Dr. Hsing Kung (龔行憲)
Dr. Hsing Kung is a well-respected community leader and a successful entrepreneur. He always actively involved in community work.
Hsing Kung received a BS degree from National Cheng Kung University, and a Ph.D degree from UC Berkeley, all in Electrical Engineering. He also received a MBA degree from Santa Clara University.
From 1974 to 1978, he was with Optoelectronics Division of Hewlett Packard. In 1983, Dr. Kung joined SDL Inc. as a co-founder and VP, manufacturing. SDL has become a world leading optical communication public company . In 2000, he co- founded Pine Photonics Communication and served as President/ CEO until acquired by Opnext. After Pine Photonics was acquired by OpnextInc, he continued to serve as Sr. VP of Opnext until 2005. From 2006, he is managing partner of Acorn Campus Ventures. Currently, he serves as Chairman of Luxnet Corporation and Innolight Corporation.
In recent years, Dr. Kung has devoted to promote Chinese-American participation in main stream community. He was a former board member of Fremont Union High School District Board. In his tenure, he has made significant contribution to promote multi-culture climate in high schools. In addition, he also involved and served on the board of many other community organizations and foundations, including United Way Silicon Valley. In 2001, he was invited to participate in Class XIII of American Leadership Forum (ALF) and later served on the board from 2002 to 2009. He joined Cupertino Rotary in 1994 and has served as President in 2012-2013 year. Currently, he serves on AACI advisory board, APAPA board and Silicon Valley Creates board.
In October, 2011, he was honored by Asian Pacific Fund for “build bridge to create civic harmony” and in 2014 he received Citizen of Year award from Cupertino Chamber of commerce.
Other awards include:
- In January 2007, he was awarded “Community Hero” award from World Journal. In 2015,
- In 2015, he received Distinguished Alumni Award from National Cheng Kung University.
- In 2017, he received Life Achievement Award from Monte Jade West
In February, 2006, San Jose Mercury has a feature story to describe Dr. Kung’s involvement to broaden the reach of Asian Americans beyond high tech world and to build ties with other community.
Hsing Kung co-founded Pine Photonics in 2000 and served as President/ CEO until merge with Opnext. He has then served as Sr. VP of Opnext Inc until 2005. Currently, he is a partner of Acorn Campus Ventures and Chairman of Luxnet Corporation. His previous experience included co-founder/VP manufacturing of SDL Inc. from 1983 to 1997. He also serves on the boards of several optoelectronics companies.
Dr. Kung was former chairman of Monte Jade (West coast) in 2004. In recent years, he has devoted to promote Chinese-American participation in main stream community. He was a former board member of Fremont Union High School District Board. During his tenure, he made significant contribution to promote multi-culture climate in high schools. In addition, he also involved in many other community programs and foundations. Currently, he serves on United Way Silicon Valley Board, and American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley board.
In 1997, he was awarded Distinguished Alumni Award from Northern American National Cheng Kung University Alumni Association. In March 2001, he has received a Partnering for Education award from The National Council of Negro Women, Northern California Sections. In December, 2001, Margaret and Hsing have received “Venture Culturists” award from DeAnza College. In 2002, he received “Asian American Hero 2002″ award from County of Santa Clara. In April 2004, he received “Community Star Award” from Asian Americans for Community Involvement, and “Helen Tao Activist of Year” Award from Silicon Valley APA Democratic Club.
Dr. Kung holds BSEE from National Cheng Kung University, PhD EE from University of California at Berkeley, and MBA from Santa Clara University.
A well-respected community leader and a successful entrepreneur Dr. Hsing Kung got 2020 John W. Gardner Award
Exemplary Leadership Celebration 2020 will be recognizing the 2020 John W. Gardner Award winners, Hsing Kung and Webb McKinney, and the 2020 Exemplary Award Winner, the Rapid Response Network in Santa Clara County and PACT’s Solidarity Network.
Hsing Kung: Giving to community has rewards|Across America
From: China Daily by Kelley Zhang
Hsing Kung has devoted himself to building bridges between the Asian community and the mainstream to understand Asian needs better. Qidong Zhang / China Daily
When former president Bill Clinton came to Silicon Valley for fundraising in 2004, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tapped Hsing Kung to host the event at his Los Altos Hills home. He and his wife Margaret had already hosted fundraisers for Senators John Kerry and Dianne Feinstein, as well as numerous community leaders. The San Jose Mercury News once described him as “one of Silicon Valley’s most understated power brokers”.
On March 17, the City of Cupertino honored Kung as Citizen of the Year for his community service and also for serving as president of the Cupertino Rotary Club in 2013.
Sitting on the boards of more than a dozen non-profit organizations and schools, Kung has devoted himself to building bridges between the Asian community and the mainstream to understand Asian needs better, and bring more Asians into mainstream civic participation. He founded grassroots organizations such as Vision New America to develop the next generation of Asian leaders entering the political arena.
Born in Taiwan and getting his bachelor’s of science degree at National Cheng Kung University, Kung earned a master’s of science from the University of Texas and a PhD from UC Berkeley in 1974. He started his engineering career in fiber optics at Hewlett-Packard and was soon influenced by the booming entrepreneurship culture. In 1983, he started SDL, which went IPO in 1995 for $200 million, and was acquired by JDS for $41 billion in 2000.
Currently a partner in the Acorn Campus high-tech incubator, Kung is known as “Godfather of Fiber Optics” for nurturing numerous startup ventures over the past two decades. Being someone who has been in high tech, seen it, done it and come out a success, Kung modestly attributes his success to the boom of the Internet. “As long as there is an Internet, bandwidth is needed and the fiber optics industry is driven,” he said.
His leadership in community services has a broad reach, from Monte Jade, one of the largest Chinese-American high-tech associations in the US, to the Cupertino Rotary, the United Way, American Leadership Forum, the San Jose Repertory Theater, and many others. His passion for community came when he first arrived in Silicon Valley in the 1970s.
“I found most of the Chinese American professionals lacked interest of participating in American politics,” he said. “I heard a lot of comments like ‘politics is complicated’ and ‘politics is ugly’, and many were ignorant about the basics of local American politics. Many Chinese Americans did not like to serve jury duty so they shied away from voting because they thought they could avoid jury duty by not registering to vote. They didn’t know jury members were selected from driver’s licenses. I decided to make an effort at encouraging Chinese Americans to vote, which is an educational process to start.”
In the 1980s, when he learnt a Chinese American named Chester Wang was involved in organizing a small outreach team to get Chinese Americans to vote, Kung jumped in to help. In 1985, when his friend Tommy Shwe ran for Cupertino elementary school board as the first Chinese American in the city, he became an active volunteer. His experience with Fremont Union High’s school board election, however, greatly shaped his thoughts.
“I visited the mainstream American voters, communicated with local community leaders, and sat down with elected officials to understand local legislatures. I came to realize how little we know about American society and politics and how little they understand us as Chinese Americans,” he said.
Hsing Kung: Giving to community has rewards
“I decided to make an effort to bridge the two communities and get the message across borders, and running a campaign as a Chinese American was the best way to encourage voting, which changes the demographic map of voters and plants the roots in understanding,” said Kung.
According to Kung, Asians grew faster than any race in the US from 2000 to 2010, rising by 43.3 percent, more than four times the overall growth rate. Silicon Valley has felt this impact deeply, but this growth has not been reflected in the political leadership.
In Santa Clara county, Caucasians make up about a third of the population but hold three-fourths of city council seats. Only three of the county’s 15 cities have non-white mayors. When he first came to the South Bay in 1974, however, there were none at all. His efforts in voting have paid off.
Hsing’s father, who had worked in government to reclaim Taiwan from half a century of Japanese rule, and later served as mayor of Pingtung city, died of cancer when Hsing was only 11, and his brother was nine. His mother devoted her life to raising her two boys.
“She was a good role model and taught us how to be good people, humble, hardworking and to not take anything for granted,” said Hsing, who often reminds himself of these virtues and his social responsibilities.
In 1995 Kung joined the Rotary Club and has remained active in it ever since. “I was immediately welcomed by the Rotary family. I still remember the first Christmas party at the club, my uneasiness was showered by the hospitality of the club members and I realize how much similarity we have in both Chinese and American cultures and how eager the Americans were to understand Chinese culture and Chinese Americans,” he said.
His philosophy of life has been shaped by Hu Shi, the modern Chinese educator and philosopher. Kung believes a life goal of making the best one can in one’s own environment. Describing himself as easily content and very optimistic on humanity, Kung said his advice to Chinese-American immigrants is to gain rights by voting, and participate in community activities to help merge the Chinese community with the mainstream to achieve understanding.
“The only way to influence is to participate,” he said. “Only 20 years ago, Chinese Americans had no elected official in the South Bay (Santa Clara County), let alone any influence. Today we have had forty to fifty elected officials, school board directors, city councilman and particularly in Cupertino. As first generation Chinese Americans, we are so proud of our own culture, we are modest, hardworking, and will be recognized if we communicate with the mainstream and get recognized,” said Kung.
Kung’s daughter Angela, who majored in political science at UC Santa Barbara and now works at AT&T in San Francisco, is also an activist in local community service. His wife Margaret whom he met in Austin, Texas, works in accounting and finance and is a strong supporter of Kung’s passion for community service.
When Mike Honda was elected to Congress, Hsing partnered with him to boost the Asian American community nationally.
“Traditionally, politicians have seen Asian Americans in general as a place to tap for money. But the issue for local groups and Hsing Kung is we don’t want to be the people you just come to for money. We have resources for policy. We understand technology and domestic and foreign affairs, and it’s a community with a deep well of talent,” said Honda.
For new immigrants who come to Silicon Valley and US in general, Kung has some heartfelt advice: “Integrating into the mainstream is a major challenge for many new immigrants.
“As long as everyone reminds themselves of their social responsibilities, makes an effort to achieve that from registering to vote, gets involved in political campaigns and eventually participates in elections, it’s only a matter of time before that integration will be achieved. The more you give to your local community, the more you will receive eventually.”