Board of Advisors

Benjamin Cheng

Ben previously served as YCB’s President and co-founded and co-chaired YCB’s Project Kickstart scholarship. He also was Treasurer of the Yale Club of Hong Kong.

Ben has been working and living in Beijing since 2003, when he joined the London-based private equity firm Actis. As a Partner, he led Actis’ Beijing team to make and harvest several profitable growth capital investments. Prior to this, he had worked in New York, Hong Kong and Taipei for Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., Citicorp, Emerging Markets Partnership, and Lee & Li Attorneys-at-Law. Ben graduated from Yale’s MA in International Relations program in 1987. He also holds an LL.M. degree from University of Pennsylvania Law School and an LL.B. from National Chengchi University in Taipei.

Julia Zhu

Julia Zhu is the Chief Representative of New Business Initiatives for Phoenix Culture Development Company, a subsidiary of Phoenix TV Group in Hong Kong. Julia is a founding member of the Live Entertainment Division of Phoenix Culture.

Julia is also co-founder of SwitchOn Technology Company, a lifestyle multimedia service company in Beijing. Prior to SwitchOn, Julia was the co-founder, Director, President and General Manager of Redgate Media, a leading advertising and media company in Greater China since its inception in 2003.

Prior to co-founding Redgate Media Group, Julia worked at STAR Group Limited, a subsidiary of News Corporation, where she was the Director of Business Development, overseeing strategic alliance and investment in the Television, print, Internet and mobile media space in China. Before News Corp., Julia had extensive experiences in corporate and securities law and investment banking, having worked in Media and Telecom group at Chase Securities in New York and Hong Kong and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York and Hong Kong. Prior to her legal and banking experiences, Ms. Zhu worked in the fashion marketing and manufacturing affiliate of the Victoria’s Secret in New York City.

Ms. Zhu holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Yale University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Wesleyan University.

Alan Beebe

Alan is a long-term resident of Beijing and an active member of the Yale Club of Beijing. He served as President of the Club in 2005–2006 and was one of the founding members of the Club in 2002. He currently serves as the Club’s Delegate to the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA). Alan is a Director with EY China leading the Firm’s renewable energy practice and working with clients to address China’s significant energy and environmental challenges. Prior to joining EY, Alan held various leadership positions in China and other Asian countries with the China Greentech Initiative (CGTI), IBM, and management consulting firms AT Kearney and PRTM. Alan graduated from Yale University in 1991 with a Master of Arts (MA) degree in International Relations. He completed his Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Computer Science and Business Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1985.

Victor Zhikai Gao

Victor GAO is Vice Chairman of Sino-Europe United Investment Corporation and Chairman of the International Committee of Beijing Private Equity Association,. Victor Gao sits on the board of advisors and directors of many major companies and institutions, including the Asia-Pacific Board of Advisors of the Mastercard Group and the International Advisory Board of Brookings Doha Energy Forum.

Victor Gao has extensive experience in government, diplomacy, securities regulation, legal, investment banking, PE, corporate management and media. Victor was Deng Xiaoping’s English interpreter in the 1980s and served as the China Policy Advisor at the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission in 1999 and 2000. Victor’s prior investment banking experience included senior positions with Morgan Stanley, CICC and Daiwa Securities. Victor’s corporate management experience included his senior positions with CNOOC Limited where he was Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Company Secretary, Member of the Investment Committee, and Director of CNOOC International.

Victor holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a M.A. in International Relations from the Political Science Department of Yale Graduate School, an M.A. in English from Beijing University of Foreign Studies, and a B.A. in English from Suzhou University, and is a licensed attorney-at-law in the State of New York. Victor appears regularly as a commentator on CNN, BBC, CCTV News, CRI and other major news networks. He is a PRC national and is based in Beijing, China.

Po-Wen Huang

Po-Wen graduated magna cum laude from Yale College (J.E.). Philosophy major; Dean’s List, Ranking Scholar. Senior Society member; played tennis and intramural soccer, sang in the Yale Glee Club and other singing groups; founded and was first President of the Yale Chinese Students’ Association; Freshman Counselor. M.A. and Ph.D., International Relations, Yale Graduate School.

Served as a Loan Officer in the East Asia and Pacific Department of the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) in Washington D.C. Associate at the First Boston Corporation and later Merrill Lynch in New York, and subsequently Chief Representative of Merrill Lynch investment banking in Asia, and Executive Director of Trident International Finance, a joint venture merchant bank (Barclays, Nomura, Merrill Lynch) in Hong Kong.

Po-Wen is now Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Taishan Capital Corporation, a boutique investment banking firm based in Beijing, and heads up Tiger Sports, an international sports and entertainment company.

Author of the book Diplomacy and Development in Asia: The Formation of the Asian Development Bank. Listed in Who’s Who of Finance and Industry, Who’s Who of the Pacific Rim, and Who’s Who of the World. A keen sportsman, active in tournament tennis and coaching, mountain trekking and other outdoor pursuits. A founder and first President of the Yale Clubs of Hong Kong and Beijing, and a devotee of music, films, and the arts. Married, with two sons.

Carol Li Rafferty

Yale blood runs in Carol Li Rafferty’s family. A ’00 graduate of Morse College, Carol is married to Colm Rafferty, SOM ’04, and is the daughter-in-law of Professor Terence Rafferty at the Yale School of Medicine.

Carol Li Rafferty has served on the Yale Club of Beijing’s Board of Advisors since 2013 and was the Club’s Secretary in 2010-2012. She has also been an active alumni interviewer for undergraduate admissions since 2005.

Carol is currently Asia Pacific Liaison Counsel for Vermeer Corporation, an Iowa-headquartered infrastructure and agricultural equipment manufacturer. Before Vermeer, she was Senior Vice President at the China Investment Corporation (CIC), China’s sovereign wealth fund. She joined CIC in 2008, during the organization’s startup period, and has worked on a variety of public and private equity investments. Prior to joining CIC, Carol was an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell, where she advised clients on M&A and corporate finance transactions.

Carol received a J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2006, where she was Articles Editor of the Stanford Law Review. Prior to her legal studies, Carol was an investment banker at the Credit Suisse Technology Group. Carol graduated from Yale University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and International Studies (Cum Laude).

Colm Rafferty

Colm works for Vermeer Corporation, where he is Vice President responsible for the Asia Pacific Region and Chairman of Vermeer China Limited. The Asia Pacific business includes a manufacturing operation in China, a company-owned nationwide distribution footprint in China, a regional office in Singapore, and an extensive dealer network across Australia, Northeast Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Prior to joining Vermeer, Colm was Director of China Distribution Operations for Cummins (NYSE: CMI), with both operational and P&L responsibility for the 10 company-owned distributors, the joint venture distributor, and the 25 service locations in China. During his time with Cummins he held a variety of other leadership roles including Head of Emerging Markets Strategic Planning, where he oversaw the company’s strategy in China, India, and Russia. Before joining Cummins, Colm worked for (HKSE: 1688), where he was Director of Business Development.

Colm received an MBA from the Yale School of Management, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in East Asian Studies (with honors) from Brown University. He led the Yale School of Management Alumni Association in Beijing for a number of years and currently serves on the Yale School of Management’s Greater China Advisory Board.

Veronica Wu

Veronica graduated ’92 Trumbull College with a B.S. in Applied Math. Veronica has been actively engaged in the Greater China region for close to 20 years with a strong focus in the High Tech and Telecom areas. She was an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company’s Greater China office where she served both large multinationals as well as State-Owned Enterprises. She worked as the Senior Director of Business Development and Strategy in Motorola’s Mobile Device Business Unit in both Chicago and China, and was the Managing Director for Apple’s Education and Enterprise business in Greater China for 7 and a half years. At the end of 2013, she joined Tesla Motors, and is currently serving as Vice President overseeing Tesla’s China business. Veronica is one of the founding members of the Yale Club of Beijing.