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Diana Chao

Founder, Letters to Strangers (L2S)

Headshot of Diana Chao

Diana Chao is the founder of Letters to Strangers (L2S), the largest global youth-for-youth mental health nonprofit, exchanging more than 60,000 letters and impacting more than half a million people in over 70 countries in the past 10 years. A first-generation Buyi Chinese-American from California, Chao started L2S at age 14 after bipolar disorder and a blinding eye condition nearly ended her life. By beginning to heal through letters, she discovered that writing is humanity distilled into ink. She is a member of the Mental Health America Young Leaders Council and was honored by two U.S. presidents at the White House, named a 2021 Princess Diana Legacy Award Winner, and 2020 L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth. Chao graduated from Princeton University in 2021 with Honors and pivoted from being a NASA astrophysicist and UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change researcher to now pursue an M.B.A. at the University of Oxford as a Skoll Scholar.