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Gala Speakers

Chef Jose Andres Headshot.jpg

José Andrés
Chef, Restaurateur, Humanitarian

Named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” in both 2012 and 2018 and recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, author, educator, humanitarian, and chef/owner of José Andrés Group. A pioneer of Spanish tapas in the United States, he is also known for his groundbreaking avant-garde cuisine and his award-winning group of nearly three dozen restaurants located throughout the country and beyond. José Andrés Group’s concepts include the two Michelin-starred minibar by José Andrés in Washington, DC, the acclaimed NYC food hall Mercado Little Spain, and multiple locations of the Bazaar by José Andrés. José has received the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Chef” and "Humanitarian of the Year" awards. Andrés is a committed advocate of food and hunger issues and is known for championing the role of chefs in the national debate on food policy. In 2010, Andrés formed World Central Kitchen, a non- profit specializing in delivering food relief in the wake of natural and humanitarian disasters. Since serving nearly 4 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, World Central Kitchen has responded to dozens of disasters worldwide and distributing tens of millions of meals in the process. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has partnered with restaurants, small farms, and community leaders around the country to combat food insecurity. A naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Spain, Andrés has been a tireless advocate for immigration reform and on July 4, 2014 was named by President Barack Obama as that year’s “Outstanding American by Choice.”

Richard Lui Headshot.jpg

Richard Lui

Award-Winning Journalist & News Anchor, NBC News

Author, Enough about Me: The Unexpected Power of Selflessness

Richard Lui is a thought leader at the intersection of media, social impact, and storytelling. He is a content and digital-social specialist with 30 years of experience in network television, technology, and business. Currently, he is a journalist and news anchor for MSNBC and NBC News. Before that, he was news anchor at CNN Worldwide, where he became the first Asian American male to anchor a daily national news broadcast in the U.S. Most recently, Lui reported on the ground on the Paris and San Bernardino Terror Attacks and in Ferguson and Baltimore during heightened racial unrest. For 15 years Lui’s reporting has focused on politics, covering every U.S. national election since 2004. He has interviewed hundreds of politicians, from Detroit Mayor to U.S. President. He has been a contributing columnist for USA Today, Politico, Seattle Times, Detroit Free Press, Huffington Post, and others. Lui is a Policy Fellow at UC Riverside. Lui is also a technologist with a wide-reaching business career that started in the 1990s. He launched six technology brands over three technology cycles, most recently an artificial intelligence company in Silicon Valley in 2016. While at Citibank Singapore, he co-founded and patented a Visa-like payments backbone (a first of its kind) and was a management consultant at Mercer for an IBM joint venture. He sits on six boards of directors / advisers in spaces ranging from international relations to artificial intelligence. He is a 2016 Governance Fellow for the National Association of Corporate Directors. Lui’s accolades and achievements include the top tiers of business, political and journalism distinctions. In addition to being a team Emmy and team Peabody recipient, he has been recognized for his reporting from national organizations including the National Education Association, Advancing Justice, AAJA, NAAAP 100 and WWAAC. He is ranked globally in the top 1% of social media users by Twitter Counter. Business Insider named Lui one of 21 careers to watch alongside Warren Buffett and Sheryl Sandberg. ​Lui is a Policy Fellow at the University of California Riverside where he explores the cross of public policy and media, UN Spokesperson for the HeForShe Campaign, one of 100 US State Department Traveling Speakers, and ambassador for NGOs focusing on gender equality and human trafficking. Lui graduated from City College of San Francisco with A.S. Honors in Math and Science, UC Berkeley with a B.A. Honors Rhetoric, and the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with an MBA. A first generation Chinese and Polynesian American, Lui has a twist in his background. Because his grandfather, an unauthorized immigrant, filed false “Paper Son” documents, Lui’s real last name is Wong.

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