was stationed with NATO in Belgium. He then moved with his family to Virginia in 1977.
Barrett was the first Vietnamese-American to serve as a judge for the Superior Court of California.