Founded in 1997, Harvard China Forum is North America’s leading and longest-running student-run conference on China. Dedicated to a constructive dialogue on the challenges, trends, and issues affecting China, the forum aims to engage leaders in business, academia, and politics in discourse that will offer insights and generate new ideas. The annual Forum typically takes place at Harvard University each April. In 2016, more than 1,200 delegates and 100 speakers attended the forum, making it the largest of its kind.
Harvard College China Forum was founded in 1998 as Harvard China Review, by then Harvard graduate students Zhang Yong (Chief Editor) and Zhang Ligang (Publisher). Initially run by students at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the magazine expanded its staff membership to other Harvard schools and eventually to academic institutions in Greater Boston, publishing both works of student staff writers and solicited articles from academics in the area.
Harvard College China Forum was launched partly to increase publicity and partly to boost revenue for the magazine. The Co-Presidents for the first Harvard College China Forum were Li Bo (President of Monetary Department, The People’s Bank of China) and Zhang Ligang (Chairman and CEO, iKang). As the conference gained more momentum, however, HCR leadership decided to focus instead on the increasingly popular Forum.
Chen Dongsheng is the Founder and Chairman of Taikang Life Insurance Corp., Ltd, a Beijing-based, China-incorporated life insurance company that is the ninth largest life insurer by premium income in China. Founded in 1996, Taikang Life Insurance now has end-of-year total assets totaling RMB 350 billion and 35 branches throughout China. Mr. Chen is also the founder of China Guardian Auction Company and serves as its President. He has been a Director at Mountain China Resorts Holdings of China Auction Association.
Chairman, Taikang Insurance Group
Mark Elliott is Vice Provost of International Affairs at Harvard University and the Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History in the Department of East Asian Languages. Elliott serves as the University’s representative in negotiating agreements with foreign governments, receiving senior-level international delegations, and representing Harvard to peer institutions and alumni worldwide.
Vice Provost, International Affairs of Harvard University
Fred is a respected economist whose research interests include macroeconomics, international finance and capital markets. He served at the International Monetary Fund, and he has advised the Chinese government on financial reform, SOE restructuring, and macroeconomic policies. In addition to holding several corporate directorships, Fred is Chairman of the Nature Conservatory’s China Board, a Trustee of the Yale-China Association, a director of the China Medical Board, a member of the Advisory Committees for Harvard University, the Stanford Center for International Development, and the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business at Columbia University. Fred is also a co-director of the National Center for Economic Research at Tsinghua University.
Founder and Chairman, Primavera Capital
Mr. Huang is Managing Executive Director at Harvard Center Shanghai. He came to Harvard from a distinguished venture capital and private equity career. Most recently, Mr. Huang was Partner of TPG Growth and RMB Funds, based in Shanghai, China. Before TPG, he was Managing Director at Bain Capital LLC, where he set up and ran its Shanghai operations. His other investment positions included Managing Director China at SOFTBANK Asia Infrastructure Fund (SAIF), Partner at SUNeVision Ventures and Senior Manager of Strategic Investment at Intel Capital. Before his investment career, Mr. Huang worked as Director of Research Operations at GartnerGroup, Co-founder/Vice President of Marketing at Mtone Wireless and English Lecturer at Communication University of China. Before joining Harvard, Mr. Huang served as member of the Board of Governors at China Venture Capital Association (CVCA) and Deputy Chairman of Shanghai Private Equity Association (SHPEA). Mr. Huang received an M.B.A from Harvard Business School, an M.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. from Beijing Foreign Studies University.
Managing Executive Director, Harvard Center Shanghai
Arianna Huffington is the founder of The Huffington Post, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and the author of 15 books, including, most recently, Thrive and The Sleep Revolution. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In August 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success. She has been named to Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. She serves on numerous boards, including Uber and The Center for Public Integrity. Her last two books, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder and The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At A Time, both became instant international bestsellers. She is a mother, sister, flat shoe advocate, and sleep evangelist.
Founder, Thrive Global
William C. Kirby is T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He is a Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor. Professor Kirby serves as Chairman of the Harvard China Fund and served as Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies from 2006-2013.
Spangler Family Professor, Harvard Business School Professor of Business Administration
Stephen Orlins has been president of the National Committee since 2005. Prior to that, he was the managing director of Carlyle Asia and the chairman of the board of Taiwan Broadband Communications, one of Taiwan’s largest cable television and high speed internet providers. Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. Orlins was a senior advisor to AEA Investors Inc., a New York based leveraged buyout firm, with responsibility for AEA’s business activities throughout Asia. From 1983 to 1991, Mr. Orlins worked for the investment banking firm of Lehman Brothers where he was a Managing Director from 1985 to 1991. From 1987 to 1990, he served as President of Lehman Brothers Asia. Based in Hong Kong, he supervised over 150 professionals with offices in Hong Kong, Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Manila and Singapore. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers, Mr. Orlins practiced law with Coudert Brothers and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York, Hong Kong and Beijing. From 1976 to 1979, Mr. Orlins served in the Office of the Legal Advisor of the United States Department of State, first in the Office of the Assistant Legal Advisor for Political-Military Affairs and then for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. While in that office, he was a member of the legal team that helped establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. Mr. Orlins is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and earned his law degree at Harvard Law School. He speaks Mandarin Chinese and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1992, Mr. Orlins was the Democratic nominee for the United States Congress in New York’s Third Congressional District.
President, National Committee on United States-China Relations
Anthony Saich is the director of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and Daewoo Professor of International Affairs, teaching courses on comparative political institutions, democratic governance, and transitional economies with a focus on China. Saich also serves as the director of the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia and the faculty chair of the China Public Policy Program and Asia Energy Leaders Program. Currently, he is a guest professor at the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University.
Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
In 1993, Mr. Shong co-founded China’s first technology venture capital firm, IDG Capital, backed by Patrick J. McGovern, Founder and Chairman of International Data Group (IDG). Till February 2017, IDG Capital has invested in over 500 China’s most successful internet companies such as Tencent (QQ), Ctrip, Baidu, Sohu, Soufun, HomeInn, Hanting, Tudou, 91.com, Baofeng, Xiaomi, and Meitu. In January 2017, IDG Capital led the acquisition of IDG Ventures, the investment business under IDG. Mr. Shong completed the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program in the fall of 1996. He conducted graduate studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy 1987-88 and earned his MS degree from Boston University’s College of Communication in 1987. He studied Journalism at the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences from 1984 to 1986 and he received a B.A. degree from Hunan University in 1982. Mr. Shong has been a member of the Board of Trustees at Boston University since 2005, and the non-executive director of WPP plc since 2013.
Founding Partner, IDG Capital
Michael Szonyi is Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and Professor of Chinese History at Harvard University. He is a social historian of late imperial and modern China who studies local society in southeast China using a combination of traditional textual sources and ethnographic-style fieldwork.He has written, translated or edited seven books, including The Art of Being Governed: Everyday Politics in Late Imperial China (2017); A Companion to Chinese History (2017), Cold War Island: Quemoy on the Front Line (2008; Chinese edition 2016) and Practicing Kinship (2002). He is also co-editor, with Jennifer Rudolph, of The China Questions: Critical Insights on a Rising Power (2018).A frequent commentator on Chinese affairs, Szonyi is a Fellow of the Public Intellectuals Program of the National Committee on US-China relations. He also serves as a member of the China and Inner Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies, and is the English-language editor for the journal Lishi renleixue (Historical Anthropology).Szonyi received his BA from the University of Toronto and his D.Phil from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He has also studied at National Taiwan University and Xiamen University. Prior to coming to Harvard in 2005, Prof. Szonyi taught at McGill University and University of Toronto.
Director, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard
Mr. Lee Ligang Zhang studied at Harvard Medical School and obtained a master’s degree in genetics. While he was studying at Harvard, Mr. Zhang founded a journal called Harvard China Review in 1997 and then co-founded Harvard China Forum in 1998. After he went back to China, Mr. Zhang founded two companies one after another ( elong.com and iKang ) which both went public on NASDAQ. Now iKang Healthcare Group has become one of the leading preventive healthcare service providers in China. To provide world-class medical service to high net worth individuals, Mr. Zhang founded iKang Evergreen Medical International known as the top brand of iKang Healthcare Group in 2013 and appointed Professor Tom Fox, former associate dean of Harvard Medical School as the president of iKang Evergreen flagship center in Beijing. Now iKang Evergreen Medical International has presence in five major cities across China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Nanjing.
Founder, Chairman and CEO, iKang Healthcare Group; Co-founder