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Engaging China in a New Era speaker bios

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Keynote Speakers

Craig Allen is the sixth president of the United States-China Business Council (USCBC), a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing over 200 American companies doing business with China. Prior to joining USCBC, Allen had a long, distinguished career in U.S. public service. Among his government roles, he has served as international economist at the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA), director of the American Trade Center in Taipei, and as a member of the Senior Foreign Service, both as minister counselor and later as U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam.

Allen received a B.A. from the University of Michigan in Political Science and Asian Studies in 1979. He received an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 1985.



Jan Berris is vice president for the National Committee on United States-China Relations and is responsible for overseeing all program activities of the Committee. This includes being actively involved in preparation and operations for the visits to the United States of hundreds of Chinese delegations, including the 1972 Chinese Ping Pong Team, and sending hundreds of American delegations to China. She has developed ongoing flagship programs such as the Public Intellectuals Program, U.S. Foreign Policy Colloquium, Young Leaders Forum, and the Committee’s Track II projects. Berris has written articles for various publications and contributed chapters to several books on China.

Berris has a B.A. in Chinese studies (University of Michigan, 1966) and an M.A. in Japanese studies (University of Michigan, 1967). She speaks Chinese, Hebrew, and Spanish – in descending levels of fluency.


Katherine P. Kaup is James B. Duke Professor of Asian Studies and Politics and International Affairs at Furman University. Her research focuses on ethnic minorities and rule of law developments in China. She is the author of Creating the Zhuang: Ethnic Politics in China, several articles and chapters on ethnic minorities, and editor and contributor to the textbook, Understanding Contemporary Asia.

Kaup is a National Committee on United States-China Relations Public Intellectual Fellow and serves on its Board of Directors. She has served as special adviser for Minority Nationalities Affairs at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Yunnan Minzu University, Visiting Scholar at the Guangxi Ethnic Affairs Commission, and PI/Program Director for several federally-funded Chinese language programs and for the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment.

She received her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.


Yanzhong Huang is a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he directs the Global Health Governance roundtable series. He is also professor and director of global health studies at Seton Hall University's School of Diplomacy and International Relations. Huang has written extensively on global health governance, health diplomacy and health security, and public health in China and East Asia. His book Governing Health in Contemporary China looks at health-care reform, government ability to address disease outbreaks, and food and drug safety in China.

Huang is often consulted by major media outlets, the private sector, and governmental and nongovernmental organizations on global health issues and China.

He obtained his B.A. and M.A. from Fudan University and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.


Kaiser Kuo is founder and host of the Sinica Podcast, a weekly discussion of current affairs in China, and editor-at-large at

He recently repatriated to the United States after 20 years in Beijing, where he worked as director of international communications for Baidu, a Chinese multinational technology company, one of the largest AI firms in the world.  He wrote for the foreigner-focused English-language magazine The Beijinger from 2001 to 2011.

Kaiser was guitarist and co-founder of the band Chunqiu (Spring & Autumn) and a founder of China’s first heavy metal band, Tang Dynasty. 

Kuo is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and holds an M.A. from the University of Arizona.


Margaret Lewis is professor of law at Seton Hall. Her research focuses on law in China and Taiwan with an emphasis on criminal justice and human rights. She has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar at National Taiwan University, a visiting professor at Academia Sinica, a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Public Intellectuals Program Fellow with the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and a delegate to the US-Japan Foundation's US-Japan Leadership Program.

Her publications have appeared in a number of academic journals and she co-authored the book Challenge to China: How Taiwan Abolished its Version of Re-Education Through Labor with Jerome A. Cohen. Professor Lewis received her J.D., magna cum laude, from NYU School of Law, where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif and was a member of Law Review. She received her B.A., summa cum laude, from Columbia University and also studied at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China.


Dave Rank served for 27 years as a member of the U.S. Foreign Service before retiring in 2017. His final assignment was as Deputy Chief of Mission and, following the 2016 election, Charge’ d’Affaires (acting Ambassador) at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Mr. Rank served in five other positions in the region, including two prior assignments to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, two at the American Institute in Taiwan and one at the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai. He also was assigned to the U.S. Embassies in Afghanistan, Greece and Mauritius and at the U.S. State Department in Washington. In 2015 he received the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award for his role in the release of the only American servicemember held by the enemy in Afghanistan.

Currently, Mr. Rank is a Senior Advisor at The Cohen Group and a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. He speaks Mandarin, French, Dari and Greek. A native of Chicago, Mr. Rank attended the University of Illinois.