Philanthropist James Chen is putting his family’s wealth to work to help heal the world’s vision through his global campaign Clearly


James Chen is behind numerous philanthropic ventures, focused on his twin passions of early childhood literacy and curing visual disabilities. It is the latter for which he is best known: Chen is founder of Clearly, which advocates for universal access to eye care, and which became part of global umbrella organisation the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness in 2021; he is also the founder of Vision for a Nation, a charity that has established a universal eye care service for the 13 million people of Rwanda and aims to do the same in Ghana; and he is the co-founder of variable power lens technology company Adlens.

Chen is also the chairman of family company Wahum Group Holdings, which was established by his father, Robert, who was also a committed philanthropist. James Chen’s other family roles include CEO of family office Legacy Advisors and chair of the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation, which has founded both family literacy NGO Bring Me a Book Hong Kong and the Feng Zikai Chinese Children’s Picture Book Award.

He and his wife, Su Lee, have two sons and a daughter.

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James Chen is the author of the 2017 book Clearly: How a 700 Year Old Invention Can Change the World Forever.

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