Zening Ge

Executive Director, University of Chicago Center in Beijing

Campaign Statement

Regardless of the result of the US presidential election, Sino-US relationship won’t be the same and both sides will inevitably take a different view and approach to work with the other side.  As the most important bilateral relationship on this planet takes a sudden, rather dramatical change of course, commercial entities, large or small, will have to adjust and adapt accordingly.  In this challenging time, the need for an organization like AmCham to act as an important platform to bridge the differences of governments, facilitate mutual understanding and advocate interests of its members has never been greater.  When official communication between governments is hampered due to differences in ideology, politics and other sentiments, it is vital to maintain people-to-people conversation and economic cooperation. 

AmCham, for some time, has been a main advocacy vehicle for commercial entities operating in China and it has done a terrific job under the leadership of the BOG and its management team.  With more and more education, especially higher learning, institutions joining the organization, it is only appropriate for better representation of this industry in AmCham BOG.

Most members of this industry operate as none profit organizations back in their home country even though they, for convenient and operational purposes, have set up their presence in China as for-profit entities.  Due to this unique legal structure, these companies face quite different challenges in the areas of, for example, tax, legal, business scope, HR, compliance, etc.  Also, the local government agencies that regulate or have regulatory authority over this sector are largely different from normal commercial entities.  This is the area that AmCham going forward will dedicate resources to focus on and it is important to have members representing this sector reside in BOG to help facilitate its strategy and provide guidance in policy formation. 

Education, especially, higher education, is probably the very few sectors that the US has been running a tremendous trade surplus with China.  With the strained relationship between our two governments, higher education’s role of keeping people-to-people relationship, facilitating dialogue, promoting mutual understanding and culture exchange, driving exploration of unknowns and spreading human knowledge will only become ever more vital.  AmCham should and will take a much more active role in this sector to help its members, raise and help resolve issues with local authorities, act on behalf of its members and the larger higher education industry, provide intelligence to overseas organizations, etc.  All these efforts need to be strategized and allocated with necessary resources.  My job as a member of the BOG representing the higher education industry will be doing just that. 

Finally, with my unique background of working at both industry and education, living in both China and US, I am uniquely equipped with time, resource and energy to provide in-depth understanding of both worlds, and help formulating AmCham’s activities in this sector and developing better operations to serve AmCham members.


Biography

Dr. Ge is the executive director of UChicago’s Center in Beijing. At this capacity, he oversees the daily operation of the center, manages UChicago’s relationship with government, local academic and research partners. UChicago Center in Beijing has been a member of AmCham China and one of three regional centers of the university.  Prior to this position, he was managing partner and company officer of SSA & Company, a New York-based management consultancy.  He was the founder and managing partner of the Processwise Consultants Inc. – a management consultancy in China focusing on continuous improvement and lean Six Sigma deployment.  The company then merged with the US-based SSA & Company and Dr. Ge has since served as its CEO of SSA’s Asia operations.

Zening graduated from the Tsinghua University with a master’s degree in management in 1989 and then he studied economics and econometrics with respectively, Professor Robert Lucas, the 1995 Nobel Laureate in Economics, and Arnold Zellner, in the University of Chicago and obtained a Ph.D. in Economics in 1996.  His research interests had been ranging from US economic history to very much technical interest theory.

Dr. Ge joined the management consulting arm of EDS, which then merged with Chicago-based consultancy, AT Kearney, in 1995.  A year later, he moved on to become a staff member of Gary M Reiner, Senior VP, in General Electric. In that capacity, based in GE’s headquarters in Fairfield, he participated or led many GE’s important strategic initiatives including Globalization and Six Sigma.  He was instrumental of GE Capital’s many ventures in Japan, Thailand and China as well as the integration of e-business and Six Sigma in Asia.  His last role in GE was the Director of Operations of GE Aircraft Engines Asia Pacific.  He is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

He moved back to China in 2003 and in addition to managing his own management consulting firm, he has been involved actively in many private investment leads. He masterminded the structure and operation business model for the China Commodity Exchange, or CCE, a credit-based none-monetary trading system and served in the advisory board of couple of PE/VC firms. 

Dr. Ge is an expert in US higher education, business operations and China economic development and global competitiveness. He works out of UChicago’s Beijing office.