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."

Schwarzman Scholars Partnership

Schwarzman Scholars Partnership

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.

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