Our People

Vicky Beal

Executive Assistant to the Chairman’s Office

Annie Cantara

Associate Director, Think Tank

Cindy Chang

Administrative and Event Operations Assistant

Yongji Dong

Director, Government Affairs, Beijing Representative Office

John Fodor

Staff Accountant

Kelley Folino

Chief of Staff to Chairman Henry M. Paulson, Jr. and Chief Operating Officer of the Paulson Institute

Xiaojing Gan

Manager, Conservation – Wetlands

Cathy Gifford

Director, Human Resources

Kristin Gomez

Communications Director, U.S.

Hortense Hallé-Yang

Advisor, Special Initiatives

Holly He

Research Associate, Think Tank

Benjamin Herst

Communications Manager

Xing Huang

Associate Director of Policy Research, Climate and Sustainable Urbanization

Cindy Jiang

Associate Director, Chinese Partner and Government Relations

Young Kim

UI/Graphic Designer

Jennifer Kellogg


Deborah M. Lehr

Vice Chairman and Executive Director

Kate Li

Associate Director of Green Finance

Lily Lou

Translation Manager

Damien Ma

Director, Think Tank

Dinny McMahon

Fellow, Think Tank

Kevin Mo

Managing Director

Andrew Morimoto

Director of Research, Office of the Chairman

Rose Niu

Chief Conservation Officer

Susan Pate

Accounts Payable Clerk

Tina Ren

Director of Communications, China

Chris Roche


Matt Sheehan

Fellow, Think Tank

Jianbin Shi

Advisor and Director of Conservation Program-Wetlands

Houze Song

Research Fellow, Think Tank

Gracie Sun

Senior Advisor and Managing Director of Green Finance Center

Neil Thomas

Research Associate, Think Tank

Jing Wang

Communications Manager

Kathy Wang

Office Manager, China Office

Leigh Wedell

Senior Fellow

Phylicia Wu

Associate Director, Green Finance

Jerry Yu

Chief Representative of China Office & Managing Director

Lucy Yu

Associate Director, Conservation

Li Zhu

Associate Director, Conservation

University of Chicago Faculty Advisory Board


In her role as Executive Assistant, Vicky Beal supports Henry M. Paulson’s work with the Paulson Institute as well as his other professional activities. Vicky works closely with Chairman and his Chief of Staff to keep the office organized and ensure that critical deadlines are met.

Vicky worked closely with the principals and C-Suite executives of privately held organizations for several years, where she coordinated complex meetings, events and travel itineraries. Most recently, she was the Executive Assistant to the Chairman, CEO and Board of Directors of Griffith Foods, a company that works closely with its customers to bring science to the food industry – in ways that respect and sustain the planet. Prior to that, Vicky worked with private equity and financial advisory firms. Accomplished at meeting demanding deadlines, she takes pride in developing productive, professional relationships.

Vicky attended Harrington College of Design and is a professional freelance photographer.


Annie Cantara is Associate Director of the Think Tank at the Paulson Institute, where she leads the creative team on conceptualization, product design, UI and UX, web development, and content distribution efforts.

In addition to leading the creative team, Annie collaborates regularly with the research team to bring their analysis and products to life, in a way that’s both intellectually engaging and highly accessible. She has trained in user research, testing, and UX principles, and has expertise in prototyping, data visualization tools, and industry leading design software. She also works closely with the director on the overall creative strategy of the think tank.

A graduate of the University of Chicago, Annie was the managing editor of the university’s independent student newspaper, The Chicago Maroon.


Cindy works closely with the Paulson Institute’s administrative and events team in the Beijing office on the planning and coordination of events sponsored by the Institute. She also helps to ensure the smooth operation of the Institute’s Beijing office.

Cindy brings 3 years’ experience working on conference events, along with a great sense of teamwork. Previously, she worked at Beijing Buddy Conference Co., Ltd. mainly participating in the conference planning, preparations, organizing and operation. She has worked on several noteworthy conferences such as the “International Conference on Green and Energy-efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo,” the ”Eco Forum Global Guiyang Annual Conference,” and the “Urban Development and Planning Conference.”

Cindy holds a Masters’ degree in Translation from the China University of Petroleum (Beijing). Her interests outside of work include skiing, swimming and reading.


Yongji Dong joined the Paulson Institute as Director of Government Affairs in March 2017. In this role, he coordinates and manages the Institute’s relations with key Chinese government agencies to support the Institute’s various programs designed to promote US-China relations and sustainable economic development in China.

Yongji has deep and extensive government affairs expertise having worked in this area for almost 20 years. Prior to joining the Institute, he held increasingly senior Government Affairs positions in top multinational companies such as IBM, GE, BP, Jaguar Land Rover, and mostly recently GCL Group, a leading Chinese clean energy company. Yongji started his career in the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, where he worked for 11 years.

Yongji holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Jilin University and a Master’s degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies from Lancaster University, UK.


John Fodor plays an instrumental role on the Accounting team at the Paulson Institute. As a Staff Accountant, he supports the Controller in several aspects of financial recordkeeping, including recording financial transactions, general ledger accounting and reconciliations, financial reporting and analysis. Before joining the Paulson Institute, John helped start his family structural engineering business, based in Chicago.

John graduated from Purdue University with degrees in Accounting and Management, a minor in Finance and a Certificate of Entrepreneurship and Innovations.


Kelley Folino serves as Chief of Staff where she advises Chairman Paulson on the Paulson Institute’s efforts to foster a U.S.-China relationship operating at the intersection of economics, financial markets, environmental protection, and policy advocacy.

Kelley works closely with the Institute’s leadership team to develop and execute on our strategic plans and manages the Institute’s operations.

Having worked at the national as well as state levels of government, Kelley brings experience as a proven innovative political advisor to the Paulson Institute. Most recently, she was a Deputy Chief of Staff in the office of Illinois Governor Rauner where she managed public engagement and international affairs. Previously, she was Chief of Staff to Congressman Bob Dold. She’s been a senior political advisor and campaign manager and fundraiser on numerous campaigns.

Kelley holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Michigan State University.


Xiaojing (Mavis) Gan supports the Wetlands Conservation program at the Paulson Institute. As a Manager in this program, Xiaojing assists in the development and implementation of wetland conservation strategies and projects. She conducts research, organizes field visits, supports events and prepares reports related to wetland issues.

Xiaojing has 15 years of biodiversity conservation and research experience. She was involved in wetland research projects from the arctic tundra to tropical mangroves, from the inland seasonal wetlands to the coastal tidal marshes. She is also knowledgeable about biodiversity surveying and monitoring, ecotourism, sustainable development, and illegal wildlife trade.

Prior to joining the Paulson Institute, Xiaojing worked as a program officer at the Protected Area Research Group in the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Her responsibilities included assessing the effectiveness of protected area management; maintaining high standards and veracity of “Protected Area Friendly Products”, designing the protocol of biodiversity monitoring for each protected area partner.

Xiaojing holds a PhD in ecology from the Fudan University.


Cathy Gifford is the Director of Human Resources at the Paulson Institute and is responsible for the overall management of the Human Resources function. Cathy brings many years of experience managing compensation, benefits, recruitment, and employee relations. Most recently she was the Director of HR for Geneva Trading, where she developed and expanded the HR function as the company grew to have multiple legal entities and international locations. She has supported employees through virtually all phases of organizational changes including startup operations, significant growth, mergers, acquisitions, office openings, and leadership change. She enjoys working with dynamic teams to drive positive change. With a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Cathy brings a unique perspective to her role.

Driven by her desire to support an organization determined to improve international relations and address environmental challenges, she is thrilled to be part of the Paulson Institute.


As the Communications Director, U.S., Kristin Gomez leads the U.S. Communications team in developing and executing a communications strategy which highlights PI’s programmatic activities to relevant U.S. audiences. She works to build a strong presence for PI in the US-China geopolitical, economic, and environment sectors.

Prior to joining the Paulson Institute, Kristin was the director of marketing and communications at World Business Chicago, the economic development arm of the city of Chicago where she promoted Chicago as a leading global city ideal for business both foreign and domestic, to relocate and expand.

A seasoned marketing and communications professional with a combination of public, private, and non-profit experience. Kristin led the global communications and marketing strategy for the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), a non-for-profit organization that supports the private equity industry from 2012-2017 and then as the Director of Content for PrivCap, a digital media company that produces thought leadership content for the global private capital market.

A Chicago native, Kristin also spent nine years in Washington, DC working in government affairs and strategic communications to help industries and businesses advocate and communicate their interests on Capitol Hill.

Kristin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications from the University of Illinois and a certificate in public speaking from the Buckley School of Public Speaking in South Carolina.


Hortense Hallé-Yang serves as an Advisor, Special Initiatives for the Paulson Institute where she advises the Chief Representative in the China office in effectively managing the priorities of the Institute. Collaborating with teams across PI, she designs and coordinates cross-program initiatives and events to support the Mayors’ Training Program, Paulson Prize for Sustainability, and more.

Hallé-Yang previously advised various Institute programs in China – Race to Zero corporate engagement program, Paulson Prize for Sustainability, CEO Council, Sustainable Soy, and Annual Conference – in addition to overseeing project management and events coordination.

Prior to advising the Paulson Institute, she consulted for China Greentech Initiative, where she managed events, set up the partner services department, led research and working groups on sustainability and sustainable industry, and coordinated departments for the program as a whole. Hallé-Yang started working in Beijing in 2003 as a brand manager for a French dairy company, then set up an art and culture consultancy.

Hortense Hallé-Yang holds a Master in Marketing and Communication from the ESCP Europe Business School, and a dual B.A. in Chinese Language & Civilization and International Trade from the Institute of Oriental Languages in Paris.


Holly He is a Research Associate in the Think Tank at the Paulson Institute, where she conducts research and generates web analytics to support the product development work of the MacroPolo team. She explores new areas of research and effective distribution channels, particularly in multimedia, to deliver content to our diverse and growing audiences.

Previously, Holly worked as a multimedia fellow for the Texas Tribune, scripted and edited documentaries for CNN International, and learned the ins and outs of film production and social media marketing with The Kindling Group in Chicago. She’s written a variety of pieces on Chinese cultural issues. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Holly holds a degree in journalism with a minor in Psychology and a certificate in Integrated Marketing.


Benjamin Herst supports the Institute’s communications initiatives, including research and writing for the website and work on broader media strategy. Ben joined the Paulson Institute after working with the organization as a student associate during his time at the University of Chicago. Previously, Ben was an intern at Origami Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm. He also held positions with the Wanxiang Corporation in its solar energy and electric vehicle departments, based in Hangzhou, China.

Ben received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with highest honors from the University of Chicago. His honors thesis on US-China cybersecurity relations was advised by professor Dali Yang. Ben studied Mandarin Chinese at Renmin University in Beijing. He was named one of the “25 Under 25: Rising Stars in US-China Relations” in 2015 by Yale University’s China Hands Magazine.


Xing Huang is the Associate Director of Policy Research, Climate and Sustainable Urbanization based in the Paulson Institute Representative Office in Beijing. In this role, Xing helps to lead research and policy studies from inception to publication. He formulates and recommends sound policies on climate and sustainable urbanization for central and local governments.

Prior to joining the Paulson Institute, Xing worked at the National Energy Conservation Center, an affiliate of the NDRC, where he was responsible for policy research, consultation, and evaluation related to energy conservation, emission reduction, and environmental protection. Xing participated in the drafting and promotion of multiple energy-related regulations including their supporting guidelines and technical standards. Following graduation, he worked at the North China Power Engineering Co. where he acquired professional technical experience in energy industry. Xing has held concurrent posts as a commissioner in several energy-related standardization commissions.

Xing has a master’s degree in thermal engineering from North China Electric Power University.


Cindy (Xinyan) Jiang is the Associate Director of Chinese Partner and Government Relations. She is responsible for cultivating relationships with the Institute’s contacts in the Chinese government, industry associations and the commercial sector. Cindy focuses on outreach for research projects and leads initiatives such as the Mayor’s Training Program. Before joining the Paulson Institute, Jiang worked at China Greentech Initiative, where she was responsible for developing partnerships with Chinese industry associations, SOEs, private sector companies, government entities and NGOs to develop strategic plans and carry out project implementation.

Prior to that, she was a project manager and Director of International Environmental Protection Project Office of China Enterprise Confederation (CEC), an industrial association with more than 500,000 members. She has a master’s degree in business and economics.


Young Kim is a UI/Graphic Designer at the Paulson Institute where she creates visual concepts for our websites and our social media initiatives. Young works with the team to develop interactive digital products as well as informative layouts for our publications.

Young brings several years of UI/graphic design experience to her role. Previously, she worked at a graphics technology company focusing on augmented and virtual reality. Prior to that, she worked for a startup incubator providing digital experience consulting for early-stage startups.

Young graduated from Ewha Woman’s University in Korea with a BFA of Visual Communication Design.


As Controller, Jennifer Kellogg plays the central role in the development, maintenance, direction, and oversight of accounting activities at the Paulson Institute. She has the primary responsibility for the efficient processing of accounts payable, maintenance of the general ledger, preparation of monthly financial reports, preparation of grant financial reports, along with audit preparation and implementation. Jennifer reports directly to the Executive Director and works collaboratively with staff. Jennifer joins the Paulson Institute with 25 years of accounting experience in various industries.


Deborah Lehr is the Vice Chairman and Executive Director of the Paulson Institute. In that capacity, she advises the Chairman on U.S.–China relations as well as oversees the development and implementation of Paulson Institute programs and initiatives. In addition, Ms. Lehr manages the Green Finance Center for the Paulson Institute.

Ms. Lehr has served in the public, private and not for profit sectors focused on China, the Middle East and emerging markets. She advised Mr. Paulson when he was the CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs and helped then-Treasury Secretary Paulson to create and launch the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue.

In addition, she served as Senior Advisor to the Chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch and was a Senior Managing Director at the New York Stock Exchange. Ms. Lehr has built several successful consulting businesses, including as a partner at Mayer Brown, a top-10 law firm, as President of Stonebridge China and then with her own firm, Basilinna. Basilinna is focused on China and the Middle East.

Ms. Lehr also served in the U.S. Government in the Executive Office of the President as a Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for China, where she was a lead negotiator for China’s accession to the World Trade Organization, for two intellectual property rights negotiations and on the team for the 1992 Market Access Agreement. Also, Ms. Lehr was one of the youngest Directors of Asian Affairs at the National Security Council. Previous to that, she was involved in export control and trade policy issues at the Department of Commerce.

As the Founder and Chairman of the Antiquities Coalition, she works with governments around the world to fight against the illicit trade in antiquities. She serves on the International Advisory Board of the London School of Economics, the World Monuments Fund Board and the Middle East Institute Board. Ms. Lehr is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. UNESCO listed Ms. Lehr on its inaugural list of accomplished global women. She also received the prestigious Hadrian Award from the World Monument Fund for her work in fighting the illicit trade in antiquities.

Ms. Lehr has lived and studied around the world, including China, England, France, and Germany. Her writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Foreign Affairs, South China Morning Post, U.S. News and World Report, Caixin Magazine, and Xinhua.net, among others.


Li Xiaozhen (Kate) is Associate Director of Green Finance at the Paulson Institute. Prior to joining the Paulson Institute, Ms. Li worked at China’s largest state-owned enterprise in energy conservation and environmental protection–China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Corporation (CECEP) for over 10 years. She has rich consulting experience in the fields of green finance and low carbon development in China. At CECEP, her clients included the Chinese government agencies, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, KfW, and the EU delegation. She led the CECEP Consulting team, which achieved the award of “Top Consultants Involved in ADB Technical Assistance Project” in China and won several national and Beijing Municipal prizes for outstanding engineering consulting in recent years. Li received her M.A. degrees from Inner Mongolia Normal University in China and Osaka University of Japan. She is Mandarin Chinese native speaker and speaks English, Japanese and some Mongolian.


Lily Lou is Translation Manager in the China office of the Paulson Institute in Beijing. She is responsible for coordinating translation for all of the Institute’s publications and website. Prior to joining the Institute, Ms. Lou served as translator and editor for newswires such as Dow Jones and Bloomberg, and financial institutions including the Goldman Sachs. She has more than 15 years’ experience in translation practice.

Ms. Lou holds a Bachelor’s degree of Economics from the Applied Art and Science School in Peking University.


Damien Ma is Director of the Think Tank at the Paulson Institute, where he co-founded MacroPolo. He is the author or editor of the books, In Line Behind a Billion People: How Scarcity Will Define China’s Ascent in the Next Decade. He is the editor of The Economics of Air Pollution in China (by Ma Jun). He currently also serves as adjunct faculty at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Previously, Ma was a Senior Analyst at Eurasia Group, the political risk research and advisory firm. At EG, he mainly focused on the China and East Asia markets, covering areas that spanned energy and commodities and industrial policy to elite politics and US-China relations. He also led work on analyzing Mongolian politics and its mining sector. His advisory and analytical work served a range of clients from institutional investors and multinationals to the US, Japanese, and Singaporean governments.

Prior to joining Eurasia Group, he was a manager of publications at the US-China Business Council in Washington, DC, where he was also an adjunct instructor at Johns Hopkins SAIS. Early in his career, he worked at public relations firm H-Line Ogilvy in Beijing, where he served multinational clients.

In addition, Ma has published widely, including in The Atlantic, New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, and Bloomberg, among others. He has also appeared in a range of broadcast media such as the Charlie Rose Show, BBC, NPR, and CNBC. In addition to media appearances, Ma has keynoted or spoken at various industry, investor, and academic conferences, including CLSA and Credit Suisse Latin America.

Ma is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was named a “99under33” foreign policy leader by the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese.


Dinny McMahon is a Fellow at the Paulson Institute and author of the book China’s Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracle, which is due to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the first half of 2018. Dinny spent 10 years working as a financial journalist in China. Between 2009 and 2015, he was with the Wall Street Journal in Beijing where he wrote about China’s banking and financial sector, focusing on rising debt levels, urbanization, and the role of the state sector in the economy. Previously Dinny wrote for Dow Jones Newswires in Shanghai where he focused his reporting on the yuan and China’s foreign exchange market. He also contributed to the Far Eastern Economic Review. Prior to joining the Paulson Institute, Dinny spent two years as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC.

Dinny has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He also attended the Johns Hopkins SAIS program in Nanjing for Chinese and American Studies.


Dr. Kevin Mo is the Managing Director of the Paulson Institute Representative Office, in charge of climate and sustainable urbanization. He has more than 20 years of experience in strategizing and implementing climate and energy policies in both the U.S. and China, with an extensive international network of central and local governments, think tanks, NGOs, research institutes, state-owned enterprises, multinational companies, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises. He is a frequent speaker on energy policies and sustainable development at international conferences and workshops.

Prior to joining the Paulson Institute, Dr. Mo was the director of the China Buildings Program with the Energy Foundation for over five years, managing a grant portfolio of building energy efficiency, green buildings, appliance energy efficiency, and non-CO2 emissions abatement. He funded policy research projects that led to the Green Building National Action Plan, revision of national residential and commercial building energy standards, revision of national green building standards, and over 40 national mandatory appliance energy efficiency standards and labels. He also supported many initiatives, including energy big-data analytics, smart energy, zero net energy buildings, low-carbon supply chain, and digital energy label enforcement.

Dr. Mo has served as a technical advisor to the U.S. team in the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center’s Building Energy Efficiency Consortium and a senior advisor to the MOHURD building energy standard committee. Prior to that, he also served as director of international sustainable buildings projects and a senior specialist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), first in the Washington, D.C. office and then in the Beijing office. He also worked for six years as a research engineer with the NAHB Research Center in Maryland, conducting research in advanced building energy efficiency technologies and materials funded by the U.S. DOE, EPA, and HUD as well as the private sector. He managed a U.S. national energy efficiency housing award program and won the EEBA 25th Anniversary Legacy Award in 2007. He taught at Tsinghua University for three years and won the 2nd Science and Technology Progress Award from China’s Ministry of Culture in 1995 for a feasibility study on the National Center for the Performing Arts.

Dr. Mo holds a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University, a master’s degree from Tsinghua University, and a bachelor’s degree from Zhejiang University.


Andy Morimoto is Director of Research in the Office of the Chairman. In this role, he manages a wide range of research and writing activities for the chairman, former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., on topics including US-China economic and environmental relations, the US financial system, and the US economy more broadly. He additionally supports Secretary Paulson’s leadership of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group. He previously conducted research and analysis on trade and the global economy at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He earned a MA in international relations from The University of Chicago, and a BA in political science and history from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he graduated summa cum laude. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two children.


Rose Niu is Chief Conservation Officer at the Paulson Institute, where she manages the planning and execution of initiatives to protect globally significant biodiversity and ecosystems and to promote sustainable management of natural resources, particularly in China. Before joining the Institute, Niu was Managing Director of China Programs at World Wildlife Fund-US, where she coordinated all China-related work for the organization. Prior to this position, she founded the China program at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and oversaw its strategies and operations. She also served as Chief Representative and Country Program Director in China and represented TNC in its partnership with the Government of China. Niu later served as TNC’s Deputy Managing Director of the North Asia Region in the U.S. In 2003, Businessweek named Niu one of the Stars of Asia (25 Leaders at the forefront of change.)

After earning a B.Sc in Veterinary Science, Niu worked as a Quarantine Officer in Kunming Quarantine Service of the Chinese Government for ten years. She earned a M.Sc. in Natural Resources Planning and Management from the Asian Institute of Technology. After graduating, she worked as Project Manager for a Thai company in Bangkok for four years. Niu is a native Naxi, an ethnic minority group in Lijiang, Yunnan Province of China and is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese and Naxi.


Susan Pate is a member of the Accounting team at the Paulson Institute in Chicago. Susan is responsible for processing our accounts payable. Susan brings years of experience in customer service related roles to PI. She’s worked in various capacities in health care contracting, practice management, and marketing. With her passion for real estate, she became a licensed sales broker 13 years ago. She attended Northern Illinois University but finished at Roosevelt University with a major in Public Administration.


Henry M. Paulson, Jr., is a businessman, China expert, conservationist and author. He is the founder and chairman of the Paulson Institute.

Paulson served as the 74th Secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush, from July 2006 to January 2009. Prior to that, he had a thirty-two year career at Goldman Sachs, serving as chairman and chief executive officer beginning in 1999. Earlier in his career, he was a member of the White House Domestic Council as well as a staff assistant at the Pentagon.

Today, he is chairman of the Paulson Institute, which aims to advance sustainable economic growth, a cleaner environment and cross-border investments in the United States and China. A “think and do” tank founded in 2011, the Institute’s work is comprised of programs, advocacy and research with partners around the globe.

Paulson is co-chair of the Aspen Institute’s Economic Strategy Group, along with former White House chief of staff, Erskine Bowles. The Economic Strategy Group convenes, in a non-partisan spirit, a diverse range of distinguished leaders and thinkers to address significant structural challenges in the U.S. economy.

A lifelong conservationist, Paulson was Chairman of The Nature Conservancy Board of Directors and founded and co-chaired the organization’s Asia-Pacific Council. In 2011, he founded the Latin American Conservation Council, comprised of global business and political leaders, which he co-chaired until 2017. He also co-chaired the Risky Business Project from 2013-2017, a non-partisan initiative that quantified and publicized the economic risks of climate change in the United States.

In his best-selling book, On the Brink, Paulson describes his experiences as Treasury Secretary fending off the near-collapse of the U.S. economy during the Great Recession. His new book, Dealing with China, details his career working with scores of China’s top political and business leaders and witnessing the evolution of China’s state-controlled capitalism.

Paulson graduated from Dartmouth College in 1968 and received an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1970. He and his wife, Wendy, have two children and four grandchildren.


Tina Ren is Communications Director, China, with responsibilities for developing and implementing a comprehensive communications and media engagement strategy for the Paulson Institute in China.

Prior to joining the Paulson Institute, Tina was the Chief Representative and General Manager for Falcon and Associates, working on behalf of Dubai’s leadership to deepen Dubai-China relations. From 2011 to 2015, Tina was the Associate Director of Public Affairs at Ogilvy China, where she led strategic communications and the award-winning nation branding practice. From 2006 to 2011 Tina worked as Education Marketing Manager at the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy (British Council) to China.

Tina graduated with honors from Sichuan International Studies University with a bachelor’s degree in English and a specialized focus on Foreign Affairs Administration.


Chris Roche works as a Developer at the Paulson Institute where he troubleshoots, maintains and optimizes the performance of our website. He’s done a great deal of work on the MacroPolo site and will continue his work on our interactive, digital and web-based products.

A graduate of the University of Oregon, Chris turned his passion for coding and creativity into a web development career he loves. With previous experience in retail management and front-end-development, Chris is quite talented in turning the Paulson Institute’s research into amazing visual experiences on the web.


Matt Sheehan is a Fellow in the Paulson Institute’s Think Tank, where he leads the MacroPolo team’s work on U.S.-China technology related issues. He contributes to MacroPolo’s online publications as well as its multimedia pieces. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, he was formerly the China correspondent for The Huffington Post. For five years, he lived and worked between the Chinese cities of Xi’an and Beijing, and the Bay Area. In addition to covering China, Matt has also worked and written about the developing ties between California and China. He is the author of a forthcoming book on that topic, The Transpacific Experiment: How China and California Collaborate and Compete for our Future (Counterpoint, 2019).


Dr. Jianbin Shi is Advisor and Director of Conservation Program-Wetlands at the Paulson Institute, in charge of wetland conservation-related projects and initiatives. Prior to joining the Institute, Jianbin was the Head of TRAFFIC China Program for over three years, representing and managing TRAFFIC Program in China. He has contributed greatly to expanding scope and improving profile of TRAFFIC China program by integrating demand reduction as an important approach to dealing with illegal wildlife trade, supplementary to conventional supply reduction.

Before TRAFFIC, Jianbin was hired by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) China Office as the program manager for EU-China Biodiversity Programme (ECBP) of over EURO 30 m. He was involved in development, management and monitoring of 17 field projects funded by ECBP across China. He worked with the Nature Conservancy (TNC) Beijing Office for two years as a programme coordinator for China’s Biodiversity Blueprint Programme, which was a joint initiative between TNC and Chinese government agencies to identify priority and important areas for biodiversity conservation in China through biodiversity mapping and GAP analyses.

Jianbin began his professional career with China’s State Environmental Protection Administration (now the Ministry of Environmental Protection) as a conservation project officer, in charge of GEF biodiversity projects within the Administration.

Dr. Shi holds a PhD in animal ecology from the University of Liverpool.


Houze Song is a Research Fellow at the Paulson Institute, where he works primarily on the Institute’s think tank activities. He previously worked as a researcher at Columbia Global Center (East Asia). Before that, he worked as a research manager at Unirule Institute, where he assisted the chairman Mao Yushi with research and project management. He holds a MA in Quantitative Methods and a MPA in International Economics, both from Columbia University.


Gracie Sun serves as Managing Director of the Green Finance Center and Senior Advisor of the Paulson Institute. The Center was launched in 2018 to focus on the use of market mechanisms to promote green development and support climate change. She has served as an Advisor to the Paulson Institute since its launch. In this capacity, she played a key role in the creation and launch of the U.S.-China Green Fund.

Ms. Sun also has broad experience in the consulting field in China. She is a Founding Partner and the President for China of Basilinna LLC, a strategic business consulting firm headquartered in Washington DC. Prior to that, she also worked as a Senior Counsel at Ogilvy Public Relations China. She served as Executive Vice President of Sierra Asia, an Advisory firm based in Beijing, Shanghai and Washington DC.

Ms. Sun was also a Managing Director for China with Albright Stonebridge International, a consulting firm headed by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former U.S. National Security Advisor Sandy Berger. During her time at Stonebridge, she served as the China Representative to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and represented major U.S., European and Chinese firms in the market. She also worked for MBP Consulting, the Asia consulting practice of Mayer, Brown, a top 10 law firm based in Chicago, founded by Ambassador Mickey Kantor.

Gracie Sun has represented and advised multinational corporations on government strategy, market access, communication strategy, crisis management, intellectual property, and investment issues in China, serving in wide range of industries including Pharmaceutical, Telecommunication, Media and Entertainment, Mining, Agriculture, Banking and Financial Organizations.

Gracie often speaks and writes about green finance and other issues in the U.S.-China bilateral relationship. She has an MBA and lives and works in Shanghai.


Neil Thomas is a Research Associate in the Think Tank at the Paulson Institute. Working with the MacroPolo team, Neil conducts research on and develops content related to US-China policies, the Chinese political economy, as well as the global economy.

Neil previously worked for The Australian National University, both as a Morrison Scholar at the Australian Centre on China in the World and as a Research Project Officer at the Crawford School of Public Policy. He has also written for many different publications.

He holds a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he was an IGA Student Fellow at The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from the University of Western Australia, where he was a UWA Fogarty Scholar.


Jing Wang is a Manager on the Communications team at the Paulson Institute. Working in Beijing, Jing assists in the development and implementation of strategies that build awareness of the Paulson Institute’s programs and it’s thought leaders among key audiences by using a variety of media channels and tools. She uses her experience and talents to produce media content, with a special focus on building PI’s social media presence.

Prior to joining the Paulson Institute, Jing was the Communication Manager at The Climate Group, where she led strategic communications on award-winning climate & energy initiatives in the Greater China region. Taking a proactive approach to mainstream and digital media engagement, she comes with seasoned communication experience in maximizing the impact of an international non-profit.

Jing holds a Bachelor’s degree of Journalism from the Communication University of China, and also attended graduate studies in Philadelphia.


Kathy Wang is the Office Manager of China Office in the Paulson Institute Beijing office, responsible for the administrative operations in China.

Before joining the Paulson Institute, she worked as the Office Manager at Sports & Entertainment Asia, responsible for office management, assisting on the business schedule for the Director Manager, and coordinating with accounting. She also supported on some projects.

Kathy Wang graduated from Heibei Normal University for Nationalities, and received a Bachelor degree in English Teaching.


Leigh Wedell is Senior Fellow at the Paulson Institute. She previously served as the Institute’s Chief Sustainability Officer overseeing programs to train Chinese mayors on urban sustainability best practices, the Paulson Prize for sustainability and supported the CEO Council. As part of the Mayors training program, she helped launch a new sustainability initiative with the mayor of a Beijing district.

Over the past two decades, Leigh has served in NGOs, business associations and consulting practices promoting economic reform, market access and expansion and sustainability in China. She currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Basilinna, a strategic advisory firm focused on the China, Middle East and the U.S.

Leigh has served as Vice President for Albright Stonebridge Group, a leading global consulting firm, and Managing Director for MBP Consulting, a consulting practice of Mayer Brown LLC, a top 10 global law firm. At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Leigh was the Deputy Director of the Hong Kong‐U.S. Business Council, a private‐sector initiative bringing together U.S. and Hong Kong executives to promote commercial ties. She began her career at the International Republican Institute (IRI), working on political development programs in China, including observing village level elections, training newly elected village leaders, and supporting the efforts of the National People’s Congress to draft economic legislation related to key reform initiatives, including China’s first securities law.

Leigh’s insights on China’s sustainable urbanization and economic issues have been published in Foreign Affairs online, Huffington Post, Xinhua, China Daily, The Diplomat, and Caixin.


Phylicia Wu is Associate Director of the Paulson Institute’s Green Finance program. Phylicia joins the Institute from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where she was the Research and Programs Assistant for the Chamber’s China Center. She has also served at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in the Office of China Affairs. Phylicia is from Atlanta and received her M.S. degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and B.B.A. from Emory University. She is proud to hail from the Peach State and is an avid Atlanta sports fan.


Jerry Yu is Chief Representative of China Office & Managing Director for the Paulson Institute in Beijing, where he manages the Institute’s daily operations in China. Previously, Yu was director of the World Economic Forum’s Community of Global Growth Companies in Beijing. He also has served as a senior manager for corporate affairs at eBay and as Chief Executive Officer of ASEA Convention and Exhibition Company. From 1995 to 2001, he worked for the Exhibition Department of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT).Yu holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and International Studies from Foreign Affairs College in Beijing and a Master’s in Business Administration from Georgetown University.


Dr. Lucy (Guangzhi) Yu is Associate Director for Conservation Programs at the Paulson Institute, where she works on the Institute’s projects and initiatives related to establishment of national park system in China. Prior to joining the Institute, Lucy was Project Development Coordinator/Protected Area Planning and Management Specialist for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where she managed the planning and formulation process of the Main Streams of Life Programme, a US$26 million GEF funded wetland conservation initiative comprising of seven projects. At the UNDP, she provided technical inputs and coordinated a project preparatory team.

Lucy began her conservation career in 2003 with The Nature Conservancy China Program, where she was responsible for the development and implementation of conservation strategies for China’s protected areas, including providing technical support and guidance to nature reserve managers, adapting conservation methodologies, building capacity of partners locally and nationally, developing conservation plans based on the best available science, and demonstrating conservation practices on the ground.

Lucy earned a doctorate degree in conservation biology from the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


Li Zhu is an Associate Director for the Conservation Program at the Paulson Institute where he works to develop and implement initiatives that support China’s efforts to better manage its environmental performance in its overseas investment and international trade of key commodities.

Prior to joining the Paulson Institute, Li Zhu was a Senior Program Officer at the World Wildlife Fund. In this capacity, he developed research on China’s Going Global strategy and the associated environmental impact, managed a variety of projects that ranged from sustainable supply chain of whitefish to Gold Standard based clean cook stoves in the heart of the panda habitat, and contributed to the organization’s signature corporate partnerships with Coca-Cola, Apple, and Disney.

He also worked for the Nature Conservancy’s China Program as its Communications Director, where he led its overall communications strategy and oversaw the implementation of its diverse communications and marketing efforts, including the high profile event series ‘Natural China’ in partnership with the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee, State Forestry Administration, and the State Information Office.

Li Zhu graduated from the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, and also received an MPhil degree from the University of Cambridge.


Michael Greenstone is the Milton Friedman Professor of Economics and Director of the interdisciplinary Energy Policy Institute at Chicago. His other current positions and affiliations include Elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Editor of the Journal of Political Economy, Faculty Director of the E2e Project, Head of the JPAL Environment and Energy Program, co-Director of the International Growth Centre’s Energy Research Programme, and Nonresident Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. Prior to rejoining the faculty at Chicago, Professor Greenstone was the 3M Professor of Environmental Economics at MIT. Greenstone’s research estimates the costs and benefits of environmental quality and society’s energy choices. He has worked extensively on the Clean Air Act and examined its impacts on air quality, manufacturing activity, housing prices, and human health to assess its benefits and costs. He is currently engaged in large-scale projects to estimate the economic costs of climate change and to identify efficient approaches to mitigating these costs.

His research is increasingly focused on developing countries. This work includes an influential paper that demonstrated that high levels of particulates air pollution from coal combustion are causing the 500 million residents of Northern China to lose more than 2.5 billion years of life expectancy. He is also engaged in projects with the Government of India and four Indian state governments that use randomized control trials to test innovative ways to improve the functioning of environmental regulations and increase energy access.

Greenstone also has extensive policy experience. He served as the Chief Economist for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2009-10. In addition, he was the Director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, which studies a range of policies to promote broad-based economic growth, from 2010-2013 and has since joined its Advisory Council.

Greenstone received a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University and a BA in economics with High Honors from Swarthmore College.


Randall S. Kroszner served as a Governor of the Federal Reserve System from March 2006 until January 2009. During his time as a member of the Federal Reserve Board, he chaired the committee on Supervision and Regulation of Banking Institutions and the committee on Consumer and Community Affairs. In these capacities, he took a leading role in developing responses to the financial crisis and in undertaking new initiatives to improve consumer protection and disclosure, including rules related to home mortgages and credit cards, and was director of NeighborWorks America. He represented the Federal Reserve Board on the Financial Stability Forum and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. As a member of the Board, he was also a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee. Before becoming a member of the Board, Dr. Kroszner was a professor of economics at the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago where he is now returning to assume a newly-created chair titled the Norman R. Bobins Professor of Economics. Dr. Kroszner was Director of the George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State and editor of the Journal of Law & Economics. He was a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a director at the National Association for Business Economics. Dr. Kroszner also was a member of the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Department of Labor.

Dr. Kroszner was a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) from 2001 to 2003. While at the CEA, he was heavily involved in formulating the policy response to corporate governance scandals as well as in advising on a wide range of domestic and international issues, including banking and financial regulation, government-sponsored enterprises, pension reform, terrorism risk insurance, tax reform, currency crisis management, sovereign debt restructuring, the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), international trade, and economic development.

Dr. Kroszner has been a visiting scholar at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the IMF, the Stockholm School of Economics, the Stockholm University, the Free University of Berlin, Germany, and the London School of Economics. He was the John M. Olin Visiting Fellow in Law and Economics at the University of Chicago Law School and the Bertil Danielson Visiting Professor of Banking and Finance at the Stockholm School of Economics.

Dr. Kroszner’s research interests include international financial crises, the Great Depression, regulation of financial institutions, corporate governance, debt restructuring and bankruptcy, and monetary economics.

Dr. Kroszner received an Sc.B. (magna cum laude) in applied mathematics-economics (honors) from Brown University in 1984 and an M.A. (1987) and Ph.D. (1990), both in economics, from Harvard University.


Dali L. Yang is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. He is the founding Faculty Director of the University of Chicago Center in Beijing, a university-wide initiative to promote collaboration and exchange between UChicago scholars and students and their Chinese counterparts. He also directs the University of Chicago Confucius Institute, which is designed to enhance research on China’s development and support Chinese language instruction on the UChicago Hyde Park campus.Professor Yang has previously served in a number of other academic leadership roles. He was Chairman of the Political Science Department, Director of The Center for East Asian Studies, and Director of the Committee on International Relations, all at the University of Chicago. He also previously served as Director of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore.

An engineering graduate from Beijing Science and Technology University, Yang received his Ph.D. in political science from Princeton University, specializing in international relations and comparative politics. He joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1992.

Professor Yang’s research interests are political institutions, political economy and political behavior, with special reference to China. He is a member of professional associations such as the American Political Science Association and the Association for Asian Studies. He has also served on the editorial boards of various journals, including American Political Science Review, World Politics, Asian Perspective, Journal of Contemporary China, and Journal of Chinese Political Science and as co-editor of China: An International Journal. He has been a co-director of the University of Chicago Workshop on East Asia: Politics, Economy and Society.

Professor Yang is the author of many books and scholarly articles on China’s political economy and governance.