Yale Leadership Center in Beijing (announcement)

This fall, Yale University will be opening its Yale Leadership Center in Beijing’s Chaoyang district. The following is the announcement from President Salovey. (click here for PDF)

Yale Office of the President

April 30, 2014

Dear Friends:

I am delighted to share the exciting news that Yale University is creating a new Yale Leadership Center in Beijing to support all of Yale’s schools in expanding the range of executive programs and conferences offered for leaders in China.

For over a decade, schools at Yale have sponsored programs both in New Haven and China for Chinese leaders in many fields. For example, we have had the privilege of collaborating with the Chinese Ministry of Education since 2004 on the Advanced Leadership Program for University Presidents that has been held both in New Haven and in China. Also, many members of the Yale faculty have participated since 2005 in the China-Yale Senior Government Leadership Programs. The range and frequency of Yale programs in China have been growing: the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies has conducted executive education programs for provincial and municipal environmental officials since 2004; the Law School’s China Center has since 1999 sponsored programs for advancing the rule of law in China, and has recently initiated programs to study and advance U.S.-China relations more generally, including a major Track II Dialogue with Chinese counterparts; the School of Public Health has trained over 500 managers for health care leadership; and the School of Nursing has led intensive workshops for an equal number of nursing educators and leaders. The schools of the arts have also been active, with the School of Music’s long association with China’s premier music conservatories; the School of Architecture’s annual studio with Tsinghua; and the Drama School’s recent programs with the Shanghai Theatre Academy. The work of Yale’s School of Management (SOM) is particularly exciting as it has developed programs for senior Chinese business leaders and has expanded its CEO Summit to China last year. SOM will hold its fall 2014 CEO Summit in the Yale Leadership Center in Beijing.

The center is being funded through generous gifts from two Yale alumni and a Yale friend. Neil Shen, managing partner of Sequoia Capital China, received a Master’s degree in 1992 and Brad Huang, founder and chairman of Lotus Capital Management, graduated from Yale SOM in 1990. Xiaoping (Bob) Xu is the founding partner of ZhenFund.com. Neil Shen, speaking on behalf of all three donors, wrote me to say, “We admire how Yale has been convening so many thought leaders in China, and we want this center to facilitate and accelerate those efforts. This can have widespread benefits for the future of China, and we feel, for Yale. We look forward to having additional Yale scholars and students spend more time in China due to the opening of the center.” Since the initial conversations, the donors have been delighted by the prospect that the center would be a university-wide facility to support the work of all of Yale’s schools, centers, and departments.

I am particularly grateful that Ted Snyder, dean of our School of Management, is so enthusiastic about this center that SOM has agreed to run the center for use by all of Yale. The gift funds the rent and all operating costs of the center and allows Dean Snyder to hire a director and small staff who will be located in Beijing and who will work directly with schools and programs at Yale to support the delivery of their programs.

This 16,500 square-foot facility, which is Yale’s only university-wide center in China, is in an office tower in the Chaoyang section of Beijing and will have spaces very similar to Yale’s Greenberg Conference Center in New Haven. In addition, the Center is being designed so that individual Yale faculty members who are in Beijing for their research or other activities will have visitors’ offices and access to meeting spaces. It will allow the university to expand the number of special programs and conferences Yale can offer. It can also be a forum for various other Yale activities from admissions informational sessions to alumni events. We expect to open the center in late October, and I hope that you will be able to attend one of our events in the inaugural year. The School of Architecture is already planning a significant symposium, “Icons and Enclaves: New Architecture and Patterns of Urban Development in China,” which will bring together leading Chinese architects and academics with Yale School of Architecture Dean Robert A. M. Stern and other faculty at Yale and Tsinghua to discuss how recent projects by Chinese and international architects express, shape, and challenge the dynamics of explosive urban growth in China’s cities. The China Center of the Law School anticipates using this space on a regular basis as a workplace, for meetings with our project partners, for roundtable events with peer organizations, and for cooperative workshops and dialogues with Chinese partners. The School of Music is planning a program for one of the opening events of the center that would bring together a panel of musical artists. The School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs have already signaled their interest in using the center for conferences during 2015. If you have other ideas for how the center might be best developed—and fully used—please do not hesitate to write me, Dean Snyder, or David Bach, Yale SOM’s senior associate dean for executive MBA and global programs, at david.bach@yale.edu.


Peter Salovey President

Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology