Established in 2017, a new partnership between the National Committee and the Schwarzman Scholars program engages Schwarzman Scholars at all stages, helping further prepare them for leadership roles in the U.S.-China relationship. Through the partnership, current Schwarzman Scholars, recent graduates, and alumni have opportunities to learn from and engage with policymakers, policy influencers, and leading China experts in the National Committee’s network.

Current Scholars

Selected current scholars observe closed-door, Track II dialogues among Chinese and American policy influencers and functional experts on important strategic, economic, legal, and other sensitive issues in the bilateral relationship. Scholars also engage with members of Congress and other senior visitors traveling on National Committee delegations to China, giving the scholars access to U.S. policymakers and a platform to share their views on critical global issues. 

Recent Graduates

Each year, one graduating scholar joins the National Committee for a twelve-month fellowship in New York City. The Schwarzman Scholar Fellow gains hands-on experience in the field of U.S.-China relations, exposure to leading China experts and policy influencers, and insight into the inner workings of running a nonprofit. The fellow is an integral member of the National Committee team, helping to develop and implement programs related to policymaking and the education of future leaders. Click here to learn about the 2020-2021 fellow, Christopher Sperrazza.


The National Committee organizes bi-annual seminars for Schwarzman Scholars alumni to refresh them on timely, substantive issues pertaining to China and U.S.-China relations, deepen relationships with fellow alumni, and further expand their professional networks with established figures in the field. The seminars, held in the United States and China, include lectures and discussions with leading academics, policy practitioners, and policy influencers. Click here to read about the most recent alumni seminar held in March 2019.

Schwarzman Scholars is a fully funded one-year master’s program at Tsinghua University, the visionary creation of Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Blackstone. The program is designed to give accomplished American, Chinese, and international students the leadership skills and professional networks needed to become global leaders.


Alumni Seminars

  • In October 2019, thirty-seven Schwarzman Scholars alumni, representing 14 countries, gathered in Los Angeles for a three-day conference on the media and entertainment industries as they pertain to the U.S.-China relationship. Over the course of the weekend, alumni visited Activision Blizzard as well as Paramount Studios, and participated in discussions led by important voices in the industry, including, Janet Yang, Dede Knickerson, Jonathan Landreth, and Robert Xiao. Throughout their sessions and site visits, alumni traversed topics including the relationship between China’s soft power ambitions and its censorship tools, films co-produced by Chinese and American studios, the increase in representation of the Asian diaspora in mainstream media, and the rise of the e-sports industry. To close out the program, participants were organized into teams and tasked with pitching an idea for a film, television series, or video game that would appeal to both American and Chinese audiences, to a board of investors.

    Alum Juliana Batista ’17 reflects on the seminar:

    Juliana Batista“After the end of the programming on Sunday, I felt reinvigorated and deeply thankful for the opportunities that the Schwarzman program, in partnership with NCUSCR, continues to provide. These alumni deep dive seminars are immensely valuable: they get you thinking in a way that is expansive, with a growth mindset and an intellectual acuity on the U.S.-China relationship.”

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  • In March 2019, twenty-seven Schwarzman Scholars alumni convened in Beijing for a China Refresher seminar. Designed to bring alumni up to date on China’s role in the twenty-first century and its relationship with the United States, the seminar covered recent developments in China’s economy, foreign policy, and domestic political sphere. Two expert briefers, Mark Wu, professor of law at Harvard University, and Yun Sun, senior fellow at the Stimson Center and an NCUSCR Public Intellectuals Program fellow, joined the group for the entirety of the interactive seminar, providing analysis and commentary. In addition to engaging in substantive discussion during each session, participants also took part in a trade war negotiation simulation.

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  • Fifty Schwarzman Scholars alumni from around the globe came together in Palo Alto to participate in a seminar exploring the role of technology in the U.S.-China relationship. Designed as a deep dive into Silicon Valley, the program included site visits to Google, Suning USA R&D Center, and, an autonomous vehicle company. Over the course of the weekend, alumni heard from expert speakers including NCUSCR Director Jerry Yang, co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo!; Liu Zhen, senior vice president of ByteDance; and Hans Tung, managing partner at GGV Capital. Throughout the seminar, participants engaged in nuanced discussions on Chinese technological development, artificial intelligence, technology ethics, and the future of the bilateral relationship.

    Alum Ricky Altieri reflects on his experience at the seminar:

    "As someone who works in U.S.-China commercial relations and especially on tech policy issues, I was thrilled to hear from people at the forefront of these fields, and I left with fresh perspectives. Equally valuable, for me, was the chance to see old friends – and watch them get to know each other as well."

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  • Held in June 2018 in at the Tabard Inn in Washington, D.C., the second Schwarzman Scholars Alumni Seminar was a “deep dive” into foreign and national security policy in both the United States and China. Drawing from the breadth and depth of China and foreign policy expertise localized in Washington, the seminar began with a keynote conversation with John Podesta, and continued with lectures by Matt Sheehan as well as National Committee Directors Amy Celico and Robert Daly, among others. The agenda focused on both traditional and non-traditional security issues; topics of discussion included maritime disputes, U.S.-China military balance, the escalating trade war, technology, and soft power.

    Alum Stephanie Burrell reflects on the seminar:

    Washington, D.C., provided the backdrop for the second Schwarzman Scholars Alumni Seminar, a fitting location to discuss U.S.-China security relations. We heard from experts on a wide range of topics, including military strategy, climate change, and emerging technologies, which made for many interesting and heated discussions.


    The academic exchanges and intense debates were offset with laughter and sharing of stories as old friends reunited, the ease of which highlighted the strong bonds between the scholars. In China, sports brought the scholars together so it was apt that we relaxed in the summer heat by kayaking on the Potomac River. Time spent with fellow scholars is always inspiring and I feel incredibly grateful for each friendship. It was amazing to hear how the time we spent in China has shaped each of our lives: some now work in China, some work on China-related topics in think tanks, and others are working to bring international companies to China.

  • In March 2018, the National Committee hosted the inaugural Schwarzman Scholars Alumni Seminar outside of New York City at Buttermilk Falls Inn. The seminar was a broad refresher on developments in China and the United States since the first cohort of Schwarzman Scholars graduated in July 2017. The twenty participating alumni were joined throughout the weekend by National Committee President Stephen Orlins and specialists Damien Ma, Mira Rapp-Hooper, and National Committee Director Amy Celico, who led discussions on diverse topics, including domestic politics, the U.S.-China security balance, bilateral trade, and technology and innovation in China. Alumni had a wonderful time reconnecting with one another and valued the opportunity to think deliberately about China and speak candidly with leading Sinologists.

    Alum Juliana Batista reflects on her experience at the seminar:

    "Alumni from the first cohort of Schwarzman Scholars descended upon the Buttermilk Falls Inn to gather and discuss the U.S.-China relationship from a trade, business, and security perspective. Although it has only been a few short months since graduating in July [2017], reuniting with other scholars felt like a welcome embrace of the familiar—sending waves of nostalgia for our time in Beijing. Those feelings could only be brief, because we immersed ourselves in a talk about China’s ever-changing Internet landscape and how the rules are being rewritten.

    The next day we took a deep dive into roundtable discussions with three specialists who shared their expertise and insights with the scholars. I found our conversation about China’s relationship with the WTO amidst the trade volatility lively and relevant to my current work in textile manufacturing. The weekend retreat culminated with a dinner at the inn’s barn. Feeling sentimental about parting ways again, everyone joined in together for a chorus of 朋友, a favorite classic song of the scholars. The more time I spend with my fellow scholars, the more I am reminded how fortunate I am to share intellectual curiosity and solid friendship."

Related Materials

  • We are pleased to announce that we have selected Maggie Wedeman as our inaugural Schwarzman Scholar Fellow. Maggie joined us in August 2017 for the one-year fellowship, a major component of a new partnership between the National Committee and Schwarzman Scholars.

    Maggie will be an integral member of our team, helping to implement programs that are central to our mission, including Track II dialogues on critical bilateral issues. She will also play a key role in the National Committee-Schwarzman partnership, developing and executing bi-annual seminars for fellow Schwarzman College alumni that will provide continued engagement on substantive China-related issues. “I’m thrilled to be the National Committee’s inaugural fellow, and look forward to building a strong relationship between the two organizations and initiating a discourse on China’s evolving role in the world,” said Maggie.

    Maggie hails from Lincoln, Nebraska, but has been exposed to China for most of her life. She first visited China when she was 18 months old and spent many years in grade school living in Nanjing and Taipei with her family. As an undergraduate at the George Washington University, she double majored in Chinese language and international affairs, with a concentration in security policy and the Asia region. Under the mentorship of David Shambaugh, Maggie developed a research method to analyze Chinese perspectives on non-traditional security issues such as terrorism, energy security, climate change, and public health concerns.

    While at Schwarzman College, Maggie served on the leadership team that hosted the International Women’s Day conference at the college. She also helped facilitate a symposium with 25 Rhodes Scholars that aimed to deepen their understanding of China. We look forward to Maggie’s contributions to the National Committee, and believe that her lifelong commitment to learning about China and determination to create opportunities for her peers to exchange ideas will make her a great addition to our team.

    Click here to learn more about the National Committee-Schwarzman Scholars Partnership.

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