Director of Research
Gengtian Zhang works closely with UCI’s Co-Chairs to define the Initiative’s research agenda, ensure research quality, and oversee the execution of UCI research projects. He also administrates grant making and provides leadership and mentoring for UCI researchers and interns.
Previously, Gengtian worked at China’s National Development and Reform Commission for 16 years in the areas of urban planning, general affairs, and economic governance. He was one of the core members responsible for drafting China’s 10th, 11th, and 12th Five-Year Plans for National Economic and Social Development as well as the 10th Five-Year Plan for Urbanization and Major Functioning Zone Planning. He also worked as an advisor at the World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific Region Urban Practice in 2003, and studied at MIT as a visiting scholar on the Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies in 2001.
Gengtian holds a Master’s degree in Economic Management from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), another Master’s degree in Regional Economic Studies from Renmin University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering & Machinery.
Eadie (Hua) CHEN
Director of Strategic Engagement
Eadie Chen works closely with UCI’s Co-Chairs to lead outreach to multiple stakeholders, including policymakers, corporate leaders, academics, international organizations, and members of the international and local press. She also oversees UCI’s publications and provides input to Director of Research.
Previously, Eadie worked at Reuters News as a senior journalist covering Chinese and regional economic policy, financial regulation, and energy policy. She reported international events such as G20, G8, Sino-U.S. Strategic Dialogue, and annual meetings of World Bank, IMF and ADB from Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Sau Polo, and New York. Eadie won the Global Journalist of the Year Award at Reuters in 2008.
Eadie is a graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She also holds dual BA degrees in Political Science from Renmin University and International Communications from Peking University. She was previously a Mid-Career Student Fellow with the Nonprofits in China program at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University.
Dr. Li works closely with the Director of Research in setting the research agenda, conducting UCI flagship researches, communicating with grantees and contributing to UCI academic exchanges.
Dr. Li has rich experiences in the urban research sector. He has led or contributed to a broad range of urban researches including China’s urbanization strategies, urban service industry development, smart city management, historic legacy preservation in urban development, economics of green city management, repositioning of resource-exhausted energy cities, new development model for cities in coastal regions, etc. These projects covered various Chinese urban areas such as Beijing, Zhejiang, Shenzhen, Sichuan, Chongqing, Guangxi, Yunnan, Gansu, Qinghai, and so on.
Dr. Li holds a bachelor’s degree in law, a master’s degree in regional economics and a doctoral degree in urban economics, all from Renmin University. He was a research fellow at the ASH Center of Harvard Kennedy School in 2010 and a visiting scholar at University of Cambridge in 2009.
Yameng Hu is a multi-tasked assistant at UCI to extend effective support to various functions.
She works closely with UCI Directors to assist research and document preparing, contribute to UCI website, work with UCI interns in initiating writing ideas, act as an UCI ambassador to handle public inquiries, facilitate procedures of UCI Call for Research and multiple events as well as help administrative matters.
Yameng holds a BA degree in Land Resource Management from Renmin University. She was an exchange student to the University of Hong Kong in 2010. She was a graduate trainee at UCI in 2011 and was selected to join UCI as a full-time staff from July 2012.