Prior to Peter Lighte's return to America in 2010, after an absence of 28 years, he was founding chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank China, based in Beijing, and was also associated with the firm in London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Lighte had previously lived in Beijing as the founding representative of the Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company, during which time he served as president of the American Chamber of Commerce in its formative years in China. He has served on the board of the London City Ballet, as director of the Matilda Child Development Centre (Hong Kong), as J.P. Morgan's representative to the Hayward Gallery (London), and on the Corporate Advisory Board of Hope and Homes for Children (UK). He is currently a board member of the China Institute (New York), Half the Sky (China), and the Council on International Educational Exchange, and is active in Princeton alumni activities.
Before becoming a banker, Lighte taught Asian history and philosophy at Oberlin College, Middlebury College, and the University of Santa Clara.
A writer, mosaicist, and calligrapher, Lighte holds a PhD from Princeton University in East Asian Studies, is the partner of an English opera composer, and the father of two daughters.