Walter Lam was born and raised in northern Uganda. After high school graduation he fled political persecution to Kenya and went to Egerton University where he graduated in Agricultural Engineering.
He returned to Uganda in 1981, and worked with the government in various management positions. In 1986, he again fled political persecution to Kenya and by the end of the year he found himself in San Diego.
In 1989, he founded the Alliance for African Assistance with the purpose of helping fellow refugees from Africa. Since then the Alliance has expanded greatly, serving thousands of refugees from all over the world.
Walter Lam has served on the California Refugee Health Advisory Board, the California State Advisory Committee for Refugees, the California Refugee Forum, the Community Building of United Way, the Prostate Cancer Community Advisory Committee of the Scripps Cancer Center, and the Inter-group Relationship Advisory Committee of the San Diego Foundation. He was also a member of Mayor Dick Murphyís African American Advisory board. Mr. Lam served as an elder of the La Jolla Presbyterian Church as well. He is currently a member of the city of San Diego International Affairs board, the Heartland Human Relations and Fair Housing Association board and the Christian Community Foundation of Southern California. In addition to all of this, Mr. Lam is the 2007 recipient of United Way of San Diego County Ben Polak Award of Excellence.