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Jim Luce
Born Hamilton, Ohio
Alma mater Waseda University

Jim Luce, baptized James Jay Dudley Luce and born 1959 in Hamilton, Ohio, is a former investment banker, as well as activist, organizer, philanthropist, and international development specialist who founded the United Nations-affiliated Orphans International in 1998 and Orphans International America in 1999. Luce called for ending orphanages globally, to be replaced by his organization's Family Care model, in 2008. He is based on Roosevelt Island in New York City.


Family & Ancestry

Luce’s mother was Frances Dudley Alleman-Luce, a child psychologist and civil rights advocate from Boston, and his father was Stanford Luce, Jr. a French professor and translator also from Boston. Stan Luce was also a civil rights advocate, as well as a volunteer supervisor for Habitat for Humanity. Luce is partnered with John Lee, a diamond trader. His teenage adopted son, ethnically Chinese from Manado, Indonesia, is named Mathew James. In 1997, Luce was certified and served as a new York City foster father, hosting three Puerto Rican girls. Luce comes from a distinguished family that includes Lieutenant Richard Warren of the Mayflower, Governor Thomas Dudley, Third Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and co-founder of Harvard University, and Rear Admiral Stephen Bleecker Luce, founder of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. Luce is a thirteenth generation Anglican in North America. Jim Luce is not directly related to Henry Robinson Luce, founder of Time-Life.

Finance & Business

Luce began his career as an Assistant Eurobond Portfolio Manager with Daiwa Bank on Wall Street upon his return from studying (Waseda University) and working in Tokyo in 1983 at the age of 23. He was the first Japanese-speaking American manager hired by the New York branch of Daiwa Bank . Luce assisted with management of bank’s $260 million Euro-bond portfolio and was responsible for daily report in Japanese to home office in Osaka and the New York branch president. Luce returned to Wall Street in 1998 working with Merrill Lynch in the World Financial Center, leaving just before 9/11. He then served, beginning in 2000, as the right-hand man to a Senior Managing Director and co-founder of a Lazard Frères spin-off known as Rhône Capital in Rockefeller Center.

Activism & Organizing

Luce left Wall Street following an appearance on the Phil Donahue Show in 1985 discussing religious addiction and the need for an "anonymous" organization to help those recovering from religious addiction, including followers of the TV evangelists such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Jimmy Swaggart. Luce co-founded Fundamentalists Anonymous, and with the help of the Henry Luce Foundation, raised $1.2 million from 1985-89 helping build support groups across the U.S. for recovering fundamentalists. He testified in Congress against the TV evangelists in 1988. During this period Luce served as resource/interviewed repeatedly by The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Today Show, in addition to CNN, A.P. & U.P.I. Following Fundamentalists Anonymous, Luce was approached to run as a moderate candidate against Republican U.S. Senator Alphonse D’Amato in the 1992 elections, and exploratory papers were filed with the Federal Election Commission. This campaign became the bi-partisan organization "Dump D’Amato in ’92," which Luce chaired for two years.

International Development

In 1995 Luce traveled to Indonesia where he met the ten-month old infant who would become his son Mathew, living in squalid conditions in a traditional warehouse-like orphanage. Because of his revulsion at the condition of orphans in the developing world, Luce was influenced by his child psychologist mother to conceptualize an alternative, which he completed by 1999. His mother died shortly thereafter and Luce used proceeds from her estate to found Orphans International Worldwide. Luce left the financial world for the second time after the 2004 Tsunami. For his work with orphans, Luce was awarded the Certificate of Congressional Recognition through the office of U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel that year. Luce was anointed the "Tsunami Saint" by the New York Post for his work with orphans in Aceh, Indonesia in 2005. He was recognized again by Congress in 2007. He has occasionally faced danger in the field (see: BBC) and has since raised over $1.5 million for orphaned children in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Luce was a featured speaker at the following:

  • United Nations Sixtieth Annual DPI/NGO Conference - Climate Change: How It Impacts Us All,September5, 2007 Panel entitled "Caring After the Storm: The Impact of Climate Change on Children in Areas Where Rising Waters Create Despair and Destruction."
  • The Fourth Annual Youth Assembly at the U.N., August 14, 2007. Plenary and workshop on "Raising Global Citizens - How You Can Help Us In Making A Difference."
  • World AIDS Orphans Day Conference at the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sponsored by United Nations Association of Minnesota, May 7, 2005

Philanthropy & Foundation

Luce gave away his Wall Street savings to launch the not-for-profit organization Fundamentalists Anonymous in 1985, went back to Wall Street and then gave away his savings and assets to launch Orphans International beginning in 2001. In 2008 he accepted a position as Managing Director of a multinational corporation and founded the James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation. That same year he wrote an essay published by (The Huffington Post ) entitled, “Will A Vow Of Poverty Fill The Void In My Soul?”[1].

Writer, Speaker & Personality

Luce was editor of his high school newspaper and a member of the international honorary society Quill and Scroll. At the College of Wooster he wrote a weekly college for his school paper from his junior year abroad. In New York and Lomé, Togo, Luce wrote Riding The Tiger: The Story of Orphans International. In 1986, Luce wrote “The Fundamentalists Anonymous Movement” and “Breaking the Chains of Fundamentalism” for the national publication of the American Humanist Association. Beginning in 2007 he wrote pieces for The New York Times and the Huffington Post. He writes for six other blogs. He was president of a Toastmasters International public-speaking chapter in New York City, and has spoken repeatedly at the United Nations, to Rotary International Clubs around the world, and at universities such as Mt. Holyoke, Princeton, and Columbia. From 1995-90 he appeared on every major network repeatedly, discussing the dangers of religious addiction. He has spoken at Orphans International Worldwide Global Congresses in Bali and Aceh, Indonesia, and at Columbia and New York Universities. Luce was identified in the 1980’s as a force to be reckoned with by American Society. Phil Donahue, the Oprah Winfrey of the 1980’s, introduced Luce in May 1985 by stating “Mr. Luce, a former Wall Street banker… looks like a banker, and I mean that as a compliment.” The New York Observer wrote in October 1991, “Meet Jim Luce... Oh yes, you’re saying, you know the story — a young, rich kid short on beliefs and long on ambition, living in pseudo-poverty while sitting on a trust fund, ready to leap at whatever vehicle will best advance his career... Mr. Luce wears bookish round glasses, chooses his words carefully, and has an impossibly boyish face, qualities that would qualify him for the George Will Award as a quintessentially upper-class White Anglo-Saxon Protestant... He’ll be noticed.”

Global Travel

Luce is a product of his experiences. He has extensive international exposure, including trips to the following for work, study, leisure or humanitarian assistance: Accra, Amsterdam, Anchorage, Aomori, Atlanta, Austin, Bali, Banda Aceh, Bangkok, Berlin, Bielefeld, Bogotá, Boston, Brussels, Bucharest, Charlotte, Chiba, Chicago, Cologne, Colombo, Copenhagen, Denpasar, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Galle, Geneva, Georgetown (Guyana), Giradot, Gonaives, Hamburg, Hannover, Hiroshima, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Ístanbul, Jacmel, Jakarta, Kansas City, Kuala Lumpur, Lima, Lomé, London, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, Mrso, Manado, Manila, Miami, Mexico City, Medan, Miyazaki, Montréal, Morioka, Moscow, Munich, Münster, Nakhodka, Osaka, Paris, Phoenix, Ponce, Port-au-Prince, Raleigh, Rome, Rotterdam, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, San Salvador, Santiago, Santo Domingo, Sendai, Seoul, Singapore, St. Louis, Tijuana, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver, Vienna, Warsaw, Washington, Yokohama, and Zürich.


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