Richard Lui

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Richard Lui
Richard Lui MSNBC 2.jpg
Bornc. 1972[1]
California, U.S.
OccupationNews anchor
Notable credit(s)NBC News
Oliver Wyman
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Richard Lui
Richard Lui MSNBC 2.jpg
Bornc. 1972[1]
California, U.S.
OccupationNews anchor
Notable credit(s)NBC News
Oliver Wyman

Richard Lui is an Asian-American journalist and news anchor for MSNBC and NBC News.[2] Lui anchors the Western edition of Early Today on NBC News.[3] He contributes reports for NBC News Investigations Unit.[4] and NBC Weekend Nightly News[5] He is based at NBC's offices at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.[6]

Before MSNBC, Lui anchored five years at CNN Worldwide. He solo-anchored the 10 am edition of Morning Express and led political reporting during the 2008 Presidential election as a show member of Morning Express with Robin Meade. When Lui joined CNN Headline News in 2007 he became the first Asian-American male to anchor a daily, national cable news show in the U.S.[7] Mediaite has ranked Lui #101 in News Buzz on its Power Grid Influence Index of TV Anchors and Hosts.[8]

Before journalism, Lui spent 15 years in business with Fortune 500 and technology companies. This included work at Oliver Wyman, and patenting and launching the first bank-centric payment system in a Citibank carve-out he founded with fellow University of Michigan MBA alumni.[9]

Lui has been active in community leadership for 25 years in Africa,Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S. He serves as ambassador for Plan International, the Epilepsy Foundation, and APIASF. He’s received community service awards including the NAAAP 100,[10] WWAAC 100,[11] YUE Power 100,[12] and OCA Pioneers.[13] Lui speaks frequently, including events for the U.S. State Department, Harvard, and the Aspen Institute.[14]

A first generation American, Lui has a twist in his background — Wong is his real last name, part of an immigration wrinkle because his grandfather, an illegal immigrant, filed false "Paper Sons" papers.[3]

Lui graduated from UC Berkeley, earned an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and is currently enrolled at Stanford University in its postgraduate program on International Security.[2]

Lui has worked, lived, and studied in Europe, Asia, and the U.S, where he currently resides.[2]

Business career[edit]

Lui started in business in 1985, working in manufacturing, strategy consulting, food and beverage, environmental, oil, and technology industries. He has held chief roles from operations to marketing.[15]

Until 2008, Lui worked for Citibank as Director, COO, and CMO of a business unit focused on payments and commerce.[16] His patented payment infrastructure bypassed MasterCard and Visa, enabling consumers to pay for goods and services by connecting directly to their bank. It included wireless access to checking, brokerage, and other funds.

Before Citibank, Lui worked at Oliver Wyman New York.[17] His business development work included moving online brokerage businesses to mobile platforms, and the globalization software market. Lui also helped launch a joint venture with IBM in the retail vertical.[15]

At the start of his career, Lui skipped college and spent four years at startup Mrs. Fields Cookies. At the age of 18, Lui became the youngest in the company's history to run a regional training center.[18]

After Mrs. Fields, Lui entered college, followed by work at Clean Environment Equipment (QED), where he led its global advertising and public relations. According to the company’s website, its oil recovery products are on almost every major refinery with an underground oil spill.[19]

Community leadership[edit]

Keynote speech to Delta Air Lines executives on subject of the "universal worker" and globalization. Lui, May, 2009.
Keynote speech to Delta Air Lines executives on subject of the “universal worker” and globalization. Lui, May, 2009.

Lui’s community service includes speaking, social media campaigns, mentoring, board membership, ambassadorships, and extended fieldwork.[20]

At the Advancing Justice Conference, the AAPI equivalent to the NAACP convention, Lui led seminars on the 2010 Census and 2012 Presidential election.[21] The Aspen Institute invited Lui for seminars on the state of race in America, and foreign affairs in U.S. journalism.[22]

As a member of the US State Department's Speakers Program, Lui has traveled to Vietnam, Indonesia, Denmark, Jordan, and China.[23] Harvard University similarly had Lui speak on social entrepreneurship and international security.[24] Lui also speaks for groups like Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Ross School of Business, Google,[25] and others.[26]

Lui has participated in two Twitter social media community awareness campaigns: for the Epilepsy Foundation[27] and Plan International.[12] They involved Instagram and Thunderclap pushes.[28] Both were in 2013.

Lui says his work in affordable housing is partially driven by his childhood experience on welfare.[3] He volunteers for the Habitat for Humanity and traveled to Ghana, the Golan Heights, and Haiti with former President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Carter to build homes.[29] He is on the board of directors of Crossroads Homeless Services[30] and PRI, an affordable housing development company.[31]

Lui started community work in high school as a YMCA counselor. He taught addicted mothers computer skills at the American Indian Family Healing Center, and served as campaign manager for a San Francisco race for College Board.[32]


NBC News says Lui’s interest in politics started in the 70s, when he debated California’s controversial Proposition 13 during bus rides to school.[33] That interest turned into a job at 19: campaign manager for San Francisco College Board incumbent Alan Wong. After the election, Lui returned to college and planned to write on policy and the affairs of state, subscribing to the Washington Post when it had to be mailed to the west coast.[33]

In the 1990s, Lui was exposed to a pivotal time in California politics. As a reporter at KALX, he was assigned to Dianne Feinstein’s first successful U.S. Senate campaign and the Rodney King verdict and riots.[34]

Later, in the 2000s, Lui moved to Asia to capture a heated moment in regional politics. Two Muslim countries in Southeast Asia were undertaking key transformations. 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.[35]

In the 2012 election cycle, Lui hosted APIAVote’s Presidential Debate,[36] APA Presidential Inaugural Ball,[37] and APA Congressional Caucus’s forum at the Capitol.[38][39] He also conducted Asian Pacific American Institute on Congressional Studies (APAICS) training sessions for elected and appointed officials. Today at MSNBC, Lui’s beat is politics. His reports have ranged from the implications of the Tea Party to presidential election night exit poll data.[40]

Lui also contributes political opinion pieces to publications, including The Seattle Times,[41] the San Francisco Chronicle,[42] Politico,[43] NBC Politics, NBC Latino,[44] and the Huffington Post.[32]

Journalism career[edit]

Lui reporting for CNN on human trafficking in Ghana. March, 2010.
Lui reporting for CNN on human trafficking in Ghana. March, 2010.

Since joining MSNBC in 2010, Lui has anchored every dayside hour, including live breaking coverage of the Boston Bombings, Japanese earthquake and tsunami, NATO's attack in Libya, and Egypt’s president and vice president's resignations during the country's revolution.[45]

In an NBC News investigation, Lui examined a human trafficking phenomenon involving high-volume brothels in the U.S. where women were forced to have sex 100 times a day. He told it in English and Spanish.[46][47] Lui’s field reporting includes work on the 2012 Presidential election, Hurricane Sandy, 2010 Tea Party movement, and new technologies in developing countries.[48]

Other beats include sports for both NBC News and MSNBC daily morning shows, and news anchoring for the Weather Channel and its program Wake up with Al.[49]

During five years at CNN Worldwide, Lui anchored live breaking stories such as the 2009 Gaza-Israel War, Virginia Tech Massacre, 2006 Hezbollah-Israel War, Mumbai train terrorist bombings, and Mumbai Hotels Siege.[50] He reported extensively from the Gulf on the BP oil spill.[51]

Lui's field reporting explored political and civil rights controversies in the Asian-American community, including the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which led to a system of illegal immigrants called Paper Sons.[52] He reported on the Vincent Chin killing during the 1980s U.S.-Japan automaker tensions, and its link to the Muslim-American community’s post 9/11 challenges.[53]

Traveling to Indonesia, Lui went undercover to expose child sex slavery.[54] Later, as seen on CNN’s Freedom Project, he investigated five year olds sold to Ghanaian fisherman as labor slaves.[55]

Richard Lui interviews a guest for MSNBC

Lui filed reports on the implications of terrorist activity, exploring counter-IED strategy and equipment, and container scanning technology at the world's busiest port. This topic took him to Bali to report on the latent economic effects of the Jemaah Islamiya terrorist bombings.[56]

Lui anchored and reported on all CNN English-language networks, including CNN US, CNN International, and HLN. He also field reported for CNN’s Southern Region.[57]

Before CNN Worldwide, Lui worked in Asia during five years of major political change. He anchored live, rolling coverage of the South Asian tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands, and the 2003 SARS and bird flu outbreaks. In 2004, he covered the shooting of Taiwan’s president during the national election, and on Indonesia as it moved from Sukarno family rule, bridging 50 years. Lui was based in Singapore at Channel NewsAsia, an English-only news network reaching 24 countries and territories.[58]

Personal life[edit]

Lui is the son of a Presbyterian minister.[59] He is an automobile enthusiast. In his speeches, he has said he started “wrenching” when he was 10,[60] and is an aerodynamics, airplane industry hobbyist.[61] He studied in Spain, and speaks Spanish conversationally.


  1. ^ Lu, Charlie (12 May 2009). "Prominent Chinese American News Anchor Shares His Journey". Epoch Times. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Meet the Faces of MSNBC TV". 
  3. ^ a b c "Hyphen TV Special Edition,". Hyphen. Feb 28, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Enslaved in America". NBC News Investigations. July 18, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Enslaved in America". NBC Weekend Nightly News. April 3, 2011. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Lu, Charlie (May 9, 2009). "Prominent Chinese American News Anchor Shares His Journey". Epoch Times. 
  8. ^ "Mediaite news anchor ranking,". Hyphen. Feb 28, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Entrepreneurial Alumni". (Spring 2002). InCompany, University of Michigan Business School. 
  10. ^
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  14. ^ "Advancing Justice Conference 2011". 
  15. ^ a b "OCA Northern Virginia". Facebook. Feb 28, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Oliver Wyman Alumni". 
  17. ^ Richman, Tom (October 1, 1987). "Mrs. Fields' Secret Ingredient". Inc. Magazine. 
  18. ^ Conn, Jennifer (August 12, 1996). "Texas Hospitals Use Mobile Waste System". Waste & Recycling News. 
  19. ^ McEnerney, Shannon (April 7, 2010). "Develop Intercultural Skills by Understanding Differences". Indiana University School of Journalism. 
  20. ^ "A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans in the United States, 2011". Advancing Justice Conference 2011. October 27, 2011. 
  21. ^ Sonmez, Felicia (April 11, 2011) (April 11, 2011). "The State of Race in America". Washington Post. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ Richard Lui#cite note-Delta2009-21
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Building Affordable Housing in Ghana". CNN. 2010. 
  29. ^ "Crossroads, a homeless services non-profit". 
  30. ^ "PRI, Georgia's most prolific non-profit, affordable housing developer.". 
  31. ^ a b Lui, Richard (September 19, 2012). "The Perception Gap". Huffington Post. 
  32. ^ a b
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ Lui, Richard (February 11, 2013). The San Francisco Chronicle |url= missing title (help). 
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^ "Mubarak to Resign: Broadcasters Produce Special Reports...". Media Bistro. February 10, 2011. 
  45. ^ "A story both sordid and unbelievable". NBC Nightly News, NBC, MSNBC, 
  46. ^ "Enslaved In America". NBC. 
  47. ^ "Seeking more, octogenarian finds it in Tea Party". MSNBC TV. 
  48. ^
  49. ^ "CNN Saturday Morning News". (CNN Transcripts). June 17, 2006. 
  50. ^ "Oil Spill Impact". HLN TV. 
  51. ^ "Paper Sons: Chinese American illegal immigrants". CNN. 
  52. ^ "Groom to-be clubbed to death". CNN. 
  53. ^ "Indonesian child slavery". CNN. 
  54. ^ "Ending child slavery through education". CNN Freedom Project (CNN). 2010. 
  55. ^ "Bali bombing 4 years later". CNN. 
  56. ^ "Defining the Moments". August 27, 1996. 
  57. ^ Thielman, Matt (August 3, 2010). "MSNBC taps Lui". Variety. 
  58. ^ Lui, Richard (September 19, 2012). "The Perception Gap". Huffington Post. 
  59. ^ "Personal Innovation". 8th Annual APACC Celebration. 
  60. ^ "The Universal Worker". Delta Air Lines World Headquarters. 2009. 

External links[edit]