Crystal Tai was born in Taipei, with paternal and maternal grandparents from different areas of China’s Jiangsu Province. She immigrated to the United States as a teenager, majored in English literature in college, and earned a GRE verbal score in the 97th percentile while applying to a Master’s degree program at Stanford University. She received an MA in Education Policy with coursework in Journalism from Stanford University in 2007.
Professionally, Crystal has been a medical interpreter, a book translator, and a news reporter. She translated former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee’s autobiography, a few books published by Wu San-Lien Foundation, and her own maternal grandfather’s memoirs from Chinese into English. It is notable that her grandfather’s memoirs, Nine Memorable Decades, is now in the collections of the Hoover Institution Library and the East Asian Library of Stanford University. A prolific writer, she has contributed to local media such as Patch.com and the Palo Alto Weekly since leaving a full-time news reporter’s position with the Silicon Valley Community Newspapers. She has also worked as a full-time education reporter for the Los Altos Town Crier and a part-time bilingual talk show host for Chinese TV North America.