top of page


Constellation Award

Y. Ping Sun: A Lawyer with a Passion to Serve her Community

CKW Luxe is proud to announce that Y. Ping Sun is our honoree for the Constellation Award. This award goes to a woman who is philanthropic, dedicated to community service and leadership, and strong in her commitment to the welfare of others.

“If you want to see change in the world, do not wait for the change to come to you, take initiatives and be an active participant in effecting the change. Only by working together, can we make a better world for all of us.” – Y. Ping Sun

Y. Ping Sun is University Representative, Rice University. In this capacity she is fully engaged with the community both on and off campus. At Rice, Ping has many roles. She serves as a member of the advisory board of Rice’s Shepherd School of Music and of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research. As well, she is the honorary co-chair of Rice’s Baker Institute Roundtable. Members of this group foster community engagement in some of the most pressing public policy challenges, while interacting with world leaders, national decision-makers, and leading researchers.

Ping has been a mentor for many students and is a frequent participant in campus events. She also hosts a luncheon series called “Something New for Lunch at Rice University,” which brings Rice faculty members together with civic leaders and the Houston community.

Ping came to Houston from New York City in 2004, when her husband, David W. Leebron, became Rice University’s seventh president. The couple has two children, Daniel and Mei. Ping’s favorite pastimes are skiing and yoga and every year the family goes skiing together. They also travel. Ping says that traveling is a learning opportunity for all of them and seeing the world through their children’s eyes adds another dimension to the experience.

A native of Shanghai, China, Ping received a full scholarship to Princeton University, where she graduated cum laude with an AB degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She received her law degree from Columbia University School of Law, where she served as an editor of the “Journal of Transnational Law.” After graduation, Ping practiced law in the New York offices of White & Case LLP and Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, where her practice focused on corporate and cross-border issues. In Houston, Ping is Of Counsel with the law firm of Yetter Coleman LLP, a boutique litigation firm.

Even with her busy life as wife, mother, university representative, and lawyer, Ping makes time for the importance of giving back to the community and is an active member of many worthy initiatives. She is a trustee of Texas Children’s Hospital, vice chair of the Asia Society Texas Center, and a board member of the United Way, Teach For America-Houston, the Center for Houston’s Future, the Houston BARC Foundation, Hermann Park Conservancy, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. She is also active in Early Matters, a coalition of business, civic, educational, philanthropic, and nonprofit organizations and volunteers, which focuses on early childhood education.

As well, Ping serves on the advisory board of the Asian Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese Community Center of Houston, and Houston Arts Alliance, and is the past chair of the Mayor’s International Trade and Development Council for Asia/Australia. Ping is also the past chair of the Association of American Universities Partners’ Group, which features the top 62 American universities (including two from Canada); an advisor of East West Bank; and a director of Era Group Inc.

Ping is also a graduate of the Center for Houston’s Future Leadership Forum. The mission of the center is to “address matters of the highest importance to the long-term future of Greater Houston by engaging diverse leaders and providing impactful research and definable actionable strategies. It brings business and community together to innovate for the future of Greater Houston.” Because of her affiliation with the center, Ping is frequently invited back as a speaker or panelist in various leadership summits and conferences, including the Youth Leadership Summit and HISD’s Asian-American College and Career Day.

Because of her dedication, Ping’s community service has been recognized by several organizations. She and David were honored by Teach For America for their efforts to improve the educational opportunities for many students in low-income schools. Together, due to their efforts to promote Houston and Rice University internationally, Ping and David were named 2010 International Executives of the Year by the Greater Houston Partnership. Ping was honored at a Hats Off to Mothers Luncheon, which benefits Easter Seals, and was a recipient of the Arrival Award given by the Immigration Clinic of University of Houston Law Center.

Ping even had the honor of addressing more than 2,000 new citizens at their swearing-in ceremony in 2008. Other of Ping’s honors include: being awarded the 2011 Asian American Leadership Award from Asia Society Texas Center; being named a Woman on the Move by Texas Executive Women; being named one of the 50 Most Influential Women by Houston Women Magazine; being named the 2012 ABC Channel 13 Woman of Distinction; receiving the title of the 2013 Ambassador of the Year by the Asian Chamber of Commerce; receiving the 2014 Spirit Award by Rice Athletics; receiving the 2014 Friendship Ambassador Award along with former President George H. W. Bush, Sr. from the US China Peoples Friendship Association, Houston Chapter; and being named one of the 2015 Most Powerful and Influential Women of Texas by the National Diversity Council.

The Girl Scouts of San Jacinto honored Ping at their fifth annual Success to Significance luncheon on April 23, 2015, and Mayor Parker officially designated April 23, 2015 as “Y. Ping Sun Day” in Houston. Recently, Ping received the Texas China Distinguished Leader in Education Award.

CKW Luxe would like to congratulate Y. Ping Sun on being the Constellation Award honoree. As the embodiment of the award, Ping has dedicated herself to serving the community of Houston through an array of meaningful associations. Her dedication to mentoring others in a number of capacities is evident in her affiliation with Rice University, and her commitment to, and enthusiasm for, her adopted city, are evident in her service to it.

bottom of page