Linda Tsao Yang

Linda Tsao Yang


Former U.S. Ambassador and first woman Executive Director appointed

Chair Emeritus, Asian Corporate Governance Association

Ambassador (retired) Linda Tsao Yang served as U.S. Executive Director to the board of the Asian Development Bank in Manila from 1993 to1999. She was appointed by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate in 1993, the first woman and the first minority to represent the United States on the board of a multilateral financial institution.  At her retirement In 1999, the U.S. Department of the Treasury awarded her the Distinguished  Service Medal of the department. She was cited for steering the bank towards policies and practices which made development assistance more equitable and enduring: good governance, transparent information disclosure, improved rules on participation and consultation, a policy on gender; and for leading the bank toward a stronger emphasis on quality and the sustainability of its development assistance. The citation also highlighted her key role In defining the bank’s participation in the international response to the Asian economic crisis in 1997-1998.

Yang is Chair Emerita of the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) based in Hong Kong which she chaired from 2001 to 2014. The ACGA is a nonprofit, member-supported organization founded in 2000 and chartered under the laws of Hong Kong. Its mission is to conduct research, education, and advocacy to improve corporate governance practices in Asian capital markets. At the time of her retirement in 2014, assets under management by its global institutional investor members amounted to US$14 trillion. From 2003 to 2010, she served on the board of the Bank of China (Hong Kong) – one of three banknote issuing banks in Hong Kong – as an independent non-executive director. The founding chair of the Strategy and Budget Committee of the board, Yang worked with her colleagues to launch the first Five-Year Growth and Development Plan for the bank. Earlier in her career, she was the first minority appointed to serve as California’s Savings and Loan Commissioner; she was also the
first minority appointed to the board of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest public pension fund in the United States. She was Vice-Chairman of the Investment Committee of the board and was unanimously elected by her fellow board members to the position of  Vice President of the Board.

Yang was an invited panelist on International Economy at the economic summit led by then President-elect Clinton in Little Rock, Arkansas in December 1992. Her membership includes the international Council of the Bretton Woods Committee in Washington DC. ; Council on Foreign Relations in New York; Trusteeship for Betterment of Women of Los Angeles/ International Women’s Forum; Trustee Emerita of The Asia Foundation in San Francisco; The committee of 100 in New York, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center on Asia Pacific Policy, RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California.

She is Honorary-Chair of The 1990 Institute; Life Member of the Pacific Pension Investment Institute, a global non-profit organization based in San Francisco; Director of the Year 2008 (Hang Seng Index), Hong Kong Institute of Directors; Honorary  Citizen of Shanghai  2016  awarded by Shanghai Municipal  Government for her contribution to improving the city’s environment and public health; and Honorary Doctor of  Humane Letters degree, Princeton University.

Yang graduated from St. John’s University In Shanghai with a major in economics in 1945; a master’s degree from Columbia Business School in New York in 1948;  and was awarded M.Phil. (economics) degree, Columbia University in 1975. She was married to the late Professor An Tzu Yang, a founding member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Davis, California. She is the mother of two sons, Yuelin T. Yang and Eton Y. Yang.

Areas of Expertise

  • Public Service

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