In Yu's role as Deputy President, she is a member of the President’s core group of senior advisors and manages a number of Presidential-level programs and initiatives. She works to ensure the effectiveness of the entire University Leadership Team; is the President's representative to trustees, faculty, students, and other audiences; leads selected policy initiatives; works closely with the deans; and participates in Presidential-level recruitment and retention efforts, including dean searches. She is the founder of NYU's Women's Leadership Forum and is the University's Senior Executive for the Office of Equal Opportunity and Office of Compliance and Risk Management. For the past eleven years, she has taught an honors seminar on leadership in the College of Arts and Science. In 2008 she was appointed the Executive Director of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program, a special university student educational and enrichment program which she designed that operates in the UAE, formed as a partnership between NYU and the government of Abu Dhabi. She also is the founding Executive Director of the NYU Abu Dhabi Summer Academy, an intensive college preparatory program for Emirati high school students, which was established in 2011. In 2013 she was named the Executive Director of the Commission on Global Ethics and Citizenship, chaired by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Yu was previously Associate General Counsel and Managing Counsel at Monsanto Company. Prior to that position, she was General Counsel for the State Bar of California, a California Superior Court Commissioner, appointed by the President of the United States as a White House Fellow, and in private practice in Oakland, CA. A national bar leader and frequent speaker, she was the first woman of color to chair the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and the first Asian American to chair any ABA section or division of the ABA in its history. The Council of that Section is designated the accrediting agency for U.S. law schools by the U.S. Department of Education. She has served in the ABA House of Delegates and is also the past Chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession---the first woman of color ever to serve in that role.
Yu is the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Oberlin College and also sits on the boards of the American Management Association and the Boalt Hall School of Law Alumni Association. She is an external member of the KPMG Diversity Advisory Board. She is a past President of the White House Fellows Foundation and Association and has authored several articles and essays on diversity, leadership, and aspects of the legal profession. Other leadership activities include co-founding the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and former service on the boards of the Commonwealth Club of California and the Association of Corporate Counsel.
Her awards include Ten Outstanding Young Women of America, the 2001 Missouri Women Justice Award, 25 Most Influential Women in Business in St. Louis, Diversity Awards from the Minority Bar Association and the Judicial Council of California, 2003 Trailblazer Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and 2011 Women Leader Award from the Asian American Bar Association of New York.
Yu received her B.A. from Oberlin and J.D. from the University of California (Boalt Hall School of Law in Berkeley), and was awarded a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from the City University of New York.