Meador & Engle is a California law firm that specializes in the business issues faced by growing companies and creative entrepreneurs.


The firm also offers expertise in international business operations, with a special focus on Asia.


Business thinking. Outside of the box.

In 1974, Ross Meador traveled alone to Saigon to open an office for an American charity organization called Friends of Children of Viet Nam. He was 19 years old and had not yet started college.


As the youngest director of a foreign voluntary agency operating in Vietnam, he traveled throughout South Viet Nam, carrying supplies to various orphanages and other social welfare institutions. He also opened and operated child care facilities and processed adoptions of orphaned children.


In 1975, he was involved in Operation Babylift, the evacuation of over 2,000 orphans to the West in the closing days of the American war there. He was evacuated from Viet Nam to San Francisco on one of the Babylift flights, but returned to Viet Nam a few days later. He was evacuated a second time on April 30, 1975, from the roof of the US Embassy in Saigon.


After leaving Viet Nam, Mr. Meador traveled in Asia and Africa and then started another child welfare program in Korea as Overseas Director of Friends of Children International. In 1982, he went to India to serve as Senior Advisor to the International Mission of Hope in Calcutta, where he negotiated the release of orphans from the prisons of West Bengal.


Mr. Meador's story has been described in several books, magazines including People Magazine, television programs including It's a Miracle, radio programs including Voice of America, The World, and Talk of the Nation and various print and broadcast news stories. His oral history is featured in the Oakland Museum 's recent exhibit on California during the Vietnam Era. His photograph of the evacuation of Saigon is included in permanent collection of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.


In 2005, Meador was awarded the Heather Constance Noone Memorial Award for "Extraordinary Actions on Behalf of the Vietnam Babylift."


In 2003, Friends of Children of Vietnam was nominated by Congressman Tom Tancredo for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nations highest civilian award. In 2005, the group was nominated for a second time by Senator Diane Feinstein.



Vietnamese Adoptee Network Many of the Babylift-era Vietnamese Adoptees have organized to form a mutual support and networking organization that has sponsored a variety of excellent reunions and other events.



Operation Babylift
A Film By Tammy Nguyen Lee

This moving narrration of the Operation Babylift events features many of Ross Meador's photographs.

Books that include stories of Ross Meador's work in Vietnam