Clara Wu is the wife of Brooklyn Nets governor Joseph Tsai. Her husband owned 49 percent of the NBA franchise until he purchased the remaining 51 percent on Friday from Mikhail Prokhorov. He also now owns the Barclays Center, where the Nets play home games.
He is also the co-founder and executive vice-chairman of Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group. Wu worked in finance prior to meeting Tsai. Since their marriage, she has participated in several philanthropic and investment opportunities on her own, as well as alongside her husband.
Here’s what you need to know about her, as well as the Tsai family.
1. Tsai & Wu Married in New York City in 1996
Born Clara Ming-Hua Wu, she married Joseph Chung-Hsin Tsai on Oct. 6, 1996 at the Park Avenue Christian Church in New York. According to the New York Times, the ceremony was performed by a Baptist minister.
The wedding announcement states that she was 30 at the time, placing her birth year somewhere in between 1965 and 1966. The article provides further information on her educational and family background.
The bride, 30, is a senior manager in the business analysis unit of the finance group at American Express Travel Related Services in New York. She graduated from Stanford University, from which she also received a master’s degree in international relations, and received an M.B.A. from Harvard University. She is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. De-Min Wu of Lawrence, Kan., where Dr. Wu is a professor of economics at the University of Kansas.
She also served as an executive at Taobao, China’s largest online shopping site. Go back one generation, and she hails from Taiwanese heritage. Wu’s grandfather Wu San-Lien was the first elected mayor of Taipei City, according to Bloomberg.
2. After Graduating from Stanford in 1988, She & Tsai Gave Back to the Neuroscience Department
After graduating in 1988, Wu worked with Tsai to provide the lead donation to the Stanford Neuroscience Institute. Due to a $250 million gift, it is now called the Wu Tsai Neuroscience Institute.
“Joe and I believe Stanford is uniquely positioned to drive breakthrough discoveries about the brain, translate them into effective therapies, and train future scientists of the world,” Wu said to Stanford News. “Ultimately, we hope the research undertaken at the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute will lead to cures and treatments that impact millions of people by prolonging their lives and making them more fulfilling and productive.”
This isn’t the only example of her giving back to her alma mater. She advises university policy on interdisciplinary life sciences, co-chairs the advisory cabinet for the neurosciences institute and serves on the university’s Global Advisory Council.
Furthermore on the bio-medicine front, she worked on the advisory council for Bio-X, which according to Stanford works at “bringing together biomedical and life science researchers, clinicians, engineers, physicists, and computational scientists to unlock the secrets of the human body.”
3. She Has Headed Philanthropic Efforts at Other Schools Through the Joe & Clara Tsai Foundation
Together, Wu and Tsai have collaborated to form the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation. In June 2017, the couple provided the Lawrenceville School, a college preparatory academy in New Jersey, the largest single gift in the school’s 207-year history.
According to the news release, the substantial gift would help build a new athletic center and dining facility “as a way to further promote and strengthen community.”
Her educational outreach doesn’t stop there. According to Geek Wire, she has served on the board of directors for the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design. This research is focused on designing new proteins to develop new medicines.
You can also see her on the Board of Trustees at the Bishop’s School, a college preparatory academy in La Jolla outside San Diego.
4. She Helped Found Reform Alliance, a Social Justice Group, Alongside the Likes of Jay-Z, Meek Mill & Robert Kraft
According to Nets Daily, she entered into a social justice collaboration with former Nets owner Jay-Z in January. Along with fellowe sports, media and entertainment celebrities, she helped found Reform Alliance, “which will lobby to change state probation and parole laws around the country.”
“Since my childhood days growing up in Lawrence, Kansas, I’ve become increasingly concerned about the issues in our country surrounding economic mobility,” she said. “Over the years I’ve come to learn it’s very difficult to move the needle on economic mobility, particularly in urban areas like Brooklyn, without also addressing the problems latent within our criminal justice system.”
The article states that she and Tsai have become very involved in the New York philanthropic scene, becoming donors for the Lincoln Center and Harlem Academy in the last year. She and her peers have been operating under a $50 million budget since the initiative started.
5. She & Tsai Have a Daughter Named Alex & Two Sons Named Dash & Jacob
The Tsais are parents to three children. The eldest is a daughter named Alex, who will be a junior at Stanford next year as a varsity women’s lacross player. Not only is she also a Cardinal like Wu, but she is following in Joseph’s footsteps. He played lacrosse at Yale in the 1980s.
According to her Stanford bio, the midfielder finished her sophomore season last year one goal, one assist and two points on two shots. The points came against UC Davis and Fresno State. She is currently undeclared.
Alex was born in Hong Kong, according to a Bishop’s press release. She affiliated with Hong Kong for the Rathbones Women’s World Cup tournament in lacrosse in May 2017. The family has split time between Hong Kong and San Diego before Joseph’s involvement with the Nets in Brooklyn.
The middle brother Dash also plays lacrosse, but he is entering his senior season at Bishop’s. The youngest brother Jacob also plays, as Alex said “the sport unifies our family.” All of the children have either previously attended or currently attend Bishop’s, which works for the family since Wu is on the Board of Trustees.
The whole family all appeared at the 2019 NBA Awards in Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar last June.