Motivated by a Christian World View, Skip Li Engages the Culture at Home and Abroad

Seattle Pacific University's vision for graduates to engage the culture in order to change the world was personified in this year's Commencement speaker, SPU alumnus Chi-Dooh "Skip" Li.
Both professionally and personally, he has shown intelligence, insight and faith-based initiative in bringing legal and vocational aid to thousands at home and abroad.

Born in Bombay, India, to a Chinese diplomat and his wife, "Skip" Li is not easily confined by nationalistic borders. He earned a bachelor's degree from Seattle Pacific College in 1966 and a law degree from the University of Washington. Admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1971, he quickly demonstrated his mettle in both private and government practice. He was Republican Caucus attorney for the Washington State House of Representatives and legal counsel to Washington's Governor Daniel Evans before establishing his own law firm in 1977. Since then, Ellis, Li & McKinstry has represented more individuals and organizations in religious liberty cases than any other law firm in the region.

As a youth, Li spent six years in Guatemala and Colombia. This experience planted the seeds of compassion for the poor in Third World countries. Li decided to help break their cycle of poverty by assisting the landless poor to buy their own farmland. In 1982, he began the Agros Foundation, which now brings positive change into the lives and livelihoods of villagers in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

Li's many talents include writing a regular column in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer where he offers a reasoned discourse on the issues of our culture. A former member of the Seattle Pacific Board of Trustees, Li has for many years provided SPU with legal counsel and has played a significant role in helping define what the institution stands for.

Li and his wife, 1967 Seattle Pacific graduate Cynthia Vice Li, have three children and make their home in Seattle. SPU honored Li at Commencement by conferring upon him the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters.

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