Eric Liu

Eric Liu

Eric Liu is the founder and CEO of Citizen University and executive director of the Aspen Institute Citizenship and American Identity Program. He is the author of several books, including "A Chinaman's Chance," "The Gardens of Democracy" and "The Accidental Asian." Eric served as a White House speechwriter and policy adviser for President Bill Clinton. He is a regular columnist for and a correspondent for

Citizen University 2016. Eric Liu. Photo by Alabastro Photography. #CitizenUCon16

Book Eric to Speak

Eric speaks regularly at campuses, corporations and conferences.

For more information on Eric’s speech topics, fees and availability, contact his speaker’s bureau:
American Program Bureau, IncOR contact his speaking agent Bob Davis directly at 800.225.4575 x 1618.

For literary inquiries, contact Rafe Sagalyn of the Sagalyn Agency at 301.718.6440.

To contact Eric, please email his assistant Arista Burwell-Chen arista(at)citizenuniversity(dot)us

Book Eric to Speak

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 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. Eric’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.

Eric 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.

Eric 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, Eric 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. A regular columnist for and a correspondent for, Eric can be found on Twitter @ericpliu.

A Chinaman’s Chance

My latest book, A Chinaman’s Chance, is about being Chinese American in this moment of China and America. From that particular vantage point it explores the universal American question, ‘Who is us?’ The book combines personal essay, searching history, and provocative commentary on contemporary, politics, and culture.
Click here to purchase!


There are no upcoming tour dates at this time.

Past Tour Dates

Town Hall
Tuesday, July 8, 7:30pm
More info

Washington, DC:
Politics and Prose
Wednesday, July 23, 7:00pm
More info

New America Foundation
Thursday, July 24, 12:15pm
More info

San Francisco:
Book Passage
Monday, July 28, 6:00pm
1 Ferry Building
More info

World Affairs Council and Asia Society
Tuesday, July 29, 7:00pm
World Affairs Council Auditorium
More info

Los Angeles:
LA Public Library
Wednesday, July 30, 7:15pm
Mark Taper Auditorium
More info

New York:
92nd Street Y
Wednesday, September 17, 7:30pm
More info

New America Foundation
Thursday, September 18, 6:30pm
More info


“In this vigorous, sharp book, [Liu] examines his identity against the backdrop of both Chinese and American cultures…. An eloquent, thought-provoking and timely memoir.”—Kirkus Reviews

“In this provocative book, Liu, once a speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, effortlessly connects his personal experience to larger historical and cultural trends…”—Booklist

“This is vintage Liu—so lively, thoughtful, right-thinking, and beautifully put as to itself suggest the truth of his argument: to the extent that Chinese Americans thrive, America will thrive. Bravo!” —Gish Jen, author of Tiger Writing and Typical American

“Eric Liu brilliantly mines the history and experiences of Chinese Americans to draw insights into the current relationship between China and America, and to chart a course for the future. Whip-smart, enlightening, and always entertaining, Liu blends the personal and the socio-political to explore how we as Americans see the world, and each other.” —David Henry Hwang, Tony award-winning playwright, M. Butterfly


Why immigration makes for a better America
The Cycle, msnbc

Eric Liu – Memoir
Tavis Smiley Radio Show

Author Explores Irony And Identity In “A Chinaman’s Chance”
NPR, Morning Edition

Cultural Connection
Think, KERA

Book Launch at Town Hall
American Podium, Seattle Channel

On Being A Chinese American
Northwest Asian Weekly

Book Review
Huntington News

What makes a Chinese American
The Seattle Times

Angry Reader of the Week – Eric Liu
Angry Asian Man

Interview: Eric Liu on the Chinese American Dream and ‘Hybrid’ Identity
Asia Society Blog

Eric Liu discusses his new book at Politics & Prose

Advantage: USA
The Weekly Wonk, New America

Former Clinton speechwriter on redefining Chinese American identity
AirTalk, Southern California Public Radio

Eye on China: A Chinaman’s Chance
Radio Taiwan International

Books: A Chinaman’s Chance
Boston Globe

Hybrid Identities
To the Best of Our Knowledge

Chinese Americans and the Chinese American Dream
WNYC, The Leonard Lopate Show

Eric Liu Discusses His New Book
MTV News

A Chinaman’s Chance

A Chinaman’s Chance
APA Compass





  • ChinamansChance-copy-e1404498360240
    A Chinaman’s Chance: One Family’s Journey and the Chinese American Dream

    What does it mean to be Chinese American in this moment?

  • the-gardens-of-democracy
    The Gardens of Democracy

    A new way of understanding citizenship, the economy, and the role of government. Co-authored with Nick Hanauer.

  • the-true-patriot
    The True Patriot

    Why it’s time to redefine patriotism in America. Co-authored with Nick Hanauer.

  • guiding-lights
    Guiding Lights

    Stories and lessons from life-changing mentors and teachers from all walks.

  • imagination-first
    Imagination First

    All innovation begins with imagination. Here’s how to cultivate it. Co-authored with Scott Noppe-Brandon.

  • the-accidental-asian
    The Accidental Asian

    Reflections on race in America beyond black and white.

Citizen Who

Who gets to claim the title “citizen”? In this acclaimed and affecting performance piece, Eric Liu weaves storytelling, conversation, music, and theatricality into an imaginative exploration of the content and contradictions of American citizenship. Created through a fellowship from the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University, in partnership with Zocalo Public Square in Los Angeles, and developed with Zoey Cane Belyea. Performed in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Aspen.

Citizen Who Video
Citizen Who photo