Eric Liu

Founder and CEO,
Citizen University

Eric Liu is an author, educator and civic entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Citizen University, which promotes and teaches the art of powerful citizenship through a portfolio of national programs, and is the executive director of the Aspen Institute Citizenship and American Identity Program. His books include the national bestsellers The Gardens of Democracy, and The True Patriot, co-authored with Nick Hanauer. Liu’s most recent book is A Chinaman’s Chance, published in July, 2014. His first book, The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker, was a New York Times Notable Book featured in the PBS documentary Matters of Race. His other books include Guiding Lights: How to Mentor – and Find Life’s Purpose, the official book of National Mentoring Month; and Imagination First, co-authored with Scott Noppe-Brandon of the Lincoln Center Institute, which explores ways to unlock imagination in education, politics, business and the arts.

Liu served as a White House speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and later as the president’s deputy domestic policy adviser. After the White House, he was an executive at the digital media company RealNetworks. In 2002 he was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Global Leaders of Tomorrow, and in 2010 he was awarded the Bill Grace Leadership Legacy Award by the Center for Ethical Leadership.

Liu lives in Seattle where he teaches civic leadership at the University of Washington and hosts Citizen University TV, an award-winning television program about civic power. In addition to speaking regularly at venues across the country, Liu also serves on numerous nonprofit and civic boards. He is the co-founder of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, and a board member of the Corporation for National and Community Service. He is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. A regular columnist for and a correspondent for, Liu can be found on Twitter @ericpliu.