Bruce Quan, Jr. is a fifth generation Californian whose family relocated to Oakland in 1906 after the Great San Francisco Earthquake. He was born in Sacramento in 1946, while his father was serving in the army.
His great grandfather, Lew Hing founded the Pacific Coast Canning Company in West Oakland in 1905. It was one of the largest employers in Oakland.
Bruce attended the Oakland schools – graduating from Skyline and then attended the University of California, Berkeley. He received undergraduate degrees in Zoology, Sociology, and Asian American Studies, and a law degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law (now the Berkeley Law School) in 1975.
While attending Berkeley, he was a community activist for social justice and participated in the Free Speech Movement and the Vietnam Day Committee. Bruce was elected student body president at U.C. in 1972, where he championed environmental awareness, promoted safety on campus for women, and childcare for single mothers. In the late summer of 1973, Bruce was chosen as one of three students nationwide to clerk for the Senate Watergate Committee. He later returned to Washington in the summer of 1974 to draft the Watergate “Cover-up” and “Break-in” sections of the committee’s final report. Upon graduation from law school, he worked in the City Attorney’s office in the City of Alameda where he was responsible for environmental, planning and zoning matters. In 1978, he opened a law practice and advised Oakland’s Mayor Lionel Wilson on economic development issues in Chinatown and downtown areas. In 1988 he moved his law practice to San Francisco, and served Mayor Art Agnos as General Counsel for the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee and the San Francisco-Taipei Sister City Committee. In 1994, Quan ran for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He placed seventh out of twenty-six candidates contesting for five seats. In 2000, he moved his family to Beijing and continued his law practice, and worked as a professor with Peking Law School. In 2001, he accepted a senior of counsel position with the international group of Allbright Law Offices, then the largest law firm in China where he represented fortune 500 companies doing business in China. While in Beijing, he served for four years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the International School of Beijing (ISB) and as a Vice Chair for the Public Policy Development Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing (AmCham). Since retirement, he has returned to Oakland and reengaged in issues affecting the Chinese community in which five generations of his family have been involved and on a wider scale, issues of social justice, public safety and economic development in Oakland.