Advancing sustainable growth in the United States and China

About Us

China estimates that it will cost between $600 billion to $1 trillion annually through at least 2020 to achieve its goals for a green economy, but the government is only capable of covering up to 15% of those costs. The difference in financing, therefore, must come from the private sector. In order to attract the significant monies that are available globally for investing in green projects and programs, China needs to establish the appropriate regulatory and financial policies combined with innovative financing models.

With an ambitious domestic program for financing green growth, China is becoming the global testing ground for innovative concepts in green finance. These concepts, if successful, could drive standards and practices for the rest of the world. The Paulson Institute is helping China to implement its ambitious agenda in green finance. It has served as an advisor to the G20 Green Finance study group, established by China during its time as President of the G20. The Institute works closely with China’s financial institutions in providing advice and counsel, as well as developing and testing innovative financing models to promote green growth.

Through convening, advocacy, thought leadership, and expertise, the Paulson Institute is dedicated to moving green finance from philanthropy to the mainstream of investing principles and working to encourage a vibrant international green finance market.

The Institute has a dedicated team focused on the development of the green finance program.

The Green Dream Team

Deborah M. Lehr

Vice Chairman

Gracie Sun


Kate Li

Associate Director of Green Finance

Phylicia Wu

Associate Director, Green Finance


Deborah Lehr is Vice Chairman of the Paulson Institute, which she helped launch. She serves as a senior advisor to the Chairman on U.S.–China relations as well as provides counsel on strategic issues for the Paulson Institute. In addition, Lehr oversees the Institute’s Green Finance initiative, including helping to devise and establish the U.S.-China Green Fund.

Lehr has served in the public, private and not for profit sectors focused on China 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.

She is also the CEO of Basilinna, a strategic consulting firm. Previously she served as Senior Advisor to the Chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch as well as a Senior Managing Director at the New York Stock Exchange. In addition, Lehr built a successful consulting business as a partner at Mayer Brown, a top-10 law firm, as President of Stonebridge China and then with her own firm. Her clients included JP Morgan, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sesame Workshop, Tory Burch, Goldman Sachs, Sony Music, Time Warner and Boeing.

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. Additionally, Lehr was one of the youngest Directors of Asian Affairs at the National Security Council and was involved in export control and trade policy issues at the Department of Commerce.

Lehr is also the founder and Chairman of the Antiquities Coalition, which works with governments around the world to fight against the illicit trade in antiquities. She is the chairman of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at The George Washington University and a founding member of the International Coalition to Protect Egyptian Antiquities (ICPEA). She serves on the Board of the American Institute of Archaeology, the Advisory Board of the London School of Economics, the Advisory Board of SAIS Johns Hopkins and the Cox Business School at Southern Methodist University.


Gracie Sun is senior advisor to Wei Lei, LLC and an advisor to the Paulson Institute. For the past 12 years, Sun has represented and advised multinational corporations on market access, intellectual property, and investment issues in China. Prior to her work with Wei Lei LLC, she was Managing Director for China with 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 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, a consulting practice of Mayer, Brown, a Chicago-based law firm. Sun is Senior Vice President of Sierra Asia, a China-based consultancy. She has an MBA and lives and works in Shanghai.


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.


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.