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Introduction to the Founder

Dr. Yang Jianli

Founder and President of Initiatives for China, Dr. Yang Jianli was born in Shandong Province in northern China. A graduate of Beijing Normal University, Dr. Yang holds a PhD. in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD in Political Economy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. In 1989, at the age of 26, his fellow graduate students at Berkeley selected him to go to Beijing in support of their counterparts in China who were demonstrating for democracy in Tiananmen Square. He arrived in Tiananmen Square in time to witness the massacre of thousands of peaceful demonstrators by the guns and tanks of the Chinese government. This event fundamentally changed young Jianli's future. He narrowly escaped capture and returned to the United States where he committed himself to studying democracy. Read more...