Joe Tsai is Governor of the NBA Brooklyn Nets and WNBA New York Liberty. He co-founded Alibaba Group, a global Internet technology company headquartered in China, in 1999, and serves as the company’s executive vice chairman. Tsai was born in Taiwan, of parents who originally came from Shanghai with ancestral lineage to Zhejiang Province in China.

Tsai and his wife Clara have taken on active roles supporting social justice and COVID-19 related humanitarian relief. In addition to Tsai’s commitment to The Asian American Foundation, the couple pledged $50 million to advocate for social justice and economic mobility in the Black community through their sports ownership platform, including supporting players to amplify their voice for equality, and addressing income, education and health gaps in communities of color. In April 2020, at the outset of the pandemic, the couple donated personal protective equipment and ventilators to hospitals and underserved institutions in New York, New Jersey, California and the city of Detroit.

Active philanthropists in education and research, the Tsais established the Wu Tsai Neuroscience Institute at Stanford University, dedicated to understanding how the brain gives rise to mental life and behavior, both in health and in disease. The couple also founded the Wu Tsai Institute at Yale University to focus on understanding human cognition and exploring human potential by sparking interdisciplinary inquiry among the psychological, biological, and computational sciences. With Tsai’s support, Yale launched the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (Tsai CITY) to inspire students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to seek innovative ways to solve real-world problems from climate change to civic engagement. Tsai is a supporter of the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School, a center named after his father dedicated to helping advance legal reforms in China and increasing understanding of China in the United States.

A graduate of the Lawrenceville School (’82), Yale College (BA ’86) and Yale Law School (JD ’90), Tsai played varsity lacrosse for Yale and, in 2017, received the George H.W. Bush ‘48 Lifetime of Leadership Award, which honors Yale alumni athletes who have made significant leadership contributions in their worlds of governance, commerce, science and technology, education, public service, and the arts and media.

“History repeats itself. The hostile sentiment against Asian Americans reared its ugly head during the COVID-19 pandemic, but there had been repeated scapegoating of Asians in this country, such as discriminatory policies against Chinese immigrants in the 19th Century and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. I’ve co-founded TAAF to combat such scapegoating, and to ensure that Americans of Asian descent attain a sense of belonging and gain access to equal opportunities in all aspects of society.”