Alistair Thornton is Co-Founder of YCW. Originally from London, he was based in Beijing 2008-2013, where he worked in economic research. He has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2013.  He works in product strategy at Facebook.

Raffaello Pantucci is Co-Founder of YCW. Based in London, he is a Director of International Security Studies at Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), where he focuses on counter-terrorism and China’s relations with its western neighbours. His work can be found at

Sue Anne Tay is Global Director of YCW. She is a Director for China and RMB Internationalisation, Group Strategy at HSBC in London. In her spare time, she documents Shanghai heritage architecture here.

Lea Yu is Director of Digital Operations of YCW. She is based in San Francisco and works in Product Operations at Facebook. She previously worked as a journalist and private equity analyst in Beijing.

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Julia Voo is Head of YCW Bejing and Global Head of YCW Mentorship Programmes. She is the Head of Business Environment Strategy in the Trade Policy team at the British Embassy. Julia moved to Beijing in 2011 and previously worked at the Delegation of the European Union to China and the Carnegie-Tsinghua Centre for Global Policy.

Jordyn Dahl is Editorial and Web Coordinator at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy and a contributor at Forbes, where she writes about science and technology in China. She holds a master’s degree from Tsinghua University in Global Business Journalism and worked as a journalist in the U.S. before moving to China in 2013.

Kevin Kerrigan is Director of YCW Beijing-Carnegie Tsinghua Mentorship Programme. He is a strategic Risk and Media Affairs Research Consultant for China-i, specialised in advising Chinese organisations on “going-out” and Belt and Road strategies. He previously worked for the UK Permanent Representation to the EU on a host of issues, including EU-China relations. He has a Masters in International Relations from the LSE. 

Adam CR Schmelzer is Director of YCW Beijing Operations and a Beijing-based associate with TransAsia Lawyers. Prior to legal study, he obtained a master’s in international trade in conjunction with Tsinghua University and worked with the US-China Business Council in Beijing. He returned to China in 2016 after time in Boston and Washington, D.C. 

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Dev Lewis is Head of YCW Shanghai. He is marketing and research manager at Infosys China and a researcher with Digital Asia Hub. He has an International Relations degree from Roger Williams University and has previously studied in Shanghai and Zhengzhou as a recipient of a Confucius Language Scholarship.

Serena Mu is Director of YCW Shanghai. She is a Marketing & Communication Specialist for Getinge group, a global leader in healthcare industry. She grew up in Beijing and Shanghai, and holds a M.A. in Marketing from New York University and a B.S. in Finance from University of Pittsburgh.

Nihal Kutlu is Director of YCW Shanghai. She is currently a Ph.D. student in Global Studies at Shanghai University. Prior to that, she lived in Beijing for two years and received an MA in Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy from Tsinghua University.

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Emily Chew is Co-Head of YCW Hong Kong. She is Head of ESG Research and Integration at Manulife Asset Management, where she oversees the integration of environmental, social and governance-related factors into investment portfolios. Previously, she has held research roles with MSCI in Beijing and Hong Kong; and with Baker & McKenzie as a capital markets lawyer in Melbourne, her native home town. Emily is part of the Asia Society’s young leaders program, Class of 2015.

Natasha Khan is Co-Head of YCW Hong Kong. She is a journalist with The Wall Street Journal. She previously spent six years reporting for Bloomberg News, where she was named a finalist for a Livingston Award for Young Journalists in 2015 for stories on cancer and bankruptcy in China. She was also part of the Bloomberg team that produced the George Polk award-winning investigation in 2012 that revealed the hidden wealth of China’s ruling elite. Natasha holds degrees in law and business administration from the University of Hong Kong.

Chi-Jia Tschang is Co-Head of YCW Hong Kong. She is involved in regional risk analysis and crisis management functions at Goldman Sachs.

Jens Schott Knudsen is the in-house counsel for Zuru Toys. He has served as a lecturer at several law schools in China including Tsinghua University where he taught American contract law and civil procedure. He is also a photographer; his work can be found at

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James Tunningley is Head of YCW London. He currently works for the British Government having previously held positions at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and the China-Britain Business Council. He is on the Young Leaders Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a fellow at the Royal Asiatic Society, and a Junior Member of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs. He is a graduate of the University of Oxford.

Matthew Phan is Director of YCW London. He writes on Chinese financials and Asian credit strategy at CreditSights, an independent credit research firm. He graduated from Columbia University and is a CFA charterholder.

June Sun is the Director of the YCW London Mentorship Programme. She works as an ICT analyst at GlobalData, focusing on Africa and the Middle East. She has previously worked on China-UK relations for the British Government. She holds a BA from the University of Cambridge and an MPhil from the University of Oxford.

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Victoria Lai is Head of YCW New York. She is an analytical lead for Google. Previously, she was an economist and editor for the Economist Intelligence Unit’s China service. She was based in Beijing between 2008-11.

Grace Hsieh is Director of YCW New York. She is the Founder of Graceful Brand Stewards, a company that manages marketing programs for global brands on Chinese digital and social media. Her background includes roles in global brand strategy and management at Landor, mcgarrybowen, Hill & Knowlton, and Marc Jacobs. Grace is also the former President of the Yale Club of Beijing.

Michael Laha is Director of YCW New York. He is a U.S.-China Dialogue Fellow at Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations and holds a M.A. in East Asian Languages and Culture from Columbia University and a B.S. from Tufts University.

Charlie Patterson is Director of Membership for YCW New York. He was a Fulbright fellow studying urbanization and aging in Xi’an between 2014 and 2015. He works as a consumer insights strategist at VaynerMedia.


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Frederick H. Tsai is Head of YCW San Francisco.  He serves as Senior Director, Strategy at Prior to, Fred spent nearly a decade based out of China, primarily at Dell Inc., where he served in several roles, including as Director and Head of China Strategy.

Caly Moss is the Director of Operations, YCW San Francisco. She is a software engineer at DocuSign. Prior to moving to San Francisco, she lived in Beijing for three years working in marketing.

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Angela Stanzel is Co-Head of YCW Berlin. She is Policy Fellow in the Asia & China programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Prior to that, she finished her PhD on China-Pakistan relations and has worked for the International Affairs Office of the Koerber Foundation in Berlin, for the German Marshall Fund in Brussels and for the German Embassy in Beijing.

Mikko Huotari is Co-Head of YCW Berlin. He heads the programme on China’s foreign relations at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) . His research focuses on China’s foreign policy, China-Europe relations as well as regional order in Asia. Before joining MERICS, he taught International Political Economy and Chinese Foreign Policy at the University of Freiburg.

Bernhard Bartsch is Co-Head of YCW Berlin. He is a senior expert in Bertelsmann Stiftung’s program “Germany and Asia”, where he heads the foundation’s China activities. Before joining Bertelsmann Stiftung, he spent more than a decade in China, working as East Asia Correspondent for major German language media such as “Neue Zuercher Zeitung”, “Frankfurter Rundschau” and “brand eins”. He studied Chinese, Politics, Economics and Journalism in Hamburg, Beijing and London.

Mareike Ohlberg is Co-Head of YCW Berlin. He is a research associate at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in the Research Area Politics, Society, and Media. Prior to joining MERICS, she held postdoctoral appointments at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University and at the Cheng Shewo Institute for Chinese Journalism in Taipei.

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Ai Ghee Ong is Head of YCW Singapore. She is an alumna of the Johns Hopkins SAIS and Hopkins-Nanjing Center. She was previously with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat in Singapore. She is working for her family business and is concurrently co-founding a tech start-up. In her spare time, she paints portraits of political leaders here.

Peidong Yang is Director of Partnerships, YCW Singapore. He is a sociologist based at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. Originally from China, and educated in Singapore and the UK, Peidong is interested in social, cultural and political issues in contemporary Singaporean and Chinese contexts. He is the author of International Mobility and Educational Desire: Chinese Foreign Talent Students in Singapore (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

Weng Hong Chan is Director of Operations, YCW Singapore. He is a graduate from the Singapore Management University (SMU). He is currently working in dispute resolution at an advocacy organisation. He loves history and is a keen follower of security and economic developments around Asia Pacific.

Jiaxin Lu is Director of Membership, YCW Singapore. She is currently working as an economist at Continuum Economics. Originally from China, Jiaxin was educated in Singapore and the UK. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from The London School of Economics and Political Science. Jiaxin has previously worked as a teaching assistant at LSE Confucius Institute for Business London.

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Chiara Zannini is Co-Head of YCW Brussels. She works at Polint, a UK-based EU Consultancy operating in Brussels, specialised in EU Public Affairs and EU-Asia Relations. She is also Associate at the European Institute for Asian Studies. She holds degrees from Bologna University and SOAS, University of London in Chinese studies and Chinese Politics.

Jessica Mitchell is Co-Head of YCW Brussels. She is an innovation systems Policy Analyst for the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. Prior to this she was the Science & Innovation Attache at the EU Delegation to China in Beijing.

Lei Zhang is the Director of  Membership, YCW Brussels. She is a lecturer and researcher in law at Free University of Brussels (VUB). Prior to this, she was a journalist and director with the China Central Television Station in Beijing and a legal consultant with law firms in Belgium.

Marta Irene Garda is Director of Operations, YCW Brussels. She works in Trade Defence in the Directorate for Trade at the European Commission. She has studying and working experience in China and holds degrees from Venice and Milan Universities in Chinese studies and International Relations.

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Will Heidlage is the Head of YCW DC. He is a Research Director with BowerGroupAsia, an international government relations consultancy. He has lived in Beijing, Hangzhou and Nanjing and received an MA from Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Andrew Coflan is Director of YCW DC. He works as an analyst specializing in the Chinese economy and financial system. He is an alumni of the Johns Hopkins SAIS China Studies program and of Teach for China.

Katie Lebling is a Director of YCW DC. She is a Research Analyst at the World Resources Institute where she works on international climate policy. She has previously lived and studied in Beijing and Nanjing and has an MA from Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Linna Lee is a Director of YCW DC. She is an Associate Director at IHS Markit in their Oil Markets and Downstream Consulting business. She has lived and worked in China and Singapore, and has been based in Washington, DC after finishing her studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Marcus Chiu is Director of YCW DC. He completed a joint master’s degree in international affairs at the London School of Economics and Peking University, and currently works at Gartner in Washington, DC. Prior to this, he briefly worked at the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

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Joyce Lee is Head Editor of YCW. She completed a joint master’s at the London School of Economics and Peking University, and currently works at the Global Risk and Investigations Practice of FTI Consulting in London. She previously worked at Aegis Advisory and the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.

Tom Hoffecker is Head of Partnerships for YCW’s editorial team. He previously worked at Teach For China in both Yunnan and the U.S. He currently lives in Washington, DC, and is completing a master’s degree at Georgetown University, where he is Editor-in-Chief of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.

Jordyn Dahl is Deputy Editor of YCW. She is the Editorial and Web Coordinator at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy and a contributor at Forbes, where she writes about science and technology in China. She holds a master’s degree from Tsinghua University in Global Business Journalism and worked as a journalist in the U.S. before moving to China in 2013.

Karen Schuster is Social Media Coordinator of YCW. In her four years in China, her focus has been on digital strategy and communications. Karen previously worked at McKinsey in Shanghai, and currently works for Unruly Media in Singapore.

Virgilio Bisio is a Program Assistant at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, where he supports content creation and facilitates public programming. He joined the National Committee in July 2016 after completing a master’s degree in East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. Prior to that, he worked as a supervisor at Payton Technology in Shenzhen, China, where he managed a semiconductor production line.

Johanna M. Costigan is a recent graduate of Bard College and is currently pursuing a year-long Writing and Speaking Fellowship at NYU Shanghai. Johanna is interested in journalism, specifically coverage of China’s dynamic and ever-changing relationships with Western nations.

Insa Ewert currently works on development cooperation at the EU Delegation to Indonesia/EU Mission to ASEAN. She was previously a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), completing a PhD on EU-China relations. Insa has also worked with the GIZ in Beijing and in the European Parliament.

Jacinta Keast is a final-year student studying International Business and Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney. She is currently on an exchange year at Peking University and the University of Hong Kong. She is the China Fellow for Young Australians in International Affairs, and is a former Research Assistant at China Matters, an Australia public policy think tank.

Dev Lewis is Marketing and Research Manager at Infosys Technologies (China) and a researcher with Digital Asia Hub. He has an International Relations degree from Roger Williams University and has previously studied in Shanghai and Zhengzhou as a recipient of a Confucius Language Scholarship.

Jan Philipp Poeter holds master’s degrees from Peking University and the London School of Economics in Public Policy and Administration and currently works for Deutsche Bank in London. Before that he worked for various parliaments, multinational corporations, and business associations, lobbying in China and the European Union.

Jun Liang Yap is currently an Associate Underwriter in Zurich Insurance’s Credit & Political Risk team in Singapore. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics from New York University.

Sarah Yu is pursuing her doctorate in history at the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on public health in early 20th-century China. Previously, Sarah worked in consulting and education in Hong Kong.

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