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. He is a Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London and a Senior Visiting Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore. His work can be found at

Sue Anne Tay is Global Director of YCW. She is the Head of Strategy & Planning for HSBC in Singapore and previously Director for China and RMB Internationalisation for HSBC Group in London. She is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Sue Anne had created Shanghai Street Stories, a visual documentary of city’s heritage architecture and urbanization trends.

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

Karsten Luc is Head of Social Media of YCW. At Think Asia Group, he consults on digital developments and data analysis in Southeast Asia. As Chief Digital Officer at AKRYL, Luc manages digital projects for private sector clients and government institutions. He is a former visiting academic fellow at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), and completed his Magister Artium at Free University of Berlin and Technical University of Berlin.

Karen Schuster is Director of Social Media, Asia, of YCW. She is based in Singapore, and currently works at Unruly, a News Corp company, on the insight and data team.

Anna Brachtendorf is Global Head of Mentorship Programme of YCW, overseeing YCW’s mentorship initiatives across the chapters.  As a Project Manager at Friedrich Ebert Foundation she specialises in social security, labour relations and gender equality. Before moving to Beijing in 2017, she studied Political Science and International Relations in Shanghai, Paris and Nanjing and holds two M.A.s from the Universities of Konstanz and Warwick.


Thena Lee (Jianya Li) is Co-head of YCW Beijing. She is the Deputy Communications Director at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing. Prior to joining Carnegie, Lee served a project manager on the Tianjin Airport Economic Area Administrative Committee. She has also worked at different foreign policy think tanks in Washington DC. Lee received an MA. in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution from George Washington University and a LL.B. in International Politics from Central China Normal University.

Adrian Aldana is a Director of YCW Beijing. Living in Beijing since 2017, he currently works as the Program and Outreach Coordinator for the University of Chicago Center in Beijing. He received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago and is now pursuing his MBA with the Quantic School of Business and Technology.

Saeger Godson is a recent graduate of Tsinghua University’s School or Public Policy and Management where he mastered in sustainable development. Since then, he has been studying Mandarin fill time at Tsinghua University in the hopes of achieving fluency. Saeger first got involved with YCW through the mentorship program and is very passionate about engaging Beijing’s student population.

Yunxin Fan currently works as a journalist and researcher in Beijing. Previously, she has worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU) as a consultant. She obtained her master’s degree in statistics from Harvard and her bachelor’s degree from Georgia Institute of Technology. Before moving to Beijing in 2018, she has lived in Boston, Atlanta, and the Bay Area.

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Stephanie Sam  is Head of Chapter of YCW Shanghai. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Birmingham, and a master‘s degree in Political Science from Shanghai Jiaotong University. Stephanie currently works as the Communications and Business Manager at the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China in the Government Affairs department, where she covers advocacy for Energy, Environment and Petrochemicals with EU delegations and Chinese governmental bodies. Stephanie previously worked at the British Embassy Beijing in the immigration department.

Marthijn Voerman is Director of YCW Shanghai. He is General Manager China at Unilac Holland, a Dutch dairy company. His main fields of interest are doing business in/with China, history, and international relations. Marthijn graduated with a master’s degree in International Business & Management from the University of Groningen.

Chloe Kamps is Director of YCW Shanghai. She is the Alliance Manager for Viva BioInnovator, a Chinese biotech VC where she creates outreach partnerships and searches for new therapeutic innovations. She is also a co-founder of the Sipping Science Society and a board member for the Rotaract Clubof Shanghai. Chloe received her Bachelors and Masters from Florida State University, where she concentrated on Economics and International Affairs.

Rilly Chen is Director of YCW Shanghai. She has worked across China, Southeast Asia and the UK, building on her passion in the digital and ecommerce space. She is currently working on Ant’s overseas investment portfolio after joining the company on Alibaba’s global talent leadership program. Rilly read History at the University of Oxford and welcomes coffee chats on the topics of Chinese companies globalizing.

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Leadership team to be announced.

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Michael Yip FRSA is Co-Head of YCW London. He is also a Research Associate in the China, Law and Development programme at the University of Oxford. Previously, he was a British civil servant, covering portfolios relating to international trade, infrastructure and finance during Brexit and COVID-19.

Sarah Montgomery is Co-Head of YCW London. Sarah works at Everledger, executing the technology company’s expansion into China. Through studying and working in China, Sarah has developed a deep interest in the intersection of China, sustainability and technology which she is pursuing through her work at Everledger, which uses blockchain, AI and IoT to build more trust and transparency in global supply chains. Sarah studied Chinese, History of Art and Business at Durham University. She has obtained HSK Level 6, previously studied at Peking University and as a Huayu Enrichment Scholar at National Taiwan University.

Cameron Hunter is Director of YCW London. He currently works at the Great Britain China Centre (GBCC) managing high-level political dialogues between the UK and China. This complements his role as coordinator of the All Party Parliamentary China Group (APPCG). Prior to this, Cameron spent three years as a global mobility adviser at the University of Sydney and two years as a board director for United Nations Youth Australia. He has a BA (Lang) in Chinese Studies from the University of Sydney and master’s degrees from Renmin University of China and King’s College London.

Rose Martin is the Director of the YCW London Mentorship Programme. She is a Senior Consultant at Impactt Limited, an ethical trade and supply chain consultancy. She works with brands, investors, and sourcing teams across the garment, food, and construction sectors to manage risk and drive improvements in their global supply chains. Rose studied Chinese at the University of Edinburgh and Chinese Translation at SOAS. Before moving to London in 2018, she lived and worked in Shanghai, Gansu, Nanjing and Beijing.

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Rosie Levine is Head of YCW New York. Rosie grew up between Beijing and Boston, and from 2014-2018 worked in the cultural heritage sector in Beijing. She holds an M.A. in History & Archeology from the Yenching Academy at Peking University. She works at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
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.

Charlie Patterson is Director of Membership for YCW New York. He works as a data engineer at Myers Holum, a Google Cloud consulting partner. Between 2014 and 2015, he conducted research on rural-urban elder migration in Xi’an and Nanjing via a Fulbright fellowship.

Jace Gilmore is Director of Mentorship for YCW New York. He is an executive for Brunswick Group, a corporate strategy firm. Previously, he was in China from 2015–2018 and was the content manager for the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. He holds an M.A. in Global Studies from Missouri State University and a post-graduate certificate from the US Naval Postgraduate School.


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Michael Kehoe is Head of YCW San Francisco. He is a Senior Strategy and Operations Manager at Udemy. Previously, Michael led global operations at OnePiece Work, an incubator serving cross-border startups and investors between the US and China. He also co-founded BitTiger, an online learning platform for Chinese speaking students to learn computer science. He began his career in management consulting at Deloitte Consulting.

Wilson Ho is Director of YCW San Francisco. He currently works as a product solutions associate at SF Express, a Chinese logistics company. Previously, he was also a Global Operations Associate at Flexport. Wilson is most interested in U.S China technology, logistics, and e-commerce trends. He holds a B.A in International Relations from University of California, Davis.



Ferdinand Schaff is Head of YCW Berlin. He is senior manager for China at the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA). He started working on China at the APA in 2015 after an internship at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS). Ferdinand studied China studies and economics in Cologne, Beijing and London.

Anika Laudien is Director of YCW Berlin. She is Project Manager in Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Asia program. Since the beginning of 2015 she has been part of the team which analyzes the changes taking place in Asia in order to develop recommendations for German and European policymakers. She has studied Chinese and Economics in Bremen and Shanghai, as well as European Studies in Hamburg.

Joshua Webb is Director of YCW Berlin. He is a trade policy adviser at the British Embassy in Berlin with a focus on geo-economics. Prior to joining the Embassy, he was a Programme Manager responsible for China and the Indo-Pacific at Körber-Stiftung (2017-20) as well as a Programme Coordinator with the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House (2014-17). Joshua studied international politics and history (with a focus on East Asia) in Bremen and London.

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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.

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.

Pearlyn Chiang is Director of YCW Singapore. She is an investment professional and an entrepreneur. An alumnus of New York University and University of Pennsylvania, she has lived and worked in multiple countries and is a keen follower of political, business and economic development issues in the Asia Pacific and the US, as well as science and technology developments. Pearlyn sits on the Society Engagement Committee of the CFA Asia Pacific Research Exchange and is a member of the Gerson Lehrman Group Expert Network. In her spare time, she organises professional development talks for the CFA Singapore Society, conducts professional level classes for various corporates, universities and industry bodies and is an active participant in the Hwa Chong Alumni.

Wataru Kawai joined YCW Singapore team in late 2019 having been an avid attendee of YCW events for many years. He strives to maintain his deep interest in Chinese politics and international relations which he attained while studying at SOAS, University of London, and Tsinghua University. In his day job as a lawyer at Hogan Lovells, he specialises in corporate investigations and dispute resolution in the Asia-Pacific region.

Geoffrey Lien Zhou Han joined YCW Singapore team in 2019, and he works as a consultant with Accenture, a professional services firm. He holds a master’s degree in international business from the University of Warwick and a bachelor’s degree in business and management from the University of London.

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Chiara Zannini is Co-Head of YCW Brussels. She works at Europtimum Conseil, a EU Public Affairs Consultancy operating in Brussels, where she specialises in EU politics and EU-Asia Relations. She holds degrees from Bologna University and SOAS, University of London, in Chinese studies and Chinese politics.

Alessandra Capriglia works for the China IP SME Helpdesk, coordinating activities to inform European SMEs on IP protection when doing business in China. Previously, she was based in Beijing and worked for Innoway, a Chinese SOE in Zhongguancun Science Park, where she contributed to the execution of international startup acceleration projects, and managed international cooperation on startup support. Alessandra holds a BA degree in Chinese-English intercultural mediation (La Sapienza University of Rome) and a double MA degree in China and International Relations (Aalborg University and University of International Relations in Beijing).



Will Heidlage is the Head of YCW DC. He is a 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.

Rachael Burton is a Director of YCW DC. She is a Deputy-Director at Project 2049 Institute and received her BA from George Washington University.

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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