China Institute-Serica U.S.-China Next-Gen Leaders Circle

What: The China Institute-Serica U.S.-China Next-Gen Leaders Circle (NGLC) is a trusted platform for young American and Chinese philanthropic leaders and social innovators to contribute towards social impact endeavors, with the goal of driving positive change through collaboration in both the U.S. and China. 

Mission: The China Institute-Serica U.S.-China Next-Gen Leaders Circle connects young American and Chinese leaders with a passion for philanthropy and social innovation through initiatives, forums, and events, with the goal of educational exchange and action-oriented collaboration on important social issues that lead to tangible results.

Value: At a critical time for U.S.-China relations, significant cross-cultural dialogue and activity around tackling common challenges are more important than ever. The NGLC is the only bicultural and action-based platform to connect young American and Chinese leaders who share a common passion for philanthropy with social innovators. It provides an important cross-cultural bridge and a new way to boost the impact of young social innovators and philanthropists by bringing together a diversity of skills, resources, and perspectives from their respective industries and backgrounds, and creates meaningful ties between thought leaders in both countries.

The NGLC provides a platform for young U.S. and Chinese millennials to discuss philanthropy, social justice issues, and to seek solutions to global challenges. As such, the program forges bridges between young U.S. and Chinese influencers, while helping build the foundations for a healthy civil society in the U.S. and China, rooted in global values such as opportunity, transparency, and equity.

The NGLC will explore strategic philanthropic practices and delve into deep discussion and exploration of questions around the role of business and society. The NGLC will also promote dialogue between U.S. and Chinese philanthropists and leading social innovators.


  • Strategic philanthropy education: Seminars and workshops
  • Dialogue and exchange: Panels and roundtables about strategic philanthropy, social innovation and impact investing in China
  • Giving Circles: Group donations or support for social innovators, non-profit initiatives, and projects
  • The Circle’s first Giving Circle in March 2020 raised funds for medical treatment supplies for Covid-19 patients in Wuhan, delivered with the help of the Wuhan University Alumni Association of Greater New York.

Areas of Focus:

  • Climate change and environment
  • Poverty alleviation
  • Education equality
  • Cultural heritage preservation
  • Arts and entertainment
  • Gender issues


The NGLC is formed through partnership between China Institute and the Serica Initiative, the non-profit founded by SUPChina.


Seamon Chan
Crysti (Zinan) Chen
Darren Chen
Gina Chen
Yucheng (David) Chen
Alicia Froio
Freda Ho
Alle Hsu
Moshe Itzhakov
Jason M. Kingdon
Brandon Lee
Alex Li
Annie Liang-Zhou
Yvonne Liu
Vivian Long
Pablo Meng
Nick Noronha Rosenbaum
Dichai Shen (Andre)
Joyce Wang
William “Daniel” Wong
Zihan Xie
Yini Xu
Ivy Yang
Colby Ye
Jason Lanfu Zhang
Yong Zhao

Membership: Members of the NGLC shall be:

  • Nationals/residents either of the United States or China
  • Between 22 and 40 years in age
  • Committed to making social contributions and building bridges
  • Possessors of solid professional backgrounds, with strong track records of achievement

Giving Circle

The NGLC Giving Circle is an annual grant awarded to an impact-driven cause that is innovative and makes a positive contribution toward a designated theme. Applications are rigorously evaluated by the NGLC’s giving circle committee, and then voted on by the entire NGLC membership.

The Giving Circle committee evaluates applications based on the following criteria:

  • Does the project qualify as strategic philanthropy (tackling systemic issues), as opposed to charity work (such as immediate disaster relief)?
  • Is the application for programmatic support, rather than operational support?
  • Will the size of our grant make a significant impact on fulfilling the organization and/or project’s work?
  • Does the organization and/or project benefit U.S.-China relations?

The first NGLC Giving Circle began in March 2020 when the NGLC members responded to the rapidly developing healthcare crisis in China, and raised $8,000 to purchase medical supplies for COVID-19 patients in Wuhan. These supplies were delivered with the help of the Wuhan University Alumni Association of Greater New York. The Association assembled a team of 40 volunteers to coordinate an operation to acquire and deliver vital medical supplies within the city.

Hospitals that received medical supplies include Wuhan Union Hospital, Wuhan University People’s Hospital, Yichang Central People’s Hospital, etc.

The theme of the 2022 NGLC Giving Circle is Climate and the Environment. NGLC received 28 applications across different organizations in the U.S. and China. An additional $5,000 contribution from Wayne Silby allowed the giving circle to extend additional funding to the giving circle runner-up.

The final beneficiaries of the 2022 NGLC Giving Circle:

Winner: China Outdoors Collective: $10,000 Awarded
China Outdoors Collective is the first user-based English language platform dedicated to showcasing Chinese wilderness and environment to increase international resources protecting China’s last and most precious wild resources. The platform is designed around an interactive map tool which features these places as well as how Western users can support their protection efforts. It will empower Chinese photographers to be a direct bridge between China’s conservation NGOs and Western philanthropy and support.

Runner-up: Chengdu Urban Rivers Association (CURA): $9,000 Awarded
CURA is a non-profit NGO dedicated to promoting the natural, recreational, and cultural values of rivers, particularly the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. Founded in June 2003, CURA provides a unified voice representing environmental values on issues such as river conservation, environmental protection, development of environmental awareness, and promotion of sustainable development in urban and rural areas.

The NGLC has successfully raised $15,000 for our 2023-2024 climate change grant. The grant will be awarded to two next generation changemakers and social innovators, who through their work and organization, may utilize the grant to accelerate their impact on climate change and environmental sustainability.

Benefits of becoming a NGLC grantee
Our work does not end with the grant itself. Through a year-long process, the Giving Circle committee will work directly with grantees to align on short and long term goals, and build a collaborative relationship. Grantees can take advantage of the resources available through a network of entrepreneurs, business partners, and philanthropic leaders across NGLC, The China ProjectThe Serica Initiative, The China Institute, and much more.

Grantees will always have a direct point of contact. As NGLC only offers one giving circle grant per year, the primary focus will be how NGLC and the Grantees define success, and how all parties can work to reach those milestones.

Grant Awards
First Place grant $10,000
Second Place grant $5,000
The application deadline is March 24, 2023.

If you or someone you know is interested in applying, please complete the application form and email to

Past Events

The U.S. and China have hurtled toward decoupling in recent years. Relations between the world’s biggest superpowers reached an unprecedentedly low point this year, as most U.S.-China bilateral dialogues — including on climate — were frozen after Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan this August. 

Yet, climate change waits for no one. Climate, perhaps more than any other field in the bilateral relationship, demands the highest level of collaboration between the U.S. and China. What are the biggest opportunities and challenges for U.S.-China climate cooperation going forward? Does the handshake seen around the world between Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden — as well as the resumption of informal talks between U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart, and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s planned visit to China in 2023 — portend that U.S.-China climate partnership will soon warm up again?

Join China Institute-Serica U.S.-China Next-Gen Leaders Circle online on Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 7:30PM Eastern Time/Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 8:30AM Beijing Time with a panel of top experts across sectors — from investors, policymakers, philanthropists, academics, and nonprofits — to discuss the road ahead for U.S.-China climate collaboration in the age of decoupling.

On April 14, join the China Institute-Serica U.S.-China Next-Gen Leaders Circle (NGLC) for a U.S-China Philanthropy Dialogue: an online event exploring Sino-American climate collaboration, and celebrating the winner of our inaugural NGLC Giving Circle.

Fireside Chat with Charlotte Kaiser and Peggy Liu
Cooperation on environmental-related issues remains one of the most promising opportunities in the increasingly strained U.S.-China relationship. In this fireside chat, Charlotte Kaiser, Managing Director of NatureVest, The Nature Conservancy, joins Peggy Liu, Chairperson of JUCCCE, to discuss impact investing and the roles that their organizations play in tackling global challenges. Moderated by Dinda Elliott, Executive Director of the Harvard Fairbank Center.

Keynote Address by Rena Peng
Rena Peng, Advisor at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) will discuss the key milestones and considerations in creating thoughtful and effective philanthropy and trends in next-gen giving.

NGLC Giving Circle Winners Roundtable
We are thrilled to launch the inaugural NGLC Giving Circle. Our focus in 2022 is to support organizations working on U.S.-China climate collaboration. Learn about the two finalists of our 2022 NGLC Giving Circle: the Chengdu Urban Rivers Association and China Outdoor Collective. How can emerging organizations play an outsized role in contributing to U.S.-China climate collaboration? What will NGLC’s Giving Circle grant help these organizations achieve, and what lessons can we draw about Next Gen philanthropy and the impact it can have? Moderated by Annie Liang-Zhou, a founding member of NGLC and a Founding Partner of Liang Capital Partners.

The China Institute-Serica U.S.-China Next-Gen Leaders Circle (NGLC) is a trusted platform for young American and Chinese philanthropic leaders and social innovators to contribute towards social impact endeavors, with the goal of driving positive change through collaboration in both the U.S. and China.

This event is co-presented by China Institute and The Serica Initiative


7:30Welcome Remarks: James Heimowitz, President, China Institute
7:32Opening Remarks: Anla Cheng, Founder and CEO, SupChina
7:35Fireside Chat with Charlotte Kaise and Peggy Liu: Charlotte Kaiser, NatureVest, The Nature Conservancy; Peggy Liu, Chairperson, JUCCCE; moderated by Dinda Elliott, Executive Director, Harvard Fairbank Center
8:10Keynote Remarks: Rena Peng, Advisor, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
8:30Introducing the NGLC Giving Circle: Yvonne Liu, NGLC Founding Member
8:35Giving Circle Winners Panel: Kyle Obermann, Co-founder, China Outdoors Collective; Sun Ji, Chief Executive Secretary, Chengdu Urban Rivers Association; moderated by Annie Liang-Zhou, NGLC Founding Member
9:10Closing Remarks: Josephine Lau, Executive Director, The Serica Initiative

How are millennial entrepreneurs going green with electric scooters, leather made of cactus, and pork made from plants — and building booming companies as a result? How can the U.S. and China collaborate on climate and sustainability efforts, especially after COP26? Join Next-Gen entrepreneurs Veronica Chou, Euwyn Poon, and David Yeung to hear about their green inspiration and their hopes for sustainability in the U.S. and China. The conversation will be moderated by Annie Liang-Zhou, a founding member of the Next-Gen Leaders Circle and a serial green investor and philanthropist.

This program is presented as part of the “Conversations in U.S.-China Sustainability” series by the Next-Gen Leaders Circle under China Institute and the Serica Initiative, a platform connecting young U.S. and Chinese philanthropists and social innovators to work together on social and environmental projects, with the goal of promoting positive change in both the U.S. and China.

The inaugural meeting of the U.S.-China Next Gen Leaders Circle brought together American and Chinese change makers in philanthropy, business, entrepreneurship, social innovation, and culture to explore challenges and opportunities in sustainable business, impact investing, and social innovation, through activities and intensive dialogue. Circle members worked to build meaningful bridges and engaged in dialogue between thought leaders in both countries—with the ultimate goal of addressing social problems together and encouraging the development of healthy civil society. At the half day meeting, held at the JM Kaplan Fund office, speakers explored sustainable business, entrepreneurship and social impact, impact investing, and social innovation:

  • Connecting Sustainability to Financial Value, with Tensie Whelan, Director of the Center for Sustainable Business at NYU Stern

  • Social Entrepreneurship with Slava Rubin, founder of Indiegogo, one of world’s largest crowdfunding platforms

  • Impact Investing with Jenna Nicholas, CEO of Impact Experience and CEO of Phoenix Global Impact

  • Cultural Heritage and Economic Value with Kaplan Fund Innovation Prize winner Victoria Herrmann of Rising Tides

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