Cultural Diversity Roster



Richard Lui

Anchor of NBC News' "Early Today Show"

Richard Lui is a thought leader at the intersection of media, social impact, and storytelling.  He is a content and digital-social specialist with 30 years of experience in network television, technology, and business. Currently, he is a journalist and news anchor for MSNBC and NBC News.  Before that, he was news anchor at CNN Worldwide,…

Categories :

Full Bio

Richard Lui is a thought leader at the intersection of media, social impact, and storytelling.  He is a content and digital-social specialist with 30 years of experience in network television, technology, and business.

Currently, he is a journalist and news anchor for MSNBC and NBC News.  Before that, he was news anchor at CNN Worldwide, where he became the first Asian American male to anchor a daily national news broadcast in the U.S.  Most recently, Lui reported on the ground on the Paris and San Bernardino Terror Attacks and in Ferguson and Baltimore during heightened racial unrest.

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 Mayor to U.S. President.  He has been a contributing columnist for USA Today, Politico, Seattle Times, Detroit Free Press, Huffington Post, and others. Lui is a Policy Fellow at UC Riverside.

Lui’s passion for politics started in the 70s, when he debated California’s controversial Proposition 13 on bus rides to school. His 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. Two of his first stories as a journalist were Dianne Feinstein’s first successful U.S. Senate campaign and the Rodney King verdict and riots.

Later in the 2000s, Lui reported from Asia during an increasingly heated political climate. Two Muslim countries in Southeast 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 between pro- and anti- China political parties. He was at Channel NewsAsia, an English-only news network in 20 countries and territories.

Lui is also a technologist with a wide-reaching business career that started in the 1990s.  He launched six technology brands over three technology cycles, most recently an artificial intelligence company in Silicon Valley in 2016. While at Citibank Singapore, he co-founded and patented a Visa-like payments backbone (a first of its kind) and was a management consultant at Mercer for an IBM joint venture.  He sits on six boards of directors / advisers in spaces ranging from international relations to artificial intelligence.  He is a 2016 Governance Fellow for the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Lui’s accolades and achievements include the top tiers of business, political and journalism distinctions.  In addition to being a team Emmy and team Peabody recipient, he has been recognized for his reporting from national organizations including the National Education Association, Advancing Justice, AAJA, NAAAP 100 and WWAAC. He is ranked globally in the top 1% of social media users by Twitter Counter.  Business Insider named Lui one of 21 careers to watch alongside Warren Buffett and Sheryl Sandberg. And more lightheartedly, he’s been ranked three years in a row by Mediaite as one of the “50 Sexiest in TV News.”

Lui is a Policy Fellow at the University of California Riverside where he explores the cross of public policy and media, UN Spokesperson for the HeForShe Campaign, one of 100 US State Department Traveling Speakers, and ambassador for NGOs focusing on gender equality and human trafficking.

Lui graduated from City College of San Francisco with A.S. Honors in Math and Science, UC Berkeley with a B.A. Honors Rhetoric, and the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with an MBA. 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 is conversant as a thought leader in various spaces, speaking at over 300 events over the past five years.

Check Availability

Check Availability for


Great Businesses Tell Great Stories
CXOs and business leaders sometimes struggle with storytelling.  Quarterly reports, a drop in revenue, or an organizational repositioning–they’re all tough messages to craft and deliver. How the who, what, when, where, why, and how is told to internal and external audiences is judged, quoted and forever traceable. But it’s not only important for a business. Storytelling and one’s personal brand is also a skill of good leaders. What is your story, has it been written by you yet? Few of the smartest people do what might be obvious–write their own story, on their terms. Then there are marketing departments and agencies creating products, services, and messages to form an emotional connection between the customer and business. Yet at times, the storylines confuse or don’t achieve the desired outcomes. That is where a journalist with a business background can help. These three contexts of storytelling (business, leaders, and marketing applications) are familiar spaces for Richard. As a network journalist and storyteller for the nation’s leading broadcast companies and as a seasoned voice in business marketing, he sits at a nexus of storytelling unlike most do today. Richard explains how to tell stories that deliver impact and emotion, that are practical and relatable and that are effective and repeatable.

This session takes a different tack–it focuses on both the male and female roles when addressing “women in business.” While his very industry is hit by sexual misconduct, Richard pulls from media and today’s culture on why and what it means to be empathetic versus sympathetic, and how to take early steps, as he has, in the gender woke arc. Pulling from gender work on six continents over 10 years, Richard offers actionable ideas to explore the words used everyday in meetings, job descriptions, emails, marketing communications, and more. The session dives into male privilege, best practices like all-gender sports, and language constructs like mansplainng and phraseology as simple as “hey you guys.” Richard has been an atypical but familiar face in gender thinking long before the topic garnered vital awareness on a national scale. He researches international gender best practices as an ambassador for Because I am a Girl, a global campaign from Plan International (a $1 billion NGO in 70 countries) that includes both girls and boys. As Champion for the United Nations HeForShe campaign, Richard leads male-role dynamics related to gender policy 193 countries ratified. With business, as ambassador for NotForSale an NGO he finds slavery-free supply chains, and as board advisor to Annie Cannons, he helps teach coding to survivors of violence against women. In journalism, he’s told stories of human trafficking spanning a decade.

How Media Really Works (or doesn’t)
In his last network interview President, Barack Obama admitted he missed something: “I underestimated the degree…it is possible for misinformation, for cyber hacking and so forth to have an impact on our open societies, our open systems, to insinuate themselves into our democratic practices.” If fake news can influence the most powerful structures and processes of US government, some ask how might it take down, and conversely build up large organizations–for-profit, not for profit, government-linked or otherwise.

Richard explores not only permutations of fake news and its effects on journalism, elections and their outcomes, but also the environmental factors allowing it to exist. This as the media opportunity white space grows everstill–and monetizing it–new business models lead by Netflix, Amazon, Snapchat, and others that both benefit from a new alignment in media while realigning media itself. At risk, old media as it grapples with the one-to-one media customization product space.

Richard blends decades of experience in content, journalism, and technology to provide solutions for those worried, countermeasures for those targeted, and actionable steps for those looking to leverage the changing content landscape for good political, monetary, and social outcomes.

‘President Donald Trump owes no favors. He takes no prisoners. And he has no equal in modern politics.’ So has been some descriptions of the 45th U.S. President on his game-changing campaign, one that’s turned politics on its ear. Trump neopolitics has been both conservative and not conservative, straining what establsihment thinking means. Despite SOX and Dodd-Frank concerns ebbing while markets hit new highs,  much uncertainty remains.  In this talk, Richard provides meat to the answer of “what’s next” pulling from his 15 years in business and his experience covering the last five US Presidential elections, hundreds of conversations and interviews with nationally elected officials, presidential candidates, and conversations with the country’s leading decision makers and opinion makers. Richard takes participants behind the network factory doors, describing what happened in 2016, what is happening today, and what may happen next in politics and business.

For public speakers, moderators, and business leaders. This workshop teaches techniques to reduce problems of pointless panels and meandering meetings. Whether moderating in front of small or large audiences or running meetings, ergo moderated discussions, workshop participants learn from one of the best. As international event planner Sigrid Senemaud describes, “[Richard’s] talent as a moderator is unprecedented.” And Microsoft conference planner Joneil Sampana, “his techniques increase meeting and panel output by 10X!”

Examples of techniques Richard covers:

    The 30 second answer
    Delivering on the promise by carfting careful meeting/panel descriptions
    Porpoise: moving between 50,000- and 50-foot points
    Lightning round: when to use micro-brevity
    Focus on story arc

For the last decade, Richard has led over 500 panels and keynote discussions with live audiences ranging from 30 to 30,000. He’s interviewed some of the toughest–with titles including US President, mayor, and hundreds of elected officials as a cable and network anchor at CNN, MSNBC, and NBC News. Audiences revel in how Richard brings out the best of discussants, panelists or fireside chat interlocutors. Pace, control, brevity, punchiness, energy, humorous – all words to describe his style. Learn the best practices your leadership team can use everyday to get the most out of meetings and public speaking events.

The Care in Health Care
It’s you. At 45 million people nationwide, family caregivers are the nation’s most common job. The next most common–retail sales workers–but they’re just one tenth the size. Thing is family caregivers are unpaid–their unpaid wages valued at almost half a trillion dollars each year. And 5 million of those caregivers are in military families.

Then there’s the fasting growing group of family caregivers–Millennials. They’re 10 million strong and growing the fastest. Caregiving is a job every family will be touched by. As Celebrity Champion for the Alzheimer’s Association and AARP, Richard shares stories and the emotions of caregivers, showing how their job is tougher than most. Richard is a family caregiver himself, travelling from NY to CA each week.

In his messages, Richard discusses how individuals can prepare themselves for caregiving, solutions to offset costs, gender stereotypes, technology, family conflict, planning, costs, and more. Richard is currently working on a film and book on this topic.

The State of Race and Politics
In 1964, general election voter turnout hit decade-long records. In 1992, it rose five percentage points from the election before. In 2016, primary turnout is up and on target to break 2008 records. The common denominator? Each of these years follows historic racial unrest. In the aftermath of Ferguson, Baltimore, Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin, history shows 2016 general voter turnout should spike. But will it? In the last four decades, there is no correlation between general and primary voting. As the first African-American president looks on, his party hopes the momentum and enthusiasm achieved in 2008 can pierce 2016.

This topic has shaped Richard Lui’s career, from his reporting on the ground during the Rodney King riots in L.A., response to Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, and the passing of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Drawing from two decades of civil rights reporting and work in minority communities, Lui shares research from his annual keynote report at The Aspen Institute’s State of Race Symposium to draw parallels of the Civil Rights Movement and Rodney King and then dissect the current State of Race in America.

Moderator, Discussion Leader, Interviewer
“What is the single thing you want every audience member to think or do differently after the session?” That’s one of Richard’s commitments to keep on-stage programming results oriented. As a network anchor and former business executive, Richard’s style of moderation and discussion leadership is to stay on message, bring out personality and passion of interlocutors, get an answer, and of course when possible, laugh a lot.

Richard’s quick-moving moderation often yields suprises and newsmaking. From the highest level of government and business to everyday people, Lui has a comfort and tone that engages live audiences that has been sharpened over 500 on-stage events.


ICO Commencement Speaker: Richard Lui


Please Contact Us For More Information


Please Contact Us For More Information


Please Contact Us For More Information