2022 Gala Honoree
The Asian Pacific Fund is thrilled to honor Richard Lui as our Gala Honoree this year.
Richard’s 30-year career sits at the intersection of politics, journalism, technology, filmmaking, publishing, and finance. Currently he is news anchor for MSNBC and NBC News and formerly at CNN Worldwide. In 2007 he became the first Asian American male to anchor a daily national news broadcast in America.
Lui is one of the rare AAPI speakers with authority and on the ground experience on the complex topic of race, driven by his journalistic experience.
A civil rights reporter, Lui reported on the ground in Ferguson, Baltimore, and New York during heightened racial unrest, beginning with Rodney King in 1992 as a cub radio reporter. Following 2021’s Atlanta spa shootings, Lui directed and produced the documentary “Remember the Flowers: Atlanta Shootings 100 Days Later” for NBC Nightly News Films, sitting down with five of the victims’ families – the defining milestone for modern Asian American civil rights.
Filmmaker, Author, Media Expert
Richard is a bestselling author of Enough About Me: The Unexpected Power of Selflessness (HarperCollins Zondervan), which covers the big ideas of our time — from caregiving to racial equity — and challenges dominant thinking about self-focus in a way that’s healthy for productivity at work and home.
Richard is also the Director and Producer of two feature documentary films. His Academy Award® and GRAMMY® qualified directorial debut, Sky Blossom: Diaries of the Next Greatest Generation (2021), on children caring for military veteran parents and grandparents with disabilities, was the year’s most widely distributed documentary, with broadcasts on PBS and MSNBC, and won the prestigious Christopher Award. His second film, Hidden Wounds (2022), profiles three families at the intersection of mental health and caregiving.
25 Years of Nonpartisan Reporting
Covering every national election since 2004, Lui has interviewed hundreds of politicians, from Detroit Mayor to U.S. President. In the 2000s, Lui reported from Asia as two key Muslim countries and Taiwan experienced pivotal elections while at Channel NewsAsia, an English-only news network broadcast in 20 Asian countries and territories.
Launched 6 Tech Brands over 3 Business Cycles
Before journalism, Richard spent 15 years in business, launching six brands over three tech cycles, patenting a fintech model in 2003. He has held various board seats including audit committee for a fintech firm, advisory board chair for a Silicon Valley deep learning firm, and various non-profit boards. Business Insider named him one of 21 careers to watch and Twitter Counter ranks him in the top 1 percent in social media users.
Lui has spoken at 500 community events over the last 15 years and is seen as a reasoned voice on American society. He is on the board of Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation and Freedom United. He is a Fellow at the National Association of Corporate Directors, one of 200 US State Department Traveling Speakers, a Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund think tank,. He is ambassador for six NGOs focusing on gender equity, human trafficking, and family caregiving.
Lui holds an MBA from Michigan Ross School of Business and is a graduate from UC Berkeley. A first generation Chinese and Polynesian American, Lui has a twist in his background. Because his grandfather, an unauthorized immigrant, filed false “Paper Son” documents, Lui’s real last name is Wong.
Lui’s passion for politics started in the 70s, debating California’s controversial Proposition 13 on bus rides to school. That interest turned into a job at the age of 19: campaign manager for San Francisco College Board incumbent Alan Wong. After the election, Lui returned to college. His plan was to write on policy and the affairs of state, subscribing to the Washington Post when it had to be mailed to the west coast.
In the 1990s, Lui reported for news radio KALX during a unique time in California politics. He was assigned to stories including Dianne Feinstein’s first successful U.S. Senate campaign and the Rodney King verdict and riots.
Later in the 2000s, Lui reported during a heated international political climate. Two Muslim countries in Asia transformed – Indonesia’s Sukarno family was defeated after rule spanning over half a century; and Malaysia’s prime minister, after almost a quarter of a century handed over power. Lui also reported on Taiwan’s controversial election. He was at Channel NewsAsia, an English-only news network in 20 countries and territories.