2016 Convention Speakers

J. Stapleton Roy

J. Stapleton Roy

5th United States Ambassador to China

J. Stapleton Roy (Chinese: 芮效俭; Pinyin: Ruì Xiàojiăn; born in 1935) was a senior United States diplomat specializing in Asian affairs. A fluent Chinese speaker, Roy spent much of his career in East Asia, where his assignments included Bangkok (twice), Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing (twice), Singapore, and Jakarta. He also specialized in Soviet affairs and served in Moscow at the height of the Cold War. Ambassador Roy served as Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research from 1999 to 2000.

Born in Nanking, China, J. Stapleton Roy attended Mount Hermon School (now Northfield Mount Hermon), and in 1956, graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, where he majored in history. In August 2008, Roy was named director of the Kissinger Institute for Chinese-U.S. Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Frank Wu

Frank H. Wu

Professor at University of California Hastings College of Law

Frank H. Wu is currently a Distinguished Professor at University of California Hastings College of Law, having served as Chancellor & Dean at the school. In April 2016, he was elected by the members of Committee of 100 as their Chair. He is a Trustee of Deep Springs College and a member of NACIQI, a United States Department of Education commission that oversees accreditation.

He received a B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan. He is the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White and co-author of Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment.

Wallace Loh

Wallace D. Loh

President of the University of Maryland

Wallace D Loh has been President of the University of Maryland since Nov 2010. As the 33rd president, Loh leads the state’s flagship institution with 37,000 students, 12 colleges and schools, 9,000 faculty and staff, an annual $1.7 billion operating budget and a $1 billion fundraising campaign.

Currently, Loh is chair of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council; a member of the American Council on Education’s Committee on Inclusion; and a member of the National Academies’ Committee on Science, Technology, and Law.Born in China, raised in Peru, and educated in the US, he embodies the enterprising spirit of immigrants. He received the “Immigrant Achievement Award” from the American Immigration Council and the “Trailblazer Award” from the National Asian Pacific-American Bar Association.

Yasheng Huang

Yasheng Huang

Associate Dean at MIT Sloan School of Management

Yasheng Huang is an associate dean and a professor at MIT Sloan School of Management. He has taught at the University of Michigan and Harvard University.

In addition to academic journal articles, he has published ten books and numerous articles in media. His work has been profiled in Wall Street Journal, Economist, Foreign Policy, and McKinsey Quarterly. His current research covers corruption and economic development, foreign direct investment, state capitalism, and economic history. He is collaborating with researchers at Tsinghua University to create a complete database on historical technological inventions in China and is co-leading a multidisciplinary research team at MIT on food safety.

Cheng Li

Cheng Li

Director of the John L. Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution

Cheng Li is director of the John L. Thornton China Center and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policyprogram at Brookings. He is also a director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Li focuses on the transformation of political leaders, generational change and technological development in China.

Li grew up in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution. In 1985 he came to the United States, where he received a master’s in Asian studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a doctorate in political science from Princeton University. From 1993 to 1995, he worked in China as a fellow sponsored by the Institute of Current World Affairs in the U.S., observing grassroots changes in his native country. Based on this experience, he published a nationally acclaimed book, “Rediscovering China: Dynamics and Dilemmas of Reform” (1997).

Michelle Wu

Michelle Wu

President of the Boston City Council

Michelle Wu is the President of the Boston City Council. She is the first Asian American woman to serve on the Boston City Council, as well as the youngest current member. In January of 2016, she was elected as President of the Council.

Born in Illinois on January 14, 1985, Michelle Wu graduated from Harvard University in 2007 and Harvard Law School in 2012. Wu worked as the Constituency Director for Elizabeth Warren’s 2012 campaign and was elected to Boston City Council At-Large in 2013.

Leana Wen

Leana Wen

Commissioner of the Baltimore City Health

Dr. Leana Wen is the Baltimore City Health Commissioner. An emergency physician and patient and community advocate, she leads the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD). Dr. Wen has been honored by the Daily Record as one of the 100 most influential Marylanders and by the Baltimore Business Journal’s “40 under 40.” She is the recipient of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Dr. Elijah Saunders Trailblazers Award and the National Association of Health Services Executives Leadership Award.

Dr. Wen received her medical training from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she was a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School. She also studied public health and health policy at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

Chung-Ying Cheng

Chung-Ying Cheng

Professor of Philosophy at University of Hawaii (Manoa)

A renowned world philosopher of both Chinese and Western philosophies and a leading representative of Contemporary Neo-Confucianism, Professor Chung-ying Cheng earned his Ph.D. In Philosophy from Harvard University.His publications include over 35 books and over 350 articles in both English and Chinese on diverse philosophical and cultural topics, with the more recent books Age of New Awakening and Toward Recreation of Chinese Philosophy.

Professor Cheng is the Founding and Honorary President of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy, the Founder of the Journal of Chinese Philosophy and Editor-in-Chief since 1973. He holds the title of Honorary Professorship from numerous leading Chinese universities and visiting professor at Yale University, Oxford University, Kings College of London University, University of Paris, and many others.

Michael Puett

Michael Puett

Professor of Chinese History at Harvard

Michael Puett is the Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History and Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion. He is also a non-resident long-term fellow for programs in anthropological and historical sciences and the languages and civilizations of East Asia at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala.

Puett joined the Harvard faculty in 1994 after earning his M.A. (1987) and Ph.D. (1994) from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. His interests focus on the inter-relations between religion, anthropology, history, and philosophy. In his research, Puett aims to bring the study of China into larger historical and comparative frameworks. Since 2012 his General Education course, “Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory,” has been the third most enrolled undergraduate course at Harvard.


Josephine Kim

Lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Education

Dr. Josephine Kim is a lecturer of Harvard Graduate School of Education.She earned a Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia.

She is a National Certified Counselor whose clinical skills and experiences span many contexts including residential facilities, community agencies, and public and private schools.She is USA Today’s collegiate case study expert on school violence and has been featured in EBS (Educational Broadcast System) and KBS (Korea Broadcast System) programs in Korea related to developmental and mental health issues of youths.

She is also the founding executive director of a nonprofit organization that aims to educate Asian Americans on issues of spirituality, cultural and racial identity, intergenerational conflicts, cross-cultural advocacy, mental health, and career development issues.

Denise Gitsham

Denise Gitsham

Congressional Candidate

Born and raised in California, Denise Gitsham is the only daughter of immigrants, a small business owner, and a leading voice for San Diego’s Innovation Economy.

Denise’s mother, a Chinese immigrant who came to the US via Taiwan, and her father a Canadian immigrant who served 20 years in the United States Air Force, instilled in her a deep appreciation of the blessings associated with being American.

A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Denise has worked in the US Department of Justice, United States Senate, and White House. She practiced law at the prominent international law firm K&L Gates before joining a San Diego-based renewable energy company in 2009. Today, Denise owns her own small business, and works to promote San Diego’s Innovation Economy, which is driving our local economy and creating high-paying jobs for San Deigans.