Person

Lyna Lam

Location:

San Francisco, California

Occupation:

Philanthropy

Spouse:

Chris Larsen

Lyna Lam is a philanthropist based in San Francisco, California. She is the child of refugees from the Cambodian genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge communist regime. Her husband, Chris Larsen, is the founder of blockchain technology Ripple.

Personal Life

Lyna Lam is married to Chris Larsen. Larsen co-founded Ripple, a blockchain technology platform to help banks facilitate international payments. Its customers include American Express and Santander. As of 2023, Larsen was still executive chairman of Ripple but had stepped down from CEO in 2016. Larsen also founded mortgage lender service e-Loan in 1996 and peer-to-peer lender Prosper in 2005. 1

Together, Lam and Larsen engage in philanthropic activities, such as donating $25 million to Larsen’s alma mater, San Francisco State University, in 2019. The gift, delivered through his Rippleworks Foundation, was for the College of Business and established the Chris Larsen and Lyna Lam Funds for the College of Business. The college was named “the Lam Family College of Business” in their honor. Lyna’s two sisters and multiple other family members attended the school. Lam and Laersen had donated more than $800,000 to university projects since 2001 before this major gift. 2

Lyna’s father, Quang Lam, led their family as they escaped from the Cambodian genocide to a refugee camp in Thailand. They traveled around to different camps in Thailand and the Philippines before traveling to the U.S., settling in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. 3

Funding

Lyna Lam is the founder and executive director of A Khmer Buddhist Foundation. 4 It is an advocacy organization for the Khmer people in Cambodia, Vietnam, and the United States. It is also undertaking the construction of a temple in San Jose, California. 5

Lam is also the co-sponsor of the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award, created to support organizations dedicated to helping refugees. 6 It was launched in partnership with Lever for Change and ICONIQ Impact and conceived of as a global competition to award an innovative solution to refugee crises with $12 million. 7

Lam financially supports an initiative that is cataloging and digitizing all surviving manuscripts from the Khmer people to preserve the Khmer culture. 8

Chris Larsen and Lyna Lam are financial supporters of the Audacious Project. 9 Audacious Project is a subsidiary of the TED Foundation which funds many left-of-center political and advocacy organizations, including the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence and the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL). 10

References

  1. “Chris Larsen.” Forbes. Accessed April 18, 2023. https://www.forbes.com/profile/chris-larsen/?sh=fd036c257edc.
  2. Mallimson, Gail. “A Transformative $25 million Gift from Chris Larsen, Lyna Lam, and Rippleworks.” San Francsico State University. Accessed April 18, 2023. https://develop.sfsu.edu/chris-larsen.
  3. Mallimson, Gail. “A Transformative $25 million Gift from Chris Larsen, Lyna Lam, and Rippleworks.” San Francsico State University. Accessed April 18, 2023. https://develop.sfsu.edu/chris-larsen.
  4. “Lyna Lam.” LinkedIn. Accessed April 18, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lyna-lam-2a87b01aa.
  5. “About Us.” A Khmer Buddhist Foundation. Accessed April 18, 2023. https://www.akhmerbuddhistfoundation.org/about.
  6. “About Us.” A Khmer Buddhist Foundation. Accessed April 18, 2023. https://www.akhmerbuddhistfoundation.org/about.
  7. “Lyna Lam and Chris Larsen.” Lever for Change. Accessed April 18, 2023. https://www.leverforchange.org/about-us/investors-partners/lyna-lam-and-chris-larsen/.
  8. “About Us.” A Khmer Buddhist Foundation. Accessed April 18, 2023. https://www.akhmerbuddhistfoundation.org/about.
  9. “About.” Audacious Project. Accessed April 18, 2023. https://www.audaciousproject.org/about.
  10. “Center for Tech and Civic Life.” Audacious Project. Accessed April 18, 2023. https://www.audaciousproject.org/grantees/center-for-tech-and-civic-life.
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