Novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen has become the first Asian American member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University announced in a news release.

Nguyen, who himself won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for his critically acclaimed debut novel, The Sympathizer, will join New Yorker magazine editor David Remnick, book critic Carlos Lozada of the Washington Post, and USA Today editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll, among others, on the 19-member board.

“It’s an honor to be elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board,” Nguyen said in a statement. “As someone fortunate enough to be a recipient of the prize, I know the impact that the prize has on a writer’s career and on the perceptions of readers. I’m delighted to join in the Board’s crucial work.”

Nguyen first gained literary fame with his 2015 novel, The Sympathizer, which also won the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. A reviewer for Kirkus called it “a worthy addition to the library of first-rate novels about the Vietnam War.”

Since then, he’s published a nonfiction book, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, a short story collection, The Refugees, and a children’s book, Chicken of the Sea. His next book, The Committed, a sequel to The Sympathizer, is slated for publication on March 2, 2021.

Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.