Betty Lieu, Esq.
Elected to the Board in November 2018
Current Term Expires December 2026
Betty C. Lieu is in her second term as a Governing School Board Member of the Torrance Unified School District (TUSD) Board of Education. TUSD is located in the South Bay of Los Angeles County and is comprised of 34 schools. Betty is the first Chinese-American woman and the first Korean-American person, by seniority, elected in the city of Torrance. Recently, Betty has been appointed to be a California Commissioner on the Advisory Commission on Special Education, advising the California Department of Education, the Legislature, and the Governor on special education policies.
Betty has a Juris Doctorate degree, a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and another degree in Linguistics. She is a former Deputy Attorney General and felony prosecutor at the California Department of Justice. She started her legal career as a civil defense litigator in a large law firm in downtown Los Angeles. Betty also worked for both the California Appellate Court and the Federal District Court.
Outside the law office, Betty served on many legal boards. She was the Regional Governor representing all Asian Pacific American attorneys in Los Angeles and Orange counties under the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association; an Executive Board Officer of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Barristers; the President of Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, the then-largest APA local bar association in California; and a member of two committees on ethics and diversity within the California State Bar. Betty was also recognized in the Los Angeles Magazine as a Super Lawyer Rising Star for multiple years.
Besides law, Betty was involved with various nonprofit organizations supporting the environment and education. Before finishing her four-year term as a Torrance Water Commissioner, Betty was an Environmental Quality and Energy Conservation Commissioner for eleven years. She was also on the board of the Coalition for Clean Air, the only California statewide nonprofit organization devoted to clean air advocacy.
Betty is passionate about education and parental involvement in raising children. She founded and ran several successful enrichment programs in math and special education. She was also an officer on the Executive Boards of Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) and the Torrance Education Foundation before being elected to the TUSD School Board. Betty was a former PTA Executive Vice President, Vice President of Membership, Historian, Corresponding Secretary, Honorary Service Chair, Adventures in Art docent, Magic of Music docent, librarian, “room mom”, classroom assistant, and the Parent Coordinator for the Gifted And Talented Education (GATE) programs. Betty’s popular parents-led after-school GATE programs involved active workshops and educational tours and were open to all students from any school.
Betty is currently a board member of the Volunteer Center of South Bay - Harbor - Long Beach. The Volunteer Center is a long-standing organization serving the underprivileged, especially focusing on students’ education needs and mental well-being.
For her extensive involvement in her communities, Betty received PTA’s Very Special Person Award and an Honorary Service Award. The Torrance Education Foundation also gave her the James Armstrong Leadership Award, named after a beloved former Torrance mayor. Furthermore, Betty was named a South Bay Woman of the Year by the Switzer Center for her longtime public services. Later this year, she will receive an Angels Award from the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce.
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