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Charlotte, North Carolina, USA


I am an associate professor (with tenure) of international management at The Belk College of Business, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where I teach business strategy at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. My research focuses on institutional environments, corporate governance, and knowledge synthesis technologies. I am leading the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded GoPeaks Initiative, whose goal is to develop a “shared brain” for people and society. Recently, I serve as the lead principal investigator of 2021 NSF Innovation Corps Team on “Knowledge graph embedding-based explainable AI for enterprise performance management”, which was voted by  national teams as the #2 for People’s Choice Award.


My research has been published or forthcoming in Journal of Management, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Journal of Corporate Finance, Global Strategy Journal, and Columbia FDI Perspectives amongst others. I received Academy of Management Meeting Best Paper Award in International Corporate Governance, Academy of International Business Meeting Best Paper Nomination in Emerging Economies (twice), and Asia Pacific Journal of Management 2014 Best Paper Award. I am also a Guest Editor of a special issue on “Solving the persistent problem of knowledge fragmentation: Towards an integrated knowledge system for all stakeholder values” at the International Journal of Management Reviews. My research efforts have been quoted by Financial Times (UK), CNBC (USA), The Globe and Mail (Canada), Valor Econômico (Brazil), RT (Russia), and Shanghai Daily (China) among others.


My teaching adopts a Globally Networked Immersion Learning model, where my students work with counterparts at premier international institutions to help US businesses and startups to assess foreign market entry plans. My collaborators on this practice include Wells Fargo Country Risk Analytics, Wells Fargo International Strategic Initiative, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Regional Partnership, 3D Systems, and General Microcircuits, among others. I was named Charlotte Chamber Young Professional Educator of the Year 2015. Currently, I am leading the Global Tech Launch program, where students from multiple universities form global virtual teams to help university technology start-ups to fit into a global innovation value chain from their inception. Participants have come from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (US), Wuhan University (China), Fudan University (China), University of Mannheim (Germany), Tohoku University (Japan), Hong-Ik University (South Korea), and Istanbul Aydin University (Turkey) among others.


I completed a Ph.D. in strategy (with high distinction) from Segal Graduate School of Business, Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. My doctoral study was in conjunction with Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (a block away from my PhD office), the leading Canadian think tank on Pacific-Rim foreign affairs. There, I provided thought leadership support to some of the country’s major senior executives and policy makers related to international business. Before academic career, I completed all three levels of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).


Between December 2011 and August 2018, I served as the Global Coordinator and Editor of Emerging Market Global Players (EMGP) Project at Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, where I led the development of a research network of emerging market researchers, consultants, and policy advisors to conduct standardized data collection and survey reports on emerging market investors abroad. As of 2018 when I stepped down, the project has built a global research network in 17 major emerging markets, and produced 30+ research reports, including a special issue on “emerging markets and sustainable development” published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.


In addition to my academic career, I was active in both the international economic and commercial arenas. I served as an economic officer for the Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI) in 2010-11, where I represented the Ottawa coordination office in Vancouver and my role included preparing Minster Stockwell Day for his Asian business missions. In 2008-09 I was a Research Fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, where I collaborated with China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) to survey and provide consulting services for Chinese outward investors. In 2006-07, I was a founding partner of an Ottawa-based foreign investment research firm, where I organized a major international conference with Industry Canada on a 2007 amendment to Investment Canada Act. As part of the intellectual outcome of this conference, I co-founded the journal of Transnational Corporations Review.


I often speak to the public on globalization, foreign investment policies, Chinese/emerging-market multinational enterprises, and new ideas on evidence-based practice. I enjoy discussions with community leaders of different sectors on public and civil issues. I served on the 58th Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts’s Charlotte-China Business Advisory Council during 2016-2017. I am a member of the parent/community advisory council of Telra Institute (a charter school for gifted education) and the Rotary Club of Charlotte.


I was born in China, educated in China and Canada, and am a Canadian citizen and American permanent resident. I live in Charlotte South with my wife Lu Zhou, who works on healthcare analytics. We have a beautiful daughter, Paris.


I am a strong believer in the ideal of a Renaissance (wo)man. Since a child, I have maintained wide-ranging interests. During schools, I have won Chinese national contests in physics, mathematics, English, watercolor painting, and novel-writing. I am very obsessed with entrepreneurial initiatives in almost everything I do (not always for profit). I also believe in life-long learning. If I am not playing board games with my family, I am completing online programs in machine learning, programming, and neuroscience.


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