Since 2004, the National Committee has been selecting twelve graduating U.S. high school seniors who have received national recognition for their accomplishments to participate in the yearly U.S.-China Student Leaders Exchange. For the young American participants, the heart of the program is a two-week study visit to China during the summer between high school and college. Americans participants learn about China's successes and challenges and have unusual opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with their Chinese counterparts as a consequence of homestays throughout most of the program.
The National Committee's first benefactor was John D. Rockefeller III. In 1966, he gave a personal gift of $20,000. Later that year the Rockefeller Brothers Fund pledged $300,000 over three years. This early Rockefeller association lent critical legitimacy — and prestige — to our fledgling organization.