AB ’98 Social Studies, magna cum laude
During College: First-Year Urban Program (FUP), Harvard Crimson (co-executive editor), Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Association (co-president), Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations (student advisory committee), Harvard Magazine (Ledecky undergraduate writing fellow), Phillips Brooks House Association (Chinatown ESL tutor)
Post College: Harvard Magazine Board of Incorporators (since 2006); Harvard Magazine Board of Directors (since 2022); Class of 1998 20th Reunion Campaign Committee (1636 Society Committee); Class of 1998 25th Reunion Campaign Committee (Associates Committee)
Achievements and Honors:
This year, the newsroom I oversee, the Texas Tribune, was awarded a National Edward R. Murrow Award for overall excellence among large digital newsrooms. We were also recognized with an Online News Association Award for Breaking News for our coverage of the tragic mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Also this year, I was presented with an outstanding leadership award by the Asian American Journalists Association.
In 2021, under my leadership, the Los Angeles Times was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for Robert Greene’s columns on criminal justice reform. In addition, I was the author of the lead editorial in “Our Reckoning With Racism,” a 2020 project that critically examined the Los Angeles Times’s record with communities of color and employees of color. That project was awarded a special citation by the Society of Professional Journalists.
At the New York Times, where I worked from 2004 to 2018, I was part of a team awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for coverage of the scandal that led to New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s resignation. Many of the articles I edited for the New York Times op-ed section developed into books, including Joseph E. Stiglitz’s The Great Divide (2015) and Yascha Mounk’s The People Vs. Democracy (2018). I received several regional honors for my local reporting at the Washington Post, where I worked from 2000 to 2004.
In 2012, I was named a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a U.S. nonprofit that promotes transatlantic relations. I've been selected for bilateral “young leader” programs organized by the French-American Foundation (2009), the American Council on Germany (2014) and the U.S.-Japan Foundation (2019). I'm also a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
My proudest professional achievement is the dozens of journalists I’ve mentored, hired, helped get hired or connected with professional opportunities — many of them people of color, women, LGBTQ+, from rural communities, first-generation college graduates, and military veterans.
Major Charitable/Other Activities:
In addition to Harvard Magazine, I currently serve on the boards of Freedom House (with fellow board member Ian Simmons AB ’98), the News Leaders Association, and the Columbia Journalism Review.
I am deeply involved in efforts to make the journalism profession more diverse, equitable and inclusive. I have moderated or spoken at dozens of events for journalism students and early-career journalists. I am a lifetime member of the Asian American Journalists Association, Journalism & Women Symposium, Military Veterans in Journalism, National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Native American Journalists Association, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists and South Asian Journalists Association, among other organizations.
I have served as a volunteer juror for major journalism awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Journalism, the Knight International Journalism Awards, the National Magazine Awards, and the Pulitzer Prizes.
Greatest Personal Rewards/Reflections on Harvard:
Harvard College transformed my life. As a child of Chinese immigrants who were born during World War II and had little formal education—my father had only five years of rural schooling and does not speak English; my mother has a GED—I was blessed with opportunities that my ancestors could never have imagined. My studies were supported by a scholarship endowed by Alan N. Locker AB ’61, need-based aid, the Federal Work-Study Program and student loans.
I've never again been surrounded by such a concentration of talented and inspiring people. I made lifelong friendships which continue to nourish and sustain me. From the First-Year Urban Program to Phillips Brooks House Association, and from the Asian American Association to the Crimson, I was given opportunities to serve and to lead. Long after we’ve forgotten what we learned in Core classes or Ec 10, we remember the people we met and the interactions we had. I want to live in an America where every student has such opportunities for growth and uplift.
Harvard isn’t perfect. But it stands for knowledge, truth and reason, which cannot be taken for granted at a time when ignorance, misinformation, and extremism have become rampant, even celebrated. Harvard has given me so much, and I want to do all I can to pay it forward.
Back to top