Economist Yang Yao Named Dr. Scholl Fellow at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

September 28, 2015
Foundation Fellowship to Focus on U.S.-China Economic Engagement
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs will host economist Dr. Yang Yao, a renowned expert in economic transition and development in China, as the next Dr. Scholl Foundation Visiting Fellow on U.S.-China Relations. A top economist in China, Dr. Yao directs the China Center for Economic Research and serves as dean of the National School of Development, both at Peking University.
“As China’s economy faces new headwinds, it is more important than ever to understand what drives China’s growth and development and what that means for the American economy,” said Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder, president of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “Dr. Yao’s influential position in the China Finance 40 Forum is especially propitious for examining China’s economic future. We look forward to the insights he’ll bring to the Council’s exploration of U.S.-China relations.”
Dr. Yao will deliver the seventh annual Dr. Scholl Foundation lecture, China’s Economy: A New Equilibrium? on Thursday, October 8. During his visiting fellowship, Dr. Yao also will engage Chicago-area businesses, universities, institutions and media on the impact of China’s economic development on the world economy, including trade with global cities like Chicago.
“China’s expansive economic development is dynamic and complex,” said Dr. Yao. “To strengthen U.S.-China relations, we must understand and engage with each other. I look forward to contributing my unique vantage to the Council’s efforts to help drive that dialogue and advance those connections.”
The Dr. Scholl Foundation supported the establishment of an annual lecture on U.S.-China relations in 2008, with the first lecture in 2009 delivered by Ambassador Carla Hills, former U.S. trade representative, followed by a 2010 lecture by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. Over time the annual lecture evolved into an annual visiting fellowship, with recent Dr. Scholl Foundation Visiting Fellows including Yu Yongding, a member of the monetary policy committee of the People's Bank of China, and Zhang Weiying, a leading Chinese economist and advocate of free market reform in China.
Dr. Yao obtained a bachelor’s in geography in 1986 and a master’s in economics in 1989, both from Peking University. He earned his doctorate in development economics from the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996. Dr. Yao’s prolific work has earned him numerous awards, including the 2008 and 2014 Sun Yefang Award in Economic Science, the 2008 and 2010 Pu Shan Award in International Economics and the 2008 Zhang Peigang Award in Development Economics.
Mainland China is one of the Chicago area’s largest global trade partners, according to World Business Chicago. Trade between Illinois and China amounted to $34.1 billion in 2014, with last year boasting the highest total single-year investment by Chinese companies. More than 160 Chicago area companies have subsidiaries in China, the Chicago area is home to more than 60 mainland Chinese-owned companies and more than 112,000 Chinese-Americans live in the Chicago area.