Rebecca L. Branham
Co-founder and Managing Director, B & L Group, Inc.Founder, CP Woman, Ambassador , USC, Board of Governors at USC Alumni Association, Deputy President of Los Angeles Shenyang Chamber of Commerce, Honorary Professor at Liaoning University, China
Rebecca has many years’ experience with foreign and international investment and engineering companies in the fields of government relations, business development, office management and human resource. She worked for the first foreign invested enterprise for Northeast China in Shenyang and set up the first foreign engineering firm in Shenyang, China. She also served as the China Government Relations and Public Relations Manager for a large American multinational engineering and construction company. In 2005, Rebecca co-founded B & L Group with Phil Branham. B & L Group is an international project management and consulting company. Rebecca led B & L Group team successfully completed the 2010 World Expo Pavilion and was received twice by the former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. In 2014, Rebecca established CP Woman, which aims at promoting the development of global Chinese professional women. Rebecca is actively participated in support of American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. She served as Co-chair of the AmCham Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. She has been also involved in charity activities in China since 1997. B & L Group also won the AmCham Corporate Social Responsibility Award. Rebecca was one of 75 women invited to the first Dell Global Women Entrepreneur Summit in 2010 and attends this worldwide event every year. Rebecca has won many awards including: China Women Entrepreneur Award, USC Alumni Association Community Service Award, USC Widney Alumni House Award, 2015 Global Trade Ambassador – China etc. She was also invited to be the special guest at Female Leadership Program which held by U.S. consulate in Shanghai, the guest speaker at China Women Leaders Economic Forum, the judge at Enactus World Cup China Station Innovative Competition, the judge at Global Nature Day Competition which held by Global Health and Education Foundation etc. Rebecca received the Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Marshall School of business, University of Southern California.
Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics, USC Marshall School of Business
Los Angeles, USA
Baizhu Chen studies macroeconomics and international economics, with an emphasis on China. His work has been published in the Journal of Peace Research, European Journal of Political Economy, China Economic Review, Applied Financial Economics, Social Choice and Welfare, and Journal of Macroeconomics. He is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Finance and Banking at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, chief economist of Sino-Century Capital, a VC firm in Shanghai, and former president of the Chinese Economists Society. He is academic director for Marshall’s GEMBA program, and a recipient of the Golden Apple Award. He received his BS in Mathematics from Fudan University in Shanghai, MA and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Rochester in New York.
Managing Director, Solidiance China Partner, Soildiance Asia Pacific
Pilar Dieter serves as Chief Representative and Managing Partner for Solidiance, Asia’s premier strategy consulting firm leading North Asian operations from their Shanghai office. Headquartered in Singapore with offices in China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, U.A.E., and Vietnam, Solidiance serves Fortune 1000 Global MNCs focused in 3 specific verticals: Industrial, Technology and Healthcare. Pilar has served as an advisor to clients seeking process improvements and growth opportunities for the past 17 years. She has advised multinational companies such as BASF, Baxter, Parker Hannifin, Caterpillar, GE and Rockwell Automation. Based in China for over 10 years, with previous postings in Kuala Lumpur, the UK and across Asia Pacific, Pilar has worked with leading MNCs in expanding their global footprint in emerging markets through both supply chain initiatives as well as market expansion programs. Frequently sought out as a market expert on China and Asian related trade matters, Pilar is a frequent panelist and speaker at emerging markets and global trade conferences and widely published in various media including the Wall Street Journal, Shanghai Business Review, Shanghai Daily, China Economic Review, the Financial Times, the South China Morning Post and Supply Chain Quarterly. Following her time at Accenture Consulting, she led Professional Services and Product Strategy divisions in the Silicon Valley. Pilar graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles, she holds an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and in 2013 served as a Governor on The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai’s Board of Governors.
Director, International Business Education and Research MBA Program and Center for International Business
USC Marshall School of Business, Los Angeles
Richard Drobnick is the director of the IBEAR MBA program at the USC Marshall School of Business. He was the founding director of the School’s Center for International Business (1990-2014), which was supported by the U.S. Department of Education since 1990, as one of its 33 national resource centers on international business. Dr. Drobnick served as USC’s inaugural Vice Provost for International Affairs (1994-2005). He was the inaugural Secretary General (1997-2002) and a member of the Steering Committee (1997-2010) of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), an association of presidents of 45 leading Pacific Rim research universities (www.apru.org). He launched and led APRU’s Pacific Rim research programs on “Sustainability and Climate Change” and “Public Health”(2006-2010).
Dr. Drobnick specializes in Pacific Rim economic and business issues and U.S. and Pacific Rim trade policies. He is the author of numerous articles regarding international economics and business, as well as the co-author of Neither Feast nor Famine: Food Conditions to the Year 2000 and co-editor of Small Firms in Global Competition. He is a member of the U.S.-Asia Pacific Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Asia Society of Southern California’s Executive Committee, and is a director of the Japan-America Society-Southern California. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia (1967-1969), Drobnick served as an economic advisor to the Malaysian Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Association Movement.
Executive Director, USC US-China Institute
Clayton Dube has headed the USC U.S.-China Institute (china.usc.edu) since it was established in 2006. The institute focuses on the multidimensional and evolving U.S.-China relationship. Dube was trained as an economic historian, has lived in China for five years (1982-85 and 1991-1992) and visited dozens of times for research, to lead delegations, or to lecture or participate in conferences. Dube has long been committed to informing public discussion about China and about the U.S.-China relationship. He was associate editor of the academic journal Modern China and oversaw the web publication AsiaMedia. He currently directs Asia Pacific Arts, and US-China Today. He’s produced and consulted on several documentaries, including the institute’s Assignment:China series on American media coverage of China. He writes the institute’s Talking Points column and he’s frequently cited in the U.S. and Chinese press. Since 2012, he’s co-moderated Chinapol, a private discussion list for academics, journalists, policy analysts, and government officials. Follow him on Twitter @claydube.
President of the American Chamber of Commerce
Kenneth Jarrett: President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai since September 2013. Prior to that he was the Greater China Chairman for APCO Worldwide, a Washington-based public affairs consultancy from 2008 to 2013, and before that a U.S. diplomat from 1982 to 2008. During his 26-year diplomatic career, his postings included Consul General in Shanghai, Deputy Consul General in Hong Kong, and Director of Asian Affairs at the White House National Security Council. He also served in Beijing, Chengdu, Singapore, and had several assignments in Washington, DC. Mr. Jarrett has degrees from Cornell University, Yale University and the National War College. He is the recipient of the Magnolia Award (Silver) from the Shanghai government and is a member of the National Committee for US-China Relations.
Head, Hard Commodities Mercuria
Marcus Lu was appointed Asia Head of Hard Commodities for Mercuria in 2012, a leading global commodity trading house headquartered in Switzerland. Prior to his current position, Lu was the China Chief Representative for Rio Tinto, a leading global mining and metals company, from 2007 to 2011. He was responsible for the general management, business development, and sales and marketing of the China energy team. Lu also led the restructuring and the strategic planning that resulted in increased sales revenue from $10M in 2007 to $580M in 2008.
Previously, Lu worked as the Coal Trader for China with Glencore International AG, a global commodity trading and investment firm based in Switzerland. With his in-depth understanding and knowledge of doing business in China, Lu established key information and market development and logistics networks in China, Southeast Asian, Australian, and Russian trading partners, successfully increasing coal trade into China.
In his very early career path in the late 90’s Lu also served as the Founder and General Manager for ML Trading International, a Sino-US joint venture start-up that focused on sourcing/producing a range of products from military outfits, lawn & garden equipment, hardware components which were marketed in the U.S., Japan, and Korea.
He received his MBA from USC Marshall School of Business.
Managing director, Goodyear China
Iain joined Goodyear in 2005, and prior to his appointment as managing director, held the role of vice president, China Consumer PBU for three years. He has also held various other leadership positions within Goodyear’s Asia Pacific and China businesses, including vice president, Marketing for North Asia; managing director, Taiwan & Korea; director, Aviation Tires, Asia Pacific; and manager, Business Projects & Planning, Asia Pacific. Prior to joining Goodyear, Iain was the director of China Operations for the US-China Business Council, the premier organization representing US businesses with trade and investment relations with China. Iain holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in Chinese Studies from the University of Michigan. He also attended the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing in 1990, and Nankai University in Tianjin in 1992 and 1993. Throughout his career, Iain has developed a strong track record of successfully implementing business strategies and solutions that result in significant value and gains for the business.
Chairman, APCO Worldwide’s greater China region
James McGregor is chairman of APCO Worldwide’s greater China region and author of two highly regarded books: No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers: The Challenges of Chinese Authoritarian Capitalism, published in October 2012, and One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China, published in 2005. He was a veteran reporter for The Wall Street Journal, and prior to joining APCO, he was founder and CEO of a China-focused consulting and research firm for hedge funds. He also held previous roles as a senior adviser for Ogilvy Public Relations China and the China managing partner for GIV Venture Partners, a venture capital fund that focused on technology and Internet investments in China and India. Mr. McGregor was a reporter in the Washington bureau of Knight-Ridder newspapers during the Reagan administration. After serving as the Taiwan bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal from 1987 to 1990 and China bureau chief from 1990 to 1994, he spent seven years building Dow Jones’ media business in China as CEO of Dow Jones’ China. During this time, he established CNBC in China and created the Chinese language website of wsj.com, Dow Jones’ Chinese-language newswires, Chinese stock-market indexes and the first weekly business-television show in China. He was also a Series A investor in Sohu.com and served on the Sohu board for several years. After successfully preventing Xinhua News Agency from obtaining a monopoly on financial information in China, he received the Barney Kilgore award, Dow Jones’ highest employee accolade. Mr. McGregor is a professional speaker, regular television and radio commentator and a contributor of essays and opinion articles for a variety of publications. He has lived in China for more than two decades and can speak and read Chinese. He was an active member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham) for nearly a decade and served as chairman in 1996. He also previously served as chairman of the U.S. Government Relations Committee for AmCham, and is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Atlantic Council, a Global Council member of the Asia Society, a board member of the U.S.-China Education Trust and a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
Executive Director, World Heritage Foundation
Dr. Mu, Dan Ping is a co-founder and Executive Director of the World Heritage Foundation, which was founded in 1998 by a group of individuals who recognized the importance to world understanding of the cultural and natural wonders that are embraced by the UNESCO World Heritage Program.
She was formerly a partner with Ernst & Young LLP and a partner with Mu & Kang Consultants LLC focusing on China business; Prior to that she was with Bryan Cave International Law Firm. In her capacity at the former three firms she represented U.S. companies with their China business and was in charge of China business development.
Dr. Mu has extensive knowledge of China from a business, cultural, political and academic perspective. She focuses on strategic planning, market research and market entry, intercultural communications, strategic partnering, government relations, deal structuring and negotiations and cross cultural management training. She frequently lectures and publishes articles on the impact of cross-cultural interchange on business transactions.
Dr. Mu received her bachelor’s degree in English from Beijing Normal College, her L.S.M. degree from the Law School of University of Southern California (USC), her MBA in International Business Education and Research from USC, and her Masters and Doctorate of Public Administration degree from USC. She is also an advisor to the faculty at USC and participates in the school’s Pacific Rim forums. Mandarin Chinese is her native language.
Since 1992, Dr. Mu has been a frequent speaker on subjects related to the cultural implications of doing business in China at the USC Annual Asia/Pacific Business Outlook Forums, the USC Annual Pacific Rim Management Programs, the Asia Society/ the Japan American Society’s China Forums, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce’s China Trade Seminar, the AT&T Senior Management Development Program, Hewlett Packard’s China Forums, the Association of Woodworking & Furnishing Suppliers (AWFS)’s Woodworking Industry Conference, the California State Bar International Law Section’s China conference, Universal Studio Orlando’s China program, the Collaboratory for Research on Global Projects of Stanford University and among others.
President, Rittenberg and Associates, Inc.
Fox Island, WA
Sidney Rittenberg has known every Chinese leader: Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, the notorious Gang of Four, Deng Xiaoping, and the present president and premier.
The Army trained Mr. Rittenberg in Chinese Studies during World War II, and sent him to China. He later joined the UN Relief Program, met and formed a friendship with Zhou Enlai, and in 1946 accepted the invitation to help train Chinese journalists working in English.He became a leading translator for the works of Mao Zedong, and was the only American citizen accepted into the Chinese Communist Party, until the Cultural Revolution. In China, Mr. Rittenberg found Yulin, his dream girl and lifetime partner; she has been for 48 years the source of his happiness and the strength behind his achievements.
Sixteen of Rittenberg’s 35 years in China were spent as a prisoner in solitary confinement on charges of being an American spy. He was freed in 1977 and declared a true friend of China. His family became a myth and a legend, giving them easy entrée to China’s leaders – a great advantage for their consulting work.As consultants, Mr. Rittenberg and Yulin have helped clients such as Intel, Nextel, Levi Strauss, Teledesic, and ICO, as well as CBS’s Dan Rather and Mr. Rittenberg’s close friends, Mike Wallace and the Reverend Billy Graham.
Mr. Rittenberg has appeared on virtually every major TV and radio comment program, and frequently gives seminars on the China business. He has been a professor of History at the University of North Carolina, where an endowed chair has been announced in his honor. He is currently a visiting professor of China Studies at Pacific Lutheran University.Mr. Rittenberg’s 35 years in China are chronicled in The Man Who Stayed Behind, a book he co-authored with senior Wall Street Journal writer Amanda Bennett.
Associate and Author, Rittenberg & Associates
Yulin Wang Rittenberg was working at Radio Peking when she met her husband, Sidney Rittenberg, President of Rittenberg and Associates, who has known every Chinese leader: Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, the notorious Gang of Four, Deng Xiaoping, and the present president and premier. Yulin and her children suffered persecution when Sidney was imprisoned on false charges of spying. Now in her 80s and retired in the U.S., Yulin reflects on the tumultuous years of the Cultural Revolution and what she learned from her personal trauma. Yulin had told her amazing life story in her 2015 book, After the Bitter Comes the Sweet.
Consul General of the United States of America
A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Hanscom Smith has been Consul General at the United States Consulate General in Shanghai since September 2014. He previously served at the United States embassies in Yaounde, Copenhagen, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, Kabul, and Beijing. In addition, Mr. Smith has served in the Office of Japanese Affairs at the Department of State, and was team leader at the United States Provincial Reconstruction Team in Muthanna Province, Iraq. He has also worked at the American Institute in Taiwan. Mr. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and Princeton University. His foreign languages are French, Danish, Khmer, and Mandarin Chinese. A native of Maine, Mr. Smith is the spouse of Eric Lu.
Auditor, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd., Japanese Commerce & Industry Club
Umeda worked for Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co., Ltd since 1978. He is also USC GSBA IBEAR V. In 2003, Umeda worked as a managing director at Tokio Marine Insurance Malaysia Bhd. He became the chairman and president of Tokio Marine Insurance China Ltd. in 2008. During the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, he worked as the chairman of Association of Japanese Supporters. In 2012, he is the chairman of Shanghai Japanese Commerce & Industry Club until today.
Yafeng (Angela) Zhang
Business Operation Specialist, Alibaba.com
Yafeng Zhang has over 10 years of experience in the telecommunication industry, including 4 years at the China branch of Ericsson Telecommunication Ltd. in Beijing. Additionally, Angela worked 5 years at the H3C Technologies Company Ltd. (A joint venture of Huawei and 3Com). Prior to Alibaba, Yafeng worked as the Manager of Project Management with a Beijing start-up, Govase, providing data management solutions, where she successfully managed the team through projects for Fortune 500 companies, universities, and government agencies. Yafeng earned her B.E. in Electrical Engineering from the Tianjin University of Technology in China. She a received her MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business’ IBEAR MBA Program, where she served as one of the MBA Admission Ambassadors, representing the MBA Program at admission and business forums.
President, Compressed Air Systems and Services Ingersoll Rand Asia Pacific(Retired), USC IBEAR XVI
Anguo Zhu has 40 years of extensive cross-market management experience in leadership roles in the industrial technologies field. He started his career with Shanghai Air Compressor Factory, a partner of Ingersoll Rand in its initial investment projects in China. During his 28 years working with Ingersoll Rand, he directed many different businesses relating to industrial technologies and construction equipment, and had wide-ranging experience in various areas, including engineering, operation, supply chain, sales and services. Anguo was in charge of the overall strategic operation of Compressed Air Systems and Services in the Asia Pacific region. Under his leadership, the team made significant contribution in making Ingersoll Rand a compressor market-leader in China through developing channel network, introducing advanced technologies, building excellent operations and growing talents. Anguo also actively dedicated himself to the cultivation and development of local talents. He designed training programs for various talent groups, including training and development programs for college students as well as professionals in sales, services and senior management. In recognition of his outstanding leadership, he was honored with the Ingersoll Rand Chairman’s Award in Leadership. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Anguo was sponsored by Ingersoll Rand to study at USC Marshall School’s IBEAR MBA Program. He received his MBA in 1994.
Director, Merchandise Shanghai Disney Resort
David Koo is Director, Merchandise for Shanghai Disney Resort, where he will lead more than 1,500 Cast Members (Disney’s term for employees) in the Merchandise line of business. David began his Disney career as Director, Disney Consumer Products for The Walt Disney Company in Shanghai in 2011 where he led Disney Baby initiative for Greater China and Taiwan’s Fashion and Home licensing business. In 1997, David started his earlier career in the IT consulting industry as an Information Analyst for EDS Solution Center. In 1999, he joined Accenture as a Senior Analyst where he worked on the Electronic Arts project managing version control for game migrations. In 2001, David joined Taihua Leather Company, as Director of Development for men’s and women’s footwear. In 2005, David joined NBA China and managed the licensing and retail development business. As the Director of Global Merchandising Group, David led the merchandising team to open NBA Stores for the Beijing Olympics, Shanghai Expo, and NBA China and Taipei Games. In 2012, David joined Shanghai Disney Resort as Director, Merchandise. He is leading the design, product development, planning, and store operations to create the ultimate shopping experience for our guests. David holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and an Executive MBA from Marshall School of Business at University of Southern California. He was born in Taiwan, grew up in Houston, Texas, and spent his high school years in Taiwan. David enjoys spending time with his family watching movies, traveling, and taking his daughters to Disney theme parks and resorts.
Vice President, Commercial Manager
Greater China Bio-Rad Laboratories(Shanghai)Co.,Ltd
Based in Shanghai, Ms. Liu leads and manages the team of Boi-Rad China and Taiwan. Ms. Liu’s role encompasses
the full P&L, which covers sales and marketing for life science and clinical diagnostics solution, whilst managing a wide range of functional divisions including regulatory affairs, clincal affairs, human resources, finance, logistics, government affairs, compliance, public relations, quality assurance and information technology. Ms. Liu oversees the business strategy and the implementation in line with Bio-Rad’s global and regional direction.
Ms. Liu currently acts as Co-chair of the Healthcare Committee at American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. She participated in Doorknock delegation to Washington D.C. representing healthcare industry in 2014 and 2015. She is also an active participant in multiple discussions and project planning with China’s government authorities regarding policy commentary, business enviornment evaluation and health reform via multiple industrial associations.
Ms. Liu has more than 12 years valuable experience in the laboratories, clincal, life science, medical device and biotechnology industries across the United States, China and Taiwam. Prior to Bio-Rad, she was the General Manager of Cook Medical China and has driven the business with CAGR in 30% for 6 years.
Ms. Liu holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago in the United States and graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree from Shanghai Univerisity Law School in China.