‘The Proudest Refugee’: How Veronica Miller Charts Her Own Path at NVIDIA

by Haley Hirai

When she was five years old, Veronica Miller (née Teklai) and her family left their homeland of Eritrea, in the Horn of Africa, to escape an ongoing war with Ethiopia and create a new life in the U.S.

She grew up in East Orange, New Jersey, watching others judge her parents and turn them away from jobs they were qualified for because of their appearance, their accented English or their unfamiliar names.

After working in the shipping industry for 20 years, Miller’s dad eventually became a New York City cab driver, an often-dangerous job in the 1980s. Her mom, despite earning a computer science degree in the U.S., trained to become a home health aide, where jobs were more available.

“My parents’ resilience and courage made my life possible,” Miller said.

After graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a degree in international business, Miller worked at large automotive companies in client support, production support and project management.

Now working as a technical program manager in product security at NVIDIA, she feels like her family’s journey has come full circle.

“It’s the honor of my life being here at NVIDIA: I’m the proudest refugee,” she said.

In her role, Miller functions like a conductor in an orchestra. She works with engineers to bridge gaps and understand challenges to define solutions — always trying to create opportunities to turn a “no” into a “yes” through collaboration.

At NVIDIA, Miller feels like she can be herself, helping her thrive. She no longer feels the pressure to conform to fit in, allowing her creativity to flow freely and solve problems.

“Previously in my career, I never wore my hair curly. After someone once asked to touch my curly hair, I believed it would be easier to make myself look like everyone else. I thought it was the best way to let my work be the focus instead of my hair,” she said. “NVIDIA is the first employer that encouraged me to bring my full self to work.”

Outside of work, Miller and her husband, Nathan, are passionate about paying it forward and helping local youth in Trenton, New Jersey. Together, they’ve developed The Miller Family Foundation to help with community needs, including education. The foundation’s scholarship fund has donated $20,000 to low-income high school students to provide support for college tuition and career mentorship.

“I truly believe anyone could get here. There wasn’t anyone that showed me the path. It was belief in myself, a ton of research and endless hard work,” she said. “We’re in a special place where my husband and I can give the next generation some of the financial support and career guidance we didn’t have.”

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