Jeffrey Bernstein (At a glance)
- Living in Mainland China full time for 27 years
- Deep interest and experience in policy advocacy
- Fluent in Chinese
- Strategic Focus: Academic Medicine;
- Geographic Focus: Beijing, Shanghai, Southwest China
As I think you all can relate to in your personal journeys, China has changed tremendously in the 27 years since I arrived in Beijing. I recall riding my “Flying Pigeon” from Haidian District to Wangfujing, crossing a large construction site of mud and pebbles that eventually became the 4th Ring Road. In the ensuing decades I feel privileged to have a “front row” seat to one of the most spectacular transformations of any economy or any society. Several years after my Beijing bike rides, I found myself at a lunch table in a staff canteen hearing news of the impending opening of the Shanghai GM factory in Jinqiao which led several Shanghai colleagues to joke that if they were lucky, they could afford to purchase only a steering wheel. In the space of a few years, I saw many of those colleagues had purchased autos and were driving to work.
This collage of stories is probably no different than what you have experienced, but unfortunately becomes overlooked in the day-to-day rush in Washington DC, Beijing, or your corporate HQ, but this is the context under which the US and Chinese economies have thrived as partners. This is not to downplay the challenges many of us face in China of protecting IP (frankly for both US and Chinese technological leaders), unequal treatment of different businesses (foreign or local) based on who their “beneficial owner” is, or proven cases of dumping of Chinese goods abroad, however, what I have observed time and time again is that appreciation of context and earning mutual respect are essential ingredients to achieving breakthroughs and solving problems. Clearly, the presumption, which I think is still the case today, is that there is still room for mutually beneficial collaboration between companies, individuals, and even the governments of US and China, and this is the preferred course to outright confrontation.
The question is how AmCham China can continue to be a positive force to nurture such collaborations in the midst of such volatility in the political relationship. The answer, I believe is by being an “honest broker” of information, providing a very objective view of the circumstances on the ground, including the opportunities and obstacles that our member companies face in China; neither sugar coating, nor reverting to the kind of hyperbole that can be heard amongst those who rush to paint China in the worst possible light. Furthermore, we can find new ways to enhance collaboration amongst American Chambers in China and throughout Asia, as our member companies look to explore more market diversification opportunities.
I believe I am in a unique position to contribute to these activities as a Board Member based on the following elements of my life experience:
- Long and Diverse Experience in Mainland China: Living and working in Mainland China full time for 27 years, covering a diverse set of industries (management consulting, trade and logistics, education, and healthcare) in a diverse set of geographies (Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu) for a diverse set of organizations, from McKinsey and Co, to Fortune 500-sized companies, to IVY league schools to entrepreneurial startups.
- Deep affinity for policy advocacy and business to gov’t relations: I have been an active member of multiple AmChams in China for over 25 years, including volunteer leadership positions as AmCham China’s Healthcare Committee Co-Chair, Member of the DC Doorknock team, and a former Chair (2 terms) and Board Member (6 terms) for AmCham in Shanghai. My interest in gov’t extends beyond national level, to state/provincial level, having represented the States of Ohio and Nevada in China in an official capacity.
- Deep affinity for Chinese Culture: I am fluent in Chinese, live in a multicultural household, and see myself as a bridge (and living example) in promoting understanding across cultures.
- Strategically Focused on Healthcare in Southwest China: I currently lead UPMC’s (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s) presence in China, as we are completing construction and will begin to operate a 500-bed hospital in Chengdu on a 20-year contract. It is the first hospital operation project at this scale in China by a US Academic Medical Center. Furthermore, the hospital is opening in Chengdu, the hub of one of the most dynamic regional economies in China, which offers insights on opportunities for other member companies to tap into new growth.
- As a board member of AmCham China, I would tirelessly work to listen to our member companies’ concerns, and ensure that your needs are reflected in the priorities of the Chamber. My sense is that members of AmCham China, nationwide, look to this great organization to provide many unique services, including:
- Enhanced access to Central Gov’t officials in key Ministries, which might go beyond mainstays such as Ministry of Commerce to include our specific industry regulators.
- Policy analysis on the US-China relationship that can be shared with investors/headquarters
- Support in leveraging synergies across companies in multiple geographies whether in Beijing, Tianjin, Chengdu, or elsewhere.
- I remain optimistic about the possibility to resuscitate the US-China relationship, while being sober as to the enormity of the task that lies ahead. It would be an honor to listen to and represent you, serving on the AmCham China Board. I appreciate your support.
Jeffrey Bernstein, UPMC International Senior Vice President and Managing Director, China AmCham China Healthcare Committee Co-Chair
As UPMC International Senior Vice President and Managing Director for China, Jeffrey leads UPMC’s efforts to develop and concentrate our health service operations in the world’s largest healthcare market, by integrating local partnerships and global knowhow to deliver world class care to Chinese patients, close to home.
Mr. Bernstein has extensive experience developing and operating businesses within China. Under his leadership, UPMC has built a localized China team, and developed a major partnership to manage and operate hospitals in multiple cities in China, the first being a 500 bed tertiary general hospital in Chengdu, which will be first US Academic Medical Center operated tertiary hospital in China.
Mr. Bernstein is a recipient of the Magnolia Silver Award, presented by the Shanghai Municipal Government. The Magnolia Silver Award, a highly-regarded accolade, recognizes the contributions of foreign experts to Shanghai’s economic and social development.
Mr. Bernstein earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a concentration in Management and Finance from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business.
UPMC is a $24bn integrated non-profit Healthcare organization based in Pittsburgh, Pa., which is closely affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh. Managing a network of over 40 hospitals and over 700 ambulatory clinics in the US and Europe as well as a staff close to 100,000 globally, UPMC is the largest non-governmental employer in the Commonwealth (State) of Pennsylvania. As the world’s largest academic medical center and a leader in medical innvotation, UPMC consistently ranks in the top 6 recipients of NIH funding for medical research and delivers breakthroughs across many fields, from infectious diseases, organ transplant, to immunological elements of oncology and aging. UPMC has been active in China since 2011, creating a telepathology partnership with market leading Kingmed (金域)， and ensuing clinical partnerships with Xiangya Hospital of Central South University(湘雅医院), West China Hospital of Sichuan University (华西医院), First Affiliated Hospital of the Zhejiang University (浙大 附一) and Wanda Group(万达集团。)
- For more than 25 years, Mr. Bernstein has lived and worked in Mainland China serving in leadership capacities.
- Mr. Bernstein was elected and served multiple terms as Board Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. He also was one of the first foreigners to be registered as an independent director by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, serving consecutive terms on the board of a Shenzhen listed multi-billion revenue industrial concern.
- Served as the official representative in China for US states of Ohio and Nevada, advocating for US-China commercial exchanges on the national and sub-national level.
- More recently, Mr. Bernstein served as the founding Managing Director of the Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing, building the project from scratch over a five year period by creating Penn’s first overseas physical presence for all 12 Schools of the University, including Penn Medicine, Penn Dental, and Penn Nursing, supporting enhanced local academic exchange, alumni interaction, and executive education offerings.
- In his current role, Mr. Bernstein has fostered close relationships with Chinese Government entities, including a strategic partnership with the HHRDC (the talent training agency under China’s National Health Commission) and multiple leading Chinese public hospitals, such as Huaxi (West China) Hospital, Xiangya Hospital, and First Affliliated Hospital of Zhejiang University.
Mr. Bernstein is an avid book reader and tea drinker, fluent in Mandarin Chinese (reading, writing, and conversation). He now resides in Shanghai, eats in Chengdu, and travels to Beijing whenever his Covid Quarantine health code permits. He is married with two children.