Committee of 100 Announces Next Generation Leaders Class of 2023
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Committee of 100 Announces Next Generation Leaders Class of 2023

1st May 2023

New York, NY (May 1, 2023) – Committee of 100, a non-profit U.S. leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans, today announced its Next Generation Leaders (NGL) Class of 2023, comprised of 17 individuals across the arts, business, technology, and finance. The new class will be formally introduced at Committee of 100’s annual Conference & Gala.

Launched in 2014, Committee of 100’s NGL program convenes an exceptional group of change-makers and rising leaders from diverse sectors, leveraging a collective sense of service and purpose to elevate the impact of each individual. With this new class, there will be more than 180 NGLs across a multitude of sectors who make up a vibrant and diverse community.

Committee of 100’s annual Conference & Gala will take place at the Signia by Hilton San Jose May 5-6. Content will focus on diplomacy, economic interdependence, education, technology, anti-Asian hate, and more. This year’s Conference & Gala theme is “Seeking Common Ground in Turbulent Times.” For three decades, Committee of 100’s Conference & Gala has convened distinguished academics, policymakers, businesses, and next-generation leaders from across the U.S. for a series of discussions, debates, keynotes, and networking sessions. Participants share a common goal of advocating for and promoting the full participation of all Chinese Americans in American society.

“At a time when our world faces such extraordinary challenges – public health, climate change, war and conflict, racial discord, and much more – more than ever, we need young leaders who are engaged, creative, and passionate about making a difference,” said Zhengyu Huang, President of Committee of 100. “We are excited and inspired by this new class of 17 remarkable young leaders who are already paving the way for their peers and future generations.”

Becoming a member of Committee of 100’s NGL program comes with the exclusive opportunity to join a vibrant community of like-minded leaders, motivated to work towards a more diverse and inclusive U.S. society and a more productive U.S.-China relationship. NGLs will engage with Committee of 100 and its Members to develop initiatives and content tailored to the NGL community. NGLs also receive special access to exclusive Committee of 100 programming and events. Additionally, NGLs will work on impactful service projects with both Committee of 100 and partner organizations, as change-makers for positive social impact and community-building.

As part of an open application process, Committee of 100 accepted applications from hundreds of exceptional young professionals and rising leaders from all sectors who are passionate about the organization’s dual missions to promote the inclusion of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life and to advance constructive dialogue and relations between the U.S. and Greater China. Individuals who demonstrated a remarkable history of professional and personal excellence and aged forty years and younger were encouraged to apply. The full list of criteria can be reviewed here.

The 17 new members of the Committee of 100 Next Generation Leaders 2023 class:

Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng is Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Belonging and Associate Professor of International Education at New York University. He is a sociologist whose scholarly and community-based work focuses on the social lives of marginalized youth. His interests include comparative perspectives on race/ethnicity (with a focus on China and the U.S.), immigrant adaptation, and social capital within the school and educational context. His work has appeared in the top academic journals in sociology and education; has garnered funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation; and has been covered by outlets such as NPR, TIME Magazine, and The Atlantic. Cherng received his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, his bachelors from MIT, and has taught in a public middle school in San Francisco and a college in rural China.

Vera Chow is a costume designer who is the creative mind behind many of the films and shows that have appeared in theatres and on TV screens. She has worked all around the world covering genres from zombies to romcoms, and budgets from 1 million to 100 mill. Growing up in Hong Kong, art and design became Chow’s coping mechanism for severe bullying, and not fitting into the social norm. It became a blessing in disguise, as she therefore has been honing her skills since childhood, and new that being a costume designer for film and TV is exactly what she wanted to do since she was 13. Some of Chow’s most notable work includes being the head of design for The Walking Dead and the costume supervisor for the Netflix series Marco Polo.  Chow is extremely excited about the upcoming premiere of Brothers Sun, helmed by an entire AAPI crew and cast starring Michelle Yeoh.

James Fok is a financial and strategic advisor to corporations and governments. From 2012 until 2021, Fok served as a senior executive at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, where he played a major role in a number of landmark financial markets initiatives, including the launch of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect program, Bond Connect and the Hong Kong market’s 2018 Listing Reforms. In his earlier career, Fok worked as an investment banker in both Europe and Asia, specializing in the financial services sector. Fok currently serves as an Advisor to Bain & Company and is on the Advisory Board of Hex Trust. He is an international member of Ireland for Finance’s Industry Advisory Committee, an Independent Non-Executive Director of Ardmore Shipping Corporation, and a member of the Hong Kong Securities & Futures Commission’s Fintech Advisory Group. He is also the author of the best-selling book Financial Cold War.

Clay Garner is passionate about leveraging technology to enhance opportunities for all Americans. As the former Chief Innovation Officer for San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Garner led citywide initiatives to bridge the digital divide, improve mobility and pedestrian safety, establish the first digital privacy policy, and create better services for one million residents in Silicon Valley. Before joining San Jose City Hall, Garner worked at Google and consulted for the United Nations in Beijing. He holds a Master of Global Affairs from Tsinghua University as a Schwarzman Scholar and a BA in East Asian Studies from Stanford University. Fluent in Chinese and Spanish, Garner was a fellow in the Georgetown University Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues and the Forum for American-Chinese Exchange. He has also performed for audiences of millions as a C-Pop singer and TV personality.

Dake Kang is a Beijing-based journalist for The Associated Press. A Korean American born in New Jersey, he lived in Shanghai as a child before attending the University of Chicago. Kang has reported from India, Thailand, Philadelphia and Ohio before moving back to China in 2018. His reporting on China has won Kang numerous awards and he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2021. He is eager to assist Chinese journalists in their careers and help them overcome growing difficulties in the U.S.-China relationship and the global reporting environment.

Jason M. Kingdon is currently the co-founder of a blockchain video game launchpad. He was previously an entrepreneur-in-residence for Foxconn’s venture arm and started his career at Sinovation Ventures, an early-stage technology and AI venture firm in Beijing run by the former President of Google China. He has a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, Class of 2021, and a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University, Class of 2016. He also serves on the board of the Kingdon Family Foundation and co-founded the China Institute/Serica Initiatives’ Next Gen Leaders Circle.

Nicholas Lam is one of the most acclaimed Asian American advertising directors in the world. He has directed international campaigns for brands like Google, Samsung, Vivo, P&G, Nestlé, Timberland, Disney, ByteDance, Viacom and Bacardi. Working with global agencies as BBDO, Ogilvy, Dentsu, Publicis and VMLY&R, his films have been awarded by the Cannes Lions, CLIOs, Promax, 1.4, Citra Pariwara, MMA SMARTIES APAC and more. In the music world, Nicholas has directed hit videos for Nick Jonas, Blink-182, Sara Bareilles, Bastille, Elton John, JoJo Siwa, Divine and Monsta X, for which he remains the only American director to ever receive an MTV VMA nomination for Best K-Pop Video. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Los Angeles, advising their media division, and has been profiled in major entertainment and lifestyle publications including The LA Times, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Variety, The Telegraph, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, Complex, Maxim and Forbes.

Jackson Lu is the Sloan School Career Development Associate Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management. One of the youngest tenured professors at MIT, he is among the first to systematically research the “Bamboo Ceiling” experienced by Asians. His research has been published in top scientific journals like Nature Human Behaviour and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and has been featured in over 300 media outlets like The Economist, The Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, NPR, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. He has received prestigious awards and honors, including the World’s “40 Best Business School Professors Under 40”, NLS Rising Star Award from the Academy of Management, Rising Star Award from the Association for Psychological Science, SAGE Early Career Trajectory Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and 30 Thinkers to Watch. He received his PhD from Columbia Business School.

Juliet Petrus is a coloratura soprano, author, and educator and performs in opera, concert, recital and musical theater from Carnegie Hall to Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts, with the Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Shanghai Symphonies, across the U.S., Europe, and China. The iSING! International Young Artist Festival in Beijing started Petrus on the path of becoming a specialist and trusted Western interpreter of Chinese art song. She received a Confucius Institute Mandarin Language Scholarship in 2014 to Tongji University in Shanghai. Her recording, 千里之外A Great Distance: A Collection of Chinese and American Art Song, and book, Singing in Mandarin: A Guide to Chinese Lyric Diction and Vocal Repertoire are the first to help introduce this beautiful, important, and unknown repertoire to Western singers and audiences. In 2020, the Confucius Institute U.S. recognized her with their ‘Person to Person Award’ for her contributions to Chinese-Western relations through musical diplomacy. Petrus is pursuing her PhD at the Royal College of Music in London.

Nicholas Phan is a tenor, musical curator, producer, and educator. With a diverse repertoire that spans nearly 500 years of music, he performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies. An avid recitalist and a passionate advocate for art song and vocal chamber music, in 2010 Phan co-founded Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC), an organization devoted to promoting this underserved repertoire. Phan’s most recent album, Stranger: Works for Tenor by Nico Muhly, was nominated for the 2023 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Performance. His previous albums, Clairières and Gods and Monsters, were nominated for the same award in 2020 and 2017, respectively, and made him the first singer of Asian descent to be nominated in the history of the category, which has been awarded by the Recording Academy since 1959. In addition to his work as artistic director of CAIC, he has created programs for broadcast on WFMT and WQXR, and served as guest curator for projects with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, San Francisco Opera Center, and San Francisco Performances. An artist advocate, he is the Vice President of the Asian Opera Alliance, an organization that uplifts the work of Asian-identifying operatic professionals and advocates for greater Asian representation in opera, while striving for broader equity.

Raymond Pun is the academic and research librarian at the Alder Graduate School of Education, a teacher residency program in California, where he supports library services engaging with residents and teacher educators. With over 17 years of experience in the library field, Pun has previously worked at Stanford University, Fresno State, New York University Shanghai, and The New York Public Library in various roles. He currently serves as the President of the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) and the Immediate Past President of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). Pun holds a Doctorate in Education from Fresno State, a Master of Library Science from the City University of New York – Queens College, a Master of Arts in East Asian Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from St. John’s University. Originally from NYC, Pun is a first-generation college graduate and a child of immigrant parents.

Ricky Qi is a filmmaker, photographer, and National Geographic Explorer whose focus is on human tradition and heritage, and how the stories we tell influence our abilities to respond to the pressures of modern life. He has spent the last decade in remote areas like Altai Mongolia, Kham Tibet, and the Hengduan Range among the Mosuo people, China’s last matriarchal society, chronicling their journeys to adapt to a more interconnected world. A child of two cultures, Qi strives to tell stories that bring understanding to ourselves and others by finding the universal in the specific. Whether documentary or narrative fiction, his work is grounded by the human condition in its unending depth and complexity.

Chen Rao is a Vice President and Global Markets Treasurer for BNP Paribas Corporate & Institutional Banking in New York. Rao has over 8 years of experience in capital markets liquidity steering and risk management. She provides expertise on dollar liquidity and funding matters to support the sustainable growth of the firm’s franchise. Rao is part of the Group’s Leaders for Tomorrow (LFT) program. From June 2022-June 2023, Rao is serving on the Board of Directors of the Financial Women’s Association (FWA) to champion DE&I initiatives and to accelerate the success of all women in finance. Rao also participated in the FWA Pacesetters 2022-2023 cohort, which is a leadership program that recognizes outstanding women on Wall Street who exemplify the character, achievement, and passion that is critical to organizational success. An advocate for cross-cultural communication, Rao has been a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) since 2017 and is a past Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award (DofE) recipient. Rao received her bachelor’s degree from Ivey Business School in Canada. She is passionate about Chinese and English literature, DE&I initiatives, volunteerism, and public speaking.

Yvonne So is a journalist, the host, writer and producer of podcast “Dacapo Presents”, a series that features global musicians. and upcoming iHeart podcast “Cashing our Trillions, ” a series that spotlights the work moms do to sustain the $1.5 trillion economy of unpaid female work. She is a vocal Asian American Pacific Islander activist passionate about amplifying the voices of the AAPI community through civic engagement, education, and media. She is the co-chair of OCA National’s AANHPI K-12 Curriculum Committee, the AAPI Programming Director for the Phoenix Film Festival and a member of the Contributions Board of The Arizona Republic.

Daniel Tam-Claiborne is a multiracial author, multimedia producer, and nonprofit leader. He serves as Co-Executive Director of The Serica Initiative, a nonprofit organization that galvanizes a global community of changemakers to advance positive social impact in U.S.-China relations. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Tam-Claiborne has spent over five years living and working in Greater China and is an outspoken advocate for Asian American issues and increased global understanding through education, cultural exchange, storytelling, and effective philanthropy. He has received fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the World Affairs Council, and serves on the Board of Oberlin Shansi and the Seattle City of Literature. His debut novel-in-progress, Transplants, was a finalist for the 2023 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. He holds degrees from Oberlin College, Yale University, and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Sean Wang is a Vice President at Oaktree Capital Management, a global alternative investment manager, and focuses on life sciences investments. Prior to joining Oaktree, Wang was on the investment teams at Ares Management and Athyrium Capital Management. Wang started his career in healthcare investment banking at Guggenheim Partners. He graduated with a BS in Biological Sciences and Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University.

Eric Yen is the Co-Founder and CEO of Stream, a VC-backed insurtech that is digitizing insurance claims processing. He is based in New York City and is heavily involved in Asian representation for underprivileged youths, serving on the local board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC and as a mentor for Minds Matter. Yen holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in Economics for UC San Diego.

About Committee of 100

Committee of 100 is a non-profit U.S. leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, healthcare, and the arts focused on public policy engagement, civic engagement, and philanthropy. For over 30 years, Committee of 100 has served as the preeminent organization committed to the dual missions of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life and constructive relations between the United States and Greater China. Visit or follow Committee of 100 on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more information.

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Charles Zinkowski

Sr. Director of Marketing & Communications

Committee of 100

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