The concept of founding the Committee came from the renowned architect, I.M. Pei and Dr. Henry Kissinger, 56th U.S. Secretary of State in 1988. Kissinger discussed with Pei the notion of organizing an influential group of Chinese Americans to address issues of international concern between the United States and China.
Later in June of 1989, I.M. Pei became inundated with calls from reporters seeking his reaction as an influential Chinese American to the Tiananmen events. Pei felt that no single individual could adequately represent the Chinese American perspective. With a sense of urgency to build bridges between China and the United States, Pei teamed with master cellist Yo-Yo Ma and others to recruit distinguished Chinese Americans from the arts, business, academia, public service, and the sciences to serve on the Committee of 100.
The Committee’s purpose is to provide leadership and act as a constructive force in the twin missions of:
Advancing constructive dialogue and relationships between the peoples and leaders of the United States and Greater China.
American citizens of Chinese heritage are invited to join C100 based on their extraordinary achievements. Members are pioneers in their respective fields and include: John Chen, CEO of Blackberry; Maya Lin, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and renowned designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., Ambassador Gary Locke, 21st Governor of Washington and former U.S. Ambassador to China; Debra Wong Yang, the first Asian American woman to serve as a U.S. Attorney; Ronnie Chan, Hong Kong real estate developer; Guoqing Chen, cofounder of Hainan Airlines; Wei Sun Christianson, CEO of Morgan Stanley Asia; Cheng Li, scholar and director of the Brookings Institute John L. Thornton China Center; Ya-Qin Zhang, President of Baidu.com; Dominic Ng, Chairman of East-West Bank; and Dr. David Ho, renowned HIV scientist and TIME magazine’s first Man of the Year in a medical profession. Currently, C100 has over 150 members.
C100 has a rich legacy of harnessing its distinguished membership to address significant and complex issues pertaining to Americans of Chinese descent and U.S.-China relations. In addition to serving as a high-level bridge and trusted interlocutor, C100 signature programs include China Delegations, Capitol Hill Briefings, U.S.-China Mirror Opinion Surveys, knowledge publications, educational workshops, next-generation leadership initiatives, public statements, and high-profile conferences.
The C100 Annual Conference is the largest C100 member gathering of the year, with an attendance of over 500 major influencers in government, business, academia, entertainment and the media. Highlighted past distinguished speakers include: Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City; Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter; The Honorable Elaine Chao, 24th U.S. Secretary of Labor; Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts; Ambassador Cui Tiankai, Chinese Ambassador to the U.S.; Ari Emanuel, Co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor/IMG; Hank Greenberg, Chairman & CEO of C.V. Starr, former Chair of AIG; The Honorable Henry Kissinger, 56th U.S. Secretary of State; Ang Lee, Oscar-winning filmmaker; Ruigang Li, Chinese media mogul and Chairman of China Media Capital; Michael Milken, Chairman & Founder of Milken Institute; Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway; the Honorable Henry A. Paulson, 74th U.S. Secretary of Treasury; Congressman Ed Royce, Chair of House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Ambassador Stapleton Roy, former U.S. Ambassador to China; and Stephen A. Schwarzman, Philanthropist & Chairman of Blackstone Group.
Clockwise from top left: 1988, I.M. Pei, Henry Tang & Henry Kissinger discuss formation of C100; 1994, C100’s first delegation to China, meeting with President Jiang Zemin; April 2006, C100 Chairman John Fugh meet Presidents George W. Bush and Hu Jintao at the White House; April 2015, 25th Anniversary Celebration with C100 leaders, Ambassador Cui Tiankai and Dr. Henry Kissinger; Oct. 2015, C100 leaders meet with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss Chinese philanthropy; September 2015, C100 chairman Herman Li meets President Xi Jinping in Seattle.