Eric Liu is founder of Citizen University, which teaches the art of powerful citizenship, and the executive director of the Aspen Institute Citizenship & American Identity Program.

Why you should listen

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 great citizenship through a portfolio of national programs, and the executive director of the Aspen Institute Citizenship and American Identity Program.

Liu's books include the national bestsellers The Gardens of Democracy, and The True Patriot, co-authored with Nick Hanauer. His 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, a television program about civic power. In addition to speaking regularly at venues across the country, he also serves on numerous nonprofit and civic boards. He is the co-founder of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility. A board member of the Corporation for National and Community Service, he is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.

More news and ideas from Eric Liu

We humans

How to get power

March 28, 2017

In a democracy, power resides with the people. Here’s some helpful advice on how you can get your share, from civics educator Eric Liu.

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Thinking differently about the election at TEDNYC: The Election Edition

September 8, 2016

The conversation around the upcoming US presidential election is full of frenzy, headache and noise. But elections are about more than divisiveness and disagreement — they’re civic events worthy of celebration, and, while it may seem unbelievable at the moment, they hold the promise of transforming governments for the better. At TEDNYC: The Election Edition, six speakers who think about […]

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