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Our team

Don Phan
CEO, Co-Founder, Instructor, Amateur Psychometrician
Don Phan is the CEO and co-founder of Hillhouse, a psychometrics company based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Hillhouse provides test prep tutoring for standardized tests (GMAT/GRE/SAT/ACT/SSAT). We teach students online throughout the globe. Our founders Don and Nick are based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where we also teachers students one-on-one and in classrooms. Our research department writes test prep questions that you see in test prep guides and practice exams. Hillhouse has received venture backing from Expara Ventures, Swiss Founders Fund, and 500 Startups.
Don has taught test prep with Manhattan Review, written practice questions for Economist GMAT, and in Vietnam taught with EQuest and CleverAcademy.
Prior to starting Hillhouse, Don founded baby e-commerce sites and Don has also worked as a private equity analyst and served as managing director of Zalora and foodpanda, both Rocket Internet ventures in Vietnam.
Don holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Yale University. He earned a master's degree in Southeast Asian Studies from National University of Singapore while on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. He was also a U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Vietnam.


Nick Santalucia
Co-Founder, Instructor, Head of GMAT/GRE Verbal Content
Nick Santalucia started teaching entrance exams in 2015, a year after he moved to Vietnam. Since then he’s worked with dozens of students to improve their scores on the verbal sections of the SSAT, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. He’s also written practice material for all of those tests. Nick is originally from Philadelphia, where he studied Classics and graduated with honors from Temple University (class of 2013). When not tutoring he can be found reading, writing, or studying for the GMAT himself (he’s got a way to go on the quant section!).


Praneeth Mandavilli
Instrutor, math and science
Praneeth is a highly knowledgeable American tutor and teacher specializing in maths and sciences. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas. Praneeth has extensive experience as a private tutor. He specializes in teaching AP subjects such as Physics and Math, but can also help boost students' quantitative scores on the GMAT, GRE, ACT, and SAT.
Praneeth also has an artistic side and has worked as an actor. If you're bored, challenge him to speak in any accent.


Shannon Brown
Instructor, IELTS
You may recognize Ms. Shannon from Hillhouse’s popular IELTS videos. Ms. Shannon teaches our introductory IELTS video module and also helps students with the verbal sections of the SAT, ACT, and GRE.
She holds a master's degree in public health from the University of Cincinnati, and now runs her own consulting and copy-editing business.


Christine Nguyen
Christine earned a biology degree from Yale University and an M.D. and Master of Science in Health Services Research from Stanford University. She’s held a range of positions in the health sector which enable her to teach subject-specific English. Her academic credentials also make her an ideal tutor for students studying the SAT, ACT, and MCAT.


Josh Puckett
Instructor, SAT and ACT
Josh earned an Associate degree before graduating high school. Since then he’s started businesses, worked as an engineer, and become an English teacher. He specializes in business English and standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT.


Nhung Pham
Instructor, math
Nhung is one of the best young mathematicians in Vietnam. She has won nine Math Olympiad competitions in the country and is now preparing to study abroad in the US. Nhung currently works as an Assistant Researcher in Computational Biology and Chemistry for the International University of HCMC. Nhung also competes in badminton and basketball.


Elise Woodward
Instructor, communicative English
Elise has worked at Hillhouse as both and intern and an English teacher specializing in communicative English (speaking and writing). She spent the last three years in Canada as a private tutor in maths, sciences, French and English. In addition to teaching English, she can speak French and German fluently and is learning Vietnamese.


Brigitte Gruchy
Instructor, math and science
Brigitte holds a Bachelor of Science degree in pure and applied science and a post graduate diploma in mathematics education. She has worked with students in individual, small-group, and classroom settings. Her methodology is focused on coaching students to think critically and solve problems on their own.