Zhong Li (Ryan) received his Master’s degree in International Trade and Investment Policy (now International Economic Policy) from Elliott School of International Affairs in 2017 and joined the Center for International Agricultural Research (CIAR) of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) in 2018. He has been working on several international cooperation projects with several world-leading international agricultural organizations, such as International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Asian Development Bank (ADB), etc. He also leads the China Office of Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YAPRD), a non-governmental organization under the umbrella of and Global Forum on Agriculture Research (GFAR) in 2018. During his time at GW, Ryan worked closely with the IMF on a “The Spillover of Chinese Economic Slowdown on Latin American Countries” project. His research on China Hukou system was presented in several international conferences in Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo, and Washington D.C. Additionally, he has worked/interned at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Eurasia Group, CITIC Securities, Essence Securities, and China Minsheng Bank. Other than Chinese, Ryan speaks fluent English and conversational Korean and Spanish.
When did you realize you wanted an international career?
Way back in my middle school when I found myself interested in learning different languages.
Describe your current position and what are your primary responsibilities?
I am working at the Center for International Agricultural Research of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. My responsibilities include: coordinate the South-South (Triangular) Agricultural Cooperation projects; conduct researches in agricultural value chain development related field, especially the private sectors’ involvement; participate in the international trade negotiations related to the agriculture sector. Recently, I got admitted by the Ph.D. program in management at the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) in Beijing, China.
What are the current trends driving the future of your career field and what advice would you provide an Elliott School graduate student that is interested in your field of work?
Excellent written skills are critical to work in the public sector and as a researcher.
How does your current position compare to what you thought you would be doing when you first started your degree at the Elliott School?
Well, tough questions. My current job is not exactly what I wanted most, but is one of the several paths I anticipated for my future when I was in school. “All roads lead to Rome”. This is a great platform for me to gain relevant experiences and expand my social circles.
If you won the lottery but could only spend money on three items/causes, what would they be?
Depends on the prize, but
- Traveling is a must.
- Stock investment
- Save some for the rainy days
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