|Notable credit(s)||NBC News
Lui’s enterprise reporting has focused on humanitarian issues including gender equality, human trafficking, and affordable housing. His charity work in the same spaces has led him to work with Plan International USA as a global ambassador (alongside Freida Pinto, Marcia Cross) for its Because I am a Girl campaign. He also is ambassador for the Epilepsy Foundation, and sits on the president’s council for America’s largest food source to the poor, Food Bank for New York City. Lui’s work and reporting on humanitarian issues spans 30 years and six continents. He has received civil rights awards from organizations including AAJA, WWAAC, and OCA.
Lui is a columnist, contributing to publications including USA Today, Politico, The Seattle Times, Detroit Free Press, and San Francisco Chronicle. His speaking spans six continents and some 200 events in the last several years. Twitter Counter places his following in the top 1%.
Lui anchors Early Today on NBC and is dayside anchor for MSNBC at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. At CNN Worldwide he became the first Asian American male to anchor a daily, national cable news show when he solo anchored the 10am hour on CNN Headline News (2007 to 2010). Mediaite ranked Lui among the top 100 in News Buzz on its “Power Grid Influence Index of TV Anchors and Hosts” and one of “The 50 Sexiest in TV News.” 
Before journalism, Lui spent 15 years in business with Fortune 500 and tech companies. He is patent holder and co-founder of the first bank-centric payment system which was seed-funded and incubated by Citibank. Business Insider recognized Lui as one of 21 dynamic careers to watch alongside Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban.
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.
Until 2008, Lui worked for Citibank as Director, COO, and CMO of a business unit focused on payments and commerce. 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. 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.
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.
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.
Lui’s community service includes speaking, social media campaigns, mentoring, board membership, ambassadorships, and extended fieldwork.
At the Advancing Justice Conference, the AAPI equivalent to the NAACP convention, Lui led seminars on the 2010 Census and 2012 Presidential election. The Aspen Institute invited Lui for seminars on the state of race in America, and foreign affairs in U.S. journalism.
As a member of the US State Department's Speakers Program, Lui has traveled to Vietnam, Indonesia, Denmark, Jordan, and China. Harvard University similarly had Lui speak on social entrepreneurship and international security. Lui also speaks for groups like Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Ross School of Business, Google, and others.
Lui has participated in two Twitter social media community awareness campaigns: for the Epilepsy Foundation and Plan International. They involved Instagram and Thunderclap pushes. Both were in 2013.
Lui says his work in affordable housing is partially driven by his childhood experience on welfare. 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. He is on the board of directors of Crossroads Homeless Services and PRI, an affordable housing development company.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
In the 2012 election cycle, Lui hosted APIAVote’s Presidential Debate, APA Presidential Inaugural Ball, and APA Congressional Caucus’s forum at the Capitol. 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.
Lui also contributes political opinion pieces to publications, including The Seattle Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Politico, NBC Politics, NBC Latino, and the Huffington Post.
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.
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. Lui’s field reporting includes work on the 2012 Presidential election, Hurricane Sandy, 2010 Tea Party movement, and new technologies in developing countries.
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. He reported extensively from the Gulf on the BP oil spill.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Lui is the son of a Presbyterian minister. He is an automobile enthusiast. In his speeches, he has said he started “wrenching” when he was 10, and is an aerodynamics, airplane industry hobbyist. He studied in Spain, and speaks Spanish conversationally.
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- Richard Lui on Twitter
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- MSNBC Biography of Richard Lui
- CNN Biography of Richard Lui
- Morning Express blog
- Journalism Camp video