Unfortunately due to ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19, this year's U.S. Foreign Policy Colloquium will be canceled. Thank you for your interest and please email fpc@ncuscr.org with any questions.
 

The U.S. Foreign Policy Colloquium (FPC) is an exclusive four-day program designed to provide 75 of the best and brightest Chinese graduate students studying at colleges and universities from across the United States a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the complex forces that shape American foreign policy and inform the U.S.-China relationship.

 

FPC gives participants the unique opportunity to interact with key players in the American foreign policy arena, including current and former administration officials and members of Congress, as well as representatives from academia, think tanks, media, business, lobbying groups, and the military, among others. The National Committee uses its deep connections, cultivated over the past 50+ years, to provide participants rare access into some of the capital's most important foreign policy-making institutions, such as the Department of State and the National Security Council, where they meet with individuals responsible for crafting and influencing policy.

Last Held:
May 28, 2019 to May 31, 2019

Alumni Profiles

  • Which graduate school were you attending when you participated in FPC? 

    I recently graduated from a dual degree master’s program from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in Environmental Management and John Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies in International Relations and International Economics. My research interests are renewable energy, air pollution control, and environmental policy.

    What are you doing now?

    I work as an analyst at a renewable energy consulting firm, CustomerFirst Renewables, in Washington D.C. We work with large businesses and institutions to maximize the values of renewable energy and achieve their sustainability goals.

    How did FPC impact you?

    FPC provided a valuable opportunity to get a better understanding of the U.S. political landscape through meetings with current and former government officials, site visits, think tanks, NGOs, etc. Due to the current state of U.S.-China relations, it is especially important to understand the opportunities and challenges of the relationship. FPC covers a wide range of topics including U.S. politics, foreign policy, security, liberty, emerging technology, which gave me a more well-rounded perspective on foreign policy.

    What was your favorite part of FPC?

    I really enjoyed the keynote program, which included a speech by Ambassador Thomas Pickering. He highlighted some challenges facing U.S. foreign policy, yet noted that these areas also serve as opportunities for cooperation with China, such as climate change. For me, his speech provided invaluable insight, especially for people who work on energy and environmental issues, on the potential to further collaboration between the U.S. and China.

    Why should current Chinese graduate students attend FPC?

    FPC is a great opportunity to interact with U.S. government officials, researchers in think tanks and NGOs, as well as Chinese students who share a similar passion in foreign policy. It is especially rewarding to get to know and learn from other FPC participants who have diverse academic and professional backgrounds. 

  • Which graduate school were you attending when you participated in FPC? 

    I had recently graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and International Relations. In the fall of 2019, I will be attending Columbia University's one-year master’s program of Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences.

    What are you doing now?

    Currently, I work as a research assistant for two professors at Claremont McKenna, as well as an analyst at GRisk, a Shanghai-based political risk analytics firm. I will also be starting an internship at CSIS' Reconnecting Asia Project, a Simon Chair initiative, which aims to fill Asia’s infrastructure-information gap. 

    How did FPC impact you?

    FPC deepened my understanding of U.S. foreign policy in an unprecedented way. Having my entire college experience in California, my political knowledge stemmed largely from textbooks. However, thanks to FPC, I have now been exposed to real-world political experiences. After interacting with renowned scholars, as well as visiting various government sites, I left with a deeper appreciation for the U.S. government.

    What was your favorite part of FPC?

    My favorite part of FPC was the diverse selection of speakers and foreign policy topics, as my studies in college were narrowly focused, and many significant aspects of politics were left unmentioned. A particularly striking moment for me was attending CSIS’ Louis Lauter talk, who addressed the role of Congress in foreign policy making. It made me realize that I have underestimated the important part Congress has within U.S. bilateral relations. Hearing from speakers from the State Department, the National Security Council, think tanks, lobbying groups, and news agencies, helped form a holistic image of U.S. foreign policy making. The whole FPC experience was a crucial pivot for my understanding of U.S. foreign policy and the U.S.-China relationship.

    Why should current Chinese graduate students attend FPC?

    In today’s world, politics has become increasingly more important. Alongside 74 young and talented peers, an FPC participant can gain an exclusive understanding of the U.S. foreign policy process, as well as economic development, finance, journalism, and much more. Additionally, FPC participants are presented with unique opportunities, such as interviewing high-profile diplomats, senior U.S. government officials, or distinguished scholars. FPC inspires and prepares China’s next generation of leaders to advocate for continued engagement and better understanding between our two countries.

  •  Which graduate school were you attending when you participated in FPC?

    I was attending The Ohio State University for International Higher Education when I participated in FPC. 

    What are you doing now?

    I’m continuing my PhD studies in Internationalizing U.S. Higher Education Institutions in the Chinese Environment in the College of Education and Human Ecology.  I’m also in the process of attending the Fisher College of Business to learn data analytics as a cognate for the evidence-based approach in my research. 

    On a daily basis, I work as a liaison between the Graduate School and the Office of International Affairs, as a graduate associate.  In the meantime – after the FPC program – I have a new group of friends to be in touch with, look up to, exchange ideas and as an extension of my support system; those who have a common goal of cultivating a harmonious relationship between China and the U.S.

    How did FPC impact you?

    FPC brought me closer to the arena where policy is created, and focused the lens for me to enter the stage of where our respective countries are, and what we are headed.  Being exposed to the experts who make the policies, who work tirelessly to promote a positive future for both countries and the world, and the aspiring peers who will become future leaders, all created a priceless experience that only can be had through such a course of events. 

    What was your favorite part of FPC?

    This program was impeccable and very well put together.  As many of us participants have said, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  If I were to capture one part that is my favorite – that would be the phrase “honesty”.  This phrase has been interwoven throughout the program highlighted by the dedication of the staff, the down-to-earth dialogues, and the interaction with the most renowned speakers.  It was the authenticity of the human minds, along with the memories, feelings and hopes that touched me.  I learned that these are the approaches FPC encouraged us to continue when we actively cultivate the relationship between our countries.  As Ms. Jan Berris said during her opening talk for FPC, “Policy means bringing people together.”   

    Why should current Chinese graduate students attend FPC?   

    Students who pursue graduate studies are destined to be leaders in their field.  They are positioned to contribute to the society through their mind of works and action of engagement.  The two countries’ future depends on these leaders who can effectively transition between the good and hard times with their intuitive understanding.  They are the ones who can bring forth what FPC has promoted for both countries: constructive engagement. 

    As for my own experience, FPC provides this platform and is second to none.  

  • Which graduate school were you attending when you participated in FPC?

    I was pursuing a Master’s degree at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where I specialized in China Studies and International Economics.

    What are you doing now?

    After FPC, I continued my journey with the National Committee as an intern. Currently, I am a research assistant to Public Intellectuals Program fellow Aynne Kokas at the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States.

    What are your future plans?

    I plan to acquire skills and gain thenecessary experience to become a “trap-solver.” If I am successful, my expectation is that, domestically, China can escape the middle-income trap and the Tacitus Trap, and that, internationally, the U.S. and China can avoid the Thucydides Trap and the Kindleberger Trap. This is ambitious indeed, but when it comes to future plans, “No dream is too big and no dreamer too small.”

    How did FPC impact you?

    FPC encouraged me to join a conversation without preconceptions and put my faith in transforming differences into consensus through informed and reasoned dialogues. FPC also cultivated my curiosity to explore the ways in which U.S.-China people-to-people exchange and communication can be facilitated. It is in this sense that I am very glad to have worked with everyone at the National Committee in support of its various flagship programs and special events.

    What was your favorite part of FPC?

    The trivia contest was my favorite part of FPC. It is also worth mentioning that Ambassador Cui Tiankai gave a wonderful speech to the FPC participants during the reception at the Chinese Embassy.

    Why should current Chinese graduate students attend FPC?

    I would recommend FPC to Chinese graduate students who wish to engage with policymakers and scholar practitioners to better understand how U.S. foreign policy is made in the real world. FPC is also a great opportunity to make lifelong friends and learn about the National Committee’s pivotal role in Ping-Pong Diplomacy, something I should have known earlier as a China Studies major but, exasperatingly, overlooked prior to attending FPC. Having said that, I am confident that students will find FPC worthwhile and discover their very own “unknown unknowns” along the way.

  • Which graduate school were you attending when you participated in FPC? 

    I was perusing my PhD at New York University, where I focused on urban systems and informatics.

    What are you doing now? 

    I am continuing my doctoral research on integrating data science and system engineering for better urban development. I am currently a fellow at the Urban Design Forum, a not-for-profit organization, investigating how New York City can adapt to its newest arrivals' demand for housing.

    What are your future plans? 

    I envision myself devoted to international collaboration for better cities, especially between the United States and China. Considering the global challenge from climate change, cities share common interests in improving urban resilience, economic equity, and quality of life.

    How did FPC impact you? 

    FPC offered me a comprehensive view of American foreign policy and U.S.-China relations. For someone from a STEM background, FPC enabled me to understand the broader social-political context of opportunities and obstacles in U.S.-China global cooperation.

    What was your favorite part of FPC? 

    The overview of NCUSCR's history given by Ms. Jan Berris was inspirational. I was very impressed by NCUSCR's efforts over the past five decades to promote better understanding between the U.S. and China. The reception at the Chinese Embassy hosted by Ambassador Cui Tiankai was also truly memorable.

    Why should current Chinese graduate students attend FPC? 

    FPC is engaging and educational for any student who is interested in U.S.-China relations and envisions their future career on a global scale. Participants will gain exclusive insights from amazing speakers and meet other talented students from a wide variety of disciplines and top universities.

  • Which graduate school were you attending when you participated in FPC?  

    I was pursuing a Master's of Science degree at Columbia Journalism School, where I focused on journalistic computing and investigative reporting.

    What are you doing now?  

    Since graduating from Columbia Journalism School in the summer of 2016, I have been working at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, providing live and on-demand coverage of meetings and events held at the UN.

    How did FPC impact you?  

    FPC provided a unique opportunity for participants to delve into the history and the current landscape of U.S. foreign policy. The well-curated program included keynote speeches, panel discussions, off-site briefings and receptions, all of which were informative and interactive. Throughout the Colloquium, I met and had many memorable conversations with seasoned professionals, renowned scholars, and amazing peers. By the end of the program, I had gained a deeper understanding of various aspects concerning U.S. foreign policy, which aided my graduate studies and had a far-reaching impact on my career.

    What was your favorite part of FPC?  

    The Chinese Embassy reception and the off-site briefing at the National Security Council were two of my favorite parts of FPC.

    Why should current Chinese graduate students attend FPC?   

    FPC was an engaging, inspiring and thought-provoking experience that I would recommend to every Chinese graduate student who wishes to broaden their understanding of U.S. foreign policy. This opportunity to gain exclusive insights, mentors and friends is truly one of a kind.

  • Which graduate school were you attending when you participated in FPC? 

    I was pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Nevada, Reno.

    What are you doing now? 

    I am currently the Beijing General Manager at Mobike, the world's first smart and station-less bicycle-sharing service.

    How did FPC impact you? 

    The Colloquium provided me with platform to hear from world-class keynote speakers and foreign policy experts, including practionitioners, professors, and entrepreneurs. By having the opportunity to converse with outstanding graduate students from universities throughout the United States,  I developed a clearer vision and insight on policy making, public administration, and other related  areas. My conversations with very knowledeable experts and graduate students helped me a lot with my research.

    What was your favorite part of FPC? 

    I really enjoyed the Q&A sessions after the expert lectures. The graduate students asked a wide range of interesting questions that sparked even more conversation amoung the participants, while the speakers were eager to respond with thoughtful answers.

    Why should current Chinese graduate students attend FPC? 

    The Colloquium is a very good opportunity to meet and talk with other graduate students from across the United States who are as excellent and driven as you.  

  • Which graduate school were you attending when you participated in FPC?

    I was a public policy master’s student at Cornell University when I attended FPC in 2014. My primary fields of interest were international economics and political economy. After FPC, I stayed in D.C. that summer and interned as a foreign correspondent covering economic and political news for one of the top financial news organizations in China. 

    What are you doing now?  

    I am currently finishing the last stage of my graduate study at Cornell and will hopefully pursue a job in macroeconomic research in the United States after graduation. I have also been a regular contributor for several news websites in China, writing on economic and political issues. 

    How did FPC impact you? 

    FPC was an exciting experience for me. I enjoyed the conversations with speakers from multiple fields. My deep interest in economic and diplomatic issues, along with U.S. economic history, has actually arisen from the site visit to the Department of the Treasury during FPC. I also made valuable friendships with many passionate and interesting Chinese students studying in the United States. 

    What was your favorite part of FPC? 

    My favorite part of FPC was the presentation given by Richard McGregor, the Washington D.C. bureau chief of the Financial Times. He discussed the interaction between news media and politics, and focused on the impact of politics on the objectivity of journalism. Richard’s own decades-long experience as a foreign correspondent, both in China and the United States, made him an excellent speaker on that topic. I agreed with his opinions and also volunteered to share my thoughts that day.  We ended up keeping in contact after the Colloquium.

    Why should current Chinese graduate students attend FPC?

    No matter what major you are studying in the United States, I would suggest that you do not miss this great opportunity, especially if you are interested in understanding the dynamics of the policy-making world in the United States. The FPC deeply engages participants in inspiring conversations with extraordinary guest speakers like politicians, researchers, NGO practitioners and journalists. Also, the site visits to government and congregational agencies, NGOs, think-tanks, and corporations are valuable experiences as most visitors to D.C. would not have the same opportunity. I think attending the FPC and spending three days in D.C., talking to nice people and opening up one’s mind, is a great way to kick off the summer break.

  • 2019 U.S. Foreign Policy Colloquium

    May 28, 2019 to May 31, 2019
    Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, Washington, DC

    Seventy-three Chinese graduate students representing over 35 universities across the United States came together in Washington, D.C., for the annual U.S. Foreign Policy Colloquium. Over the course of four days, participants learned about the various forces that shape the U.S. foreign policy-making process through expert-led, interactive sessions on the role of Congress, lobbying groups, the media, and technology. Participants also attended off-site visits at a range of institutions, including the National Security Council, The Heritage Foundation, and Intel Corporation.

    A highlight of the program was Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering’s keynote address, in which he explained the shift toward multi-polarity in the current world order and highlighted seven key issues confronting American foreign policy—from growth and development to weapons of mass destruction—as well as potential areas for U.S.-China collaboration, including climate change and cyberspace. Watch the video.

    View the 2019 agenda to learn more about the program schedule, speakers, and format.

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