MSNBC/NBC News Anchor; Civil Rights Reporter; Author; Filmmaker
Veteran news anchor, businessperson, author, and filmmaker, Richard Lui lives up close with today’s seminal ideas – honed by three decades of exclusive access to national and global decision makers in politics, business, activism, and culture.
Richard Lui’s career in news, business, media, technology, and community spans over 25 years, including news anchor for MSNBC, NBC News, and CNN Worldwide. In 2007 he became the first Asian American male to anchor a daily national news broadcast in America. He anchored Emmy and Peabody award-winning live coverage at CNN, and received the Champion in Media Award at the Multicultural Media Correspondents Dinner at the National Press Club.
His on-the-ground reporting on Civil Rights spans Rodney King, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and George Floyd. He is one of the only national journalists to report on the Asian American community without pause for the last 20 years, including on his own father’s assault during a recent wave of Anti-Asian hate. Lui was awarded Civil Rights awards, including the National Education Association’s Human and Civil Rights Award, the Asian American Journalists Association’s Civil Rights Award, and the Asian Americans Advancing Justice Courage Award.
An Enduring Inclusion Authority with 500+ Speeches over 15 Years
Lui’s speaking includes Fortune 500 DEI departments, leadership groups representing every major community of color, military and veterans communities, women’s associations, faith-based groups, and more globally. He is one of the few, enduring Asian American national figures in the last two decades that has spoken so prolifically and reached so many.
In 2023 at Davos, Switzerland, along with AAPI Data and Momentive, Lui will launch Diversity@Work, a groundbreaking series of annual reports profiling Black, Indigenous, AAPI, Latino, and White Workers – discovering key data points on what’s unsaid about race at work. Lui can present these findings, along with actionable and practical steps for organizations, helping create new tools, conversations, and actions for business leaders and board rooms.
His nonpartisan messages have been heard across the country at business, cultural, and community events, small and large, from commencement speeches of 30,000, to middle school auditoriums filled with students. Driven by his family’s poverty-tested values, Lui brings a warm, practical embrace to the hopeful opportunities we have ahead.
Businessperson who Launched Six Tech Brands over 3 Business Cycles
Business Insider named Lui one of 21 careers to watch alongside Warren Buffett and Sheryl Sandberg. Over the course of 30 years, Lui has launched six technology brands over three business cycles, most recently with a Silicon Valley artificial intelligence startup. After earning his MBA at Michigan Ross School of Business, he joined Citibank where he co-created a fintech payment model he holds a patent for, and was a strategy consultant at Oliver Wyman for an IBM joint venture. Lui sits on several NGO boards and is a National Association of Corporate Directors Fellow.
For 15 years Lui’s reporting has focused on politics, covering every U.S. national election since 2004. He has interviewed hundreds of politicians, from Detroit’s Mayor to U.S. Presidents. He has been a contributing columnist for USA Today, Politico, Seattle Times, Detroit Free Press, Huffington Post, and others. Lui is Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund, a think tank focusing on transatlantic relationships including ~100 countries, where he explores the cross of public policy and media.
Lui’s passion for politics started in the 70s, debating California’s Proposition 13 on bus rides to school. Later in the 2000s, Lui found himself reporting from Asia during seismic political changes in Southeast Asia’s Indonesia, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Lui is a Global Ambassador for Plan International, one of 200 active US State Department Traveling Speakers, and a spokesperson for NGOs focusing on gender equality and human trafficking including the UN’s HeForShe campaign.
Filmmaker, Author, and Media Expert
Lui’s first book, Enough About Me, published by HarperCollins Zondervan, focuses on the unexpected power of selflessness. In it, he addresses the “selfish pandemic” of our time and accessible ways to personally and institutionally counter the problem.
His first feature film, SKY BLOSSOM, was the most widely distributed documentary of 2021. The Oscars and Grammy-qualified film premiered at the Kennedy Center, and was named a Top 25 Awards Season contender by Variety. It was supported by a bipartisan group of lawmakers including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. Five years in the making, this movie focused on caregiver kids in military families. The film was inspired by Lui’s eight years of long-distance caregiving for his father, traveling 20 hours roundtrip three times a month from New York to California. His next film, releasing in 2023, Hidden Wounds, focuses on mental health, caregiving, and the military community.
Richard serves as a caregiving ambassador for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Hidden Heroes campaign, AARP, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Lui’s second film, debuts in May 2023, focusing on mental health, including his own journey.
Richard Lui Commencement Speech at the Illinois College of Optometry
Richard Lui On His Father’s Alzheimers Diagnosis – The Power Of Selflessness
Richard Lui Speaking Reel
Getting to Know Richard Lui
Richard Lui at the Aspen Institute Keynote State of Race Symposium
Richard Lui at the German Marshall Fund Brussels Forum
Richard Lui at the United Nations: State of the World’s Fathers
Richard Lui Commencement Speech at the Illinois College of Optometry
Richard Lui’s Speech Topics
Moderator, Discussion Leader, Interviewer, and Emcee
“What is the single thing you want every audience member to think or do differently after the session?” asks Richard in preparing for each event. From years of cable news anchoring, his quick-moving moderation often yields pleasant surprises as he is used to fielding the wildest of characters and making the dullest look interesting. Lui has a warm sound and friendly tone that engages audiences, a skill sharpened over 500 on-stage events.
Says one recent client: “From the first point of contact to the thank you/goodbyes, Richard was 5-star. He brought warmth and authenticity to each of his interviews and opening perspectives—always finding the perfect through line. He has a magical way of connecting one-on-one with each person in the room.”
Reporter’s Notebook: Bystander to Upstander
Lui shares perspectives from his work as a Civil Rights Reporter and from his annual keynote report at The Aspen Institute’s State of Race Symposium to draw parallels between the Civil Rights Movement and Rodney King and then dissect the current State of Race in America. He pulls from his on-the-ground reporting in Black, Latino, Asian, and Muslim communities where tragedy destroyed lives and exposed dynamic heroes who rose to fight back against hate, misogyny, and discrimination. Inspired by the #StopAsianHate movement, Richard collaborated with the nonprofit RightToBe to direct an animated series on the 5Ds of Bystander Intervention (Direct, Delay, Distract, Delegate, Document). Richard can bring these lessons and training to your organization – sharing with every participant how they can safely combat harassment wherever they may encounter it.
How Data Drives Diversity at Work
In January 2023, Lui introduced the Diversty@Work Annual Reports at Davos. The surveys include seven releases covering Latino / Hispanic, Black, Asian American, Indigenous, Generations, Gender, and Silicon Valley. Done in partnership with Momentive and AAPI Data, supporting partners include SHRM, APCO Worldwide, Novartis, and PowerToFly. The purpose of the annual reports is to help corner offices, CEOs, and DEI business leaders justify through data what which they knew in their heart and gut was right to do in inclusion. In addition, he founded the Collaborative on Diversity at Work with the purpose of identifying solutions, best practices, and cultural opportunities for businesses to improve inclusion. Lui can address both 5,000 and 50,000-foot discussions on DEI with data he journalistically explored to reignite DEI in your organization.