Doane Liu, the Chief Tourism Officer of the City of Los Angeles, received the R.I.S.E. (Recognizing Inspiring Individuals Who Elevate and Empower) Award for the public service sector at the AAPI Heritage Month kick-off recepition held at the Los Angeles City Hall Spring Court on May 12.
“This award is especially meaningful because May is a month that recognizes the contributions that the Asian community has made to the development of our city and country,” said Liu.
In addition to setting tourism policies and managing and overseeing the convention center, the City Tourism Department (CTD) is responsible for supporting the Los Angeles City Tourism Board of Commissioners’ public relations and marketing efforts to attract tourists.
“The number of tourists has more than doubled since the end of the pandemic,” said Liu. “In 2020, 26 million people visited L.A., and this year, the number was 48 million.”
“We’ve almost fully recovered from the pandemic, but we still need tourists from abroad,” he said. “We’re expecting a lot of South Korean tourists, but we’re also trying to attract tourists from other Asian countries to visit L.A. as well.”
Before serving as Chief Tourism Officer, Liu held the position of two-time deputy mayor of Los Angeles.
A graduate of UCLA, the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and the USC School of Business, he began his public service career as a vice president and project manager at Security National Pacific Bank before being recruited by Congresswoman Jane Harman as her district director.
He later served as the Director of Community Affairs for Mayor James Hahn when Hahn was a Los Angeles City Attorney. In 2001, shortly after Hahn was elected Mayor of Los Angeles, Liu became the first Korean-American to be appointed Deputy Mayor, a position he held for four years.
After leaving the position in 2005, Liu worked as a consultant for private firms such as JP Morgan, Public Relations Partners, and Google on government and community affairs projects.
In 2011, he returned to City Hall as the chief of staff to then-District 15 Councilmember Janice Hahn and her successor, Joe Buscaino.
In 2013, Eric Garcetti, who was elected mayor, fulfilled his campaign promise to the Korean-American community by appointing Liu as the first Korean-American deputy mayor.
Liu served in this role for two years, overseeing the Department of Water and Power, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Recreation and Parks, and the Department of Transportation.
In 2015, Liu became the Deputy Executive Director and Chief of Staff of the Port of Los Angeles, and since 2017, he has been the Chief Tourism Officer overseeing the L.A. City Convention Center.
BY NICOLE CHANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]