Our Founder

James Jay Dudley Luce

Early Career. Jim Luce began his career as an Assistant Eurobond Portfolio Manager with Daiwa Bank on Wall Street upon his return from studying and working in Tokyo in 1983 at the age of 23.

He left Wall Street following an appearance on the Donahue Show discussing religious addiction and the need for an “anonymous” organization to help those recovering from religious addiction, including followers of the TV evangelists such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Jimmy Swaggart.  Luce co-founded Fundamentalists Anonymous, and with the help of Hank Luce and the Henry Luce Foundation, raised $1.1 million from 1985-89 helping build support groups across the U.S. for recovering fundamentalists. He also testified in Congress against the TV evangelists.

Luce returned to Wall Street working with Merrill Lynch in the World Financial Center, leaving just before 9/11. He then served as right-hand man to the founder of a Lazard Frères spin-off in Rockefeller Center, handled all arrangements with his counterpart in Paris.

Interest in Orphans. In 1995 Luce traveled to Indonesia where he met the ten-month old infant who would become his son Mathew, living in squalid conditions in a traditional warehouse-like-orphanage. Because of his revulsion at the condition of orphans in the developing world, Luce was influenced by his child psychologist mother to conceptualize an alternative, which he completed by 1999. His mother died shortly thereafter and Luce used proceeds from her estate to found Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW). He has since raised over $1.5 million for orphaned children in Asia, Africa and Americas. For his work with orphans, Luce was awarded the Certificate of Congressional Recognition in 2004 (Hon. Charles B. Rangel; 11/04) and again in 2007.  Mathew Luce, now twenty years old, is a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Writing. He writes for the Huffington Post and the Daily Kos on Thought Leaders and Global Citizens.  Luce wrote the lead story in the Philanthropy section of the New York Times in 2007 on this organization (link) and has been profiled in the New York Post and Toastmaster’s Magazine.  He has written about his experiences in Haiti for the BBC (link).  He holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from the College of Wooster and studied at both Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, and Centro de Estudiar Colombino-Americano, Bogotá, Colombia. He was an American Field Service (AFS) exchange student to Germany in high school and lived in Paris as a child. Jim typifies the spirit of Waseda University as reflected in its motto gensei wo wasurenu or ‘Not Forgetting the Real World.’

Family. He is the son of Frances Dudley Alleman-Luce, child psychologist, and Stanford Leonard Luce, French professor, both of Boston. He comes from a distinguished family that includes Lieutenant Nathanial Warren of the Mayflower, governor Thomas Dudley, Third Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and co-founder of Harvard University and Rear Admiral Stephen Bleecker Luce, founder of the United States Naval College at Annapolis. Jim Luce is frequently asked about his genetic ties to the Time-Life Luce’s it exists, but is as far removed as it can be. Jim is a direct descendant of the first son of Henry Luce of England, who arrived on Martha’s Vineyard Massachusetts in the late 1600’s, eleven generations prior. Henry “Hank” Luce III, who mentored Jim, and his father Henry “Harry” Luce, in contrast, were direct descendant’s of the original Henry Luce’s tenth son.

At the recent Luce Leadership Awards Reception celebrating “Two Decades of Helping Humanity: the J. Luce Foundation at Five Years and Orphans International Worldwide {OIWW) at Fifteen Years” held in the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Jim stated:

As tonight’s video, The Many Faces of OIWW & the Foundation shows: there are dozens — if not hundreds — of people around the world helping us better humanity. Without them, we are nothing, but with them — “In Unity there is Strength” — we have the power to serve the world. Tonight we are gathered to celebrate our team, including our young Luce Leaders and Humanitarians.

Our emphasis has always been on low administrative costs and, with no rent and no salaries, our goal was 15%. Last year, however, I am pleased to say we held expenses down even lower. Our goals are two-fold: to give microgrants, but also to publicize organizations and individuals uplifting of humanity – often in the Arts, Education, and the field of Orphan Care. We have now published over 300 such stories in The Huffington Post – and over 1,000 more in The Stewardship Report.

I began this work when I was 40. Now, at 55, I commit myself to another two decades. Our Long Range Planning calls for raising endowments for Orphans International (OIWW) and the Foundation to continue our vision into the future.

Any institution needs to make plans for succession. Ours is simple. Upon my retirement, I announce tonight, our Luce Leaders will become our Trustees, and Executive Committee graduates will begin directing, raising funds, and spending interest from our Endowment to continue our Mission in perpetuity. I trust the legacy of my life to these young leaders.

We gathered here tonight are members of the Board, Executive Team, Global Advisors, Honorees, and Supporters. Our average contribution is over $500. I count on your continued support over the next two decades towards young global leadership in the Arts, Education and Orphan Care.

You are the many faces of Orphans International and our Foundation – and together we can change the world.

Scroll to Top