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 “You’re More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen,” “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

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 Emily Naftalin

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 You’re More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen. 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 A Chinaman’s Chance: One Family’s Journey and the Chinese American Dream; 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.

Eric 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, 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.

You’re More Powerful Than You Think

Available now!

This is an age of epic political turbulence in America. Old hierarchies and institutions are collapsing. All the “givens” of civic life are no longer given. From the fracturing of the major political parties, to the spread of bottom-up movements like Black Lives Matter and $15 Now, citizens across the country and across the political spectrum are reclaiming power. It is no longer the exclusive domain of CEOs, political elites, and insiders from either political party. And the question that today’s rising citizens have to face is: Are you ready? Do you understand power? And if you want to make change in the world, do you know how? 


Order Now: Amazon or Elliott Bay Bookstore or Hachette Books


Upcoming Tour Dates:

September 17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Young Involved Philadelphia and Committee of Seventy

September 18 – Philadelphia, PA @ National Constitution Center

October 3  – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Public Library

October 19 – Camden, ME @ PopTech “Instigate” conference

Check back soon for more tour dates!


“Eric Liu has written a primer on power that is a call to active citizenship. His energy and optimism are infectious, just as his vision of power is contagious. Anyone who wants to make change, large or small, should absorb the message and master the strategies in these pages.”

—Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO, New America


“There is no more pressing time than now to understand your own power and use it, and there is no better guide to doing so than Eric Liu. This book is a way of living, individually and collectively, in a changing America.”

–– Jose Antonio Vargas, Founder and CEO, Define American


“At one point, Eric Liu writes ‘power is a gift.’ Well, this book is also a gift—especially for all those who want to understand the complex role power plays in our society, and their power to change it. By weaving together comprehensive analysis, compelling stories, and change-making strategies, Liu has created an essential guide for citizens seeking to understand and exercise their own power to make the world a better place.”

Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation


You’re More Powerful Thank You Think lays out a clear, practical model for organizing that will be hugely valuable to a new generation of social and political activists – at a moment when the nation badly needs them.”

—E.J. Dionne, author of Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism – From Goldwater to Trump and Beyond


“Those who want a more sustainable and just future often feel powerless against big corporations and the 1%. After reading Eric Liu’s book, I see we do have power; we just need to better understand and leverage it. Read this book and let’s get to work!”

— Annie Leonard, Executive Director, Greenpeace USA


“An important and needed update of the rules of community organizing in the Internet Age. But unlike Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals,’ there is nothing cynical or manipulative in Eric Liu’s vision. We may disagree on many policy specifics, but we agree that dispersed citizen power is the new normal, and that ‘many smalls can surpass a few bigs.’ This hopeful and essential book shows us how to take responsibility for our democracy.”

—Matt Kibbe, Founder, Free the People


“Eric Liu’s new book is profound and elegant, wise and accessible. Right alongside his diagnosis of the problems are thoughtful, energizing solutions. Be prepared to understand your own political agency in a whole new light.”

—Ai-Jen Poo, Director of National Domestic Workers Alliance, Co-Director of Caring Across Generations


“Many of us want to make change but don’t know where to start. Eric’s wide-ranging career proves he is a doer — and with this thoughtful, forthright, provocative work, he empowers us to be the same.”

—Brittany N. Packnett, Activist and Co-Founder of Campaign Zero


“This is a smart, insightful book about one of the most timely topics of our times: How to create change. With practical examples and keen analysis, Eric Liu offers sure strategies on how you can maximize your power, organize communities, reframe the narrative and change your world.”

—Lynn Povich, author of The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace



Power Is Not Finite
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas

Citizen artist: Eric Liu on artists’ role in civic life
Creative exchange

Former White House Speech Writer Says Citizenship Is An Art With Creativity
NPR – All Things Considered

What is power – and how can you get it?
The Washington Post

Is this the America You Want? How to Harness Citizen Power
New America

Podcast: Eric Liu Says You’re More Powerful Than You Think
Democracy in Color

You’re More Powerful Than You Think

Is Citizenship Dead?
American Forum – The Miller Center

Eric Liu explores citizen power with LWV of Hamilton-Wenham
Wicked Local – Hamilton

Founder and Author Eric Liu
The Tavis Smiley Show Interview

Eric Liu Discusses You’re More Powerful Than You Think
C-SPAN Video

4/25/17 – A reasonable Progressive Meets a Reasonable Constitutionalist w/ Eric Liu
The Glenn Beck Program Interview

The Making of a Movement 
KERA Radio Interview

Author Eric Liu: The Power of Decentralized Resistance
Cape up – The Washington Post Podcast Interview

4.17.17: Eric Liu, Crossing the Oregon Trail, & Overtraining Syndrome
New Hampshire Public Radio Interview

A How-To Book for Wielding Civic Power 
New York Times Interview

Creating Change from the Botton Up
WNYC Radio Interview

Citizen University Founder Says You’re More Powerful Than You Think
KNKX Radio Interview

How to Get Power
TED book excerpt

A How-To Guide To Changing Your Community for the Better
WBEZ Chicago Radio Interview

Eric Liu on the State of Political Activism in the US
The Atlantic Interview with Eric

A Citizen’s Guide to Power
CityLab Interview with Eric





  • You’re More Powerful Than You Think

    A citizen’s guide to making change happen

  • 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

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

  • The True Patriot

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

  • Guiding Lights

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

  • Imagination First

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

  • The Accidental Asian

    Reflections on race in America beyond black and white.