China Leadership Summit

Mar 17, 2014

Two Weeks Until Duke-UNC CLS!

Hardworking CLS Leadership team reading apps!
Hardworking CLS Leadership team reading apps!

Hello supporters!

14 days, 1 hour, and 49 minutes remain until it. 100 student delegates hailing from 23 universities will descend upon North Carolina for it.  13 award-winning journalists, analysts, professors, and founders will speak at it.  

What is this it being referenced?

Duke and UNC's annual China Leadership Summit!

Our student leadership team has invested more than seven months into designing the conference and arranging each logistical detail.  In the process, we have played on each others' strengths and consumed enough dumplings to open a small restaurant.  You may ask what has been most challenging, and our unanimous reply is this: making delegate decisions.

Interest in China has been expanding given the country's unprecedented economic growth, and universities are offering incredible programs to meet the popular demand.  Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit has emerged as a notable US-China relations conference for students to attend in the Southeast, and this year we received 190 applications, our highest total to date.  Not only did the conference generate more applicants than ever before, but we also witnessed the competitive level of talent exhibited by students rise with each new application that we opened!  Tough hours of deliberation at last resulted in the applicant pool being wittled down by 47%.  We are thoroughly pleased with the high quality of the 2014 CLS delegates. 

And now, two weeks away, we are ready.

We advanced because of your generosity in donating to this conference, and we can't wait to report to you what comes out of the Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit in a few weeks!

Thank you so, so much.

The CLS Leadership Team

Delegates Simdi, Xiaoqian, and Emily from CLS 2013
Delegates Simdi, Xiaoqian, and Emily from CLS 2013
Speaker Marc Ross of US-China Business Council
Speaker Marc Ross of US-China Business Council


Dec 2, 2013

China Leadership Summit 2014 -- Commence Planning!

CLS 2014 Flyer
CLS 2014 Flyer

Dear China Leadership Summit supporters,

The Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit brings together top undergraduate students from across the U.S. to learn about and discuss pertinent issues to US-China relations.  Last year, we were proud to host the following people as our keynote speakers:

  • Thomas Fingar, Chairman of National Intelligence Council; 
  • Thomas Christensen, Director of the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program; and 
  • Yukon Huang, World Bank Country Director for China, as our keynote speakers.  

In addition, seventeen other experts joined us to lead panels and round robin discussions.  They came from everywhere, ranging from the US-China Business Council to the Environmental Defense Fund.

The planning has commenced for CLS 2014!  Two teams totaling 25 students, one at Duke University and the other at UNC-Chapel Hill, began meeting in September to discuss the goals and structure for the conference.  Already, it appears that this year's conference will rival all four of the last years, combined.  So many strong strides of progress have been made that we are eager to share with you and thank you for partnering with us to put on a powerful leadership summit for university students interested in US-China relations.

Here are some of the milestones!

  • Confirmed conference date and locations -- March 28-30, 2014, at Kenan-Flagler Business School of UNC-Chapel Hill as well as multiple buildings on the campus of Duke University.
  • In contact with an array of exciting speakers -- businessmen and women, ambassadors, professors, policy analysts, and a musician, to name a few!
  • Wrote and formalized the student delegate application, which is set to open on January 1 of the new year.  We are also expanding our international presence and welcoming outreach to more potential delegates from China.  At the same time, the selection process remains incredibly competitive as word about CLS continues to spread.
  • Formalizing relationships with businesses, NGOs, and think tanks of similar interests.  We would like to give companies access to recruit in the database of student scholars who would be incredible entry-level job candidates.
  • Hosting an interest meeting in the third week of January on our university campuses.

Finally, we come to our favorite three updates.  Just this month, we successfully solidified a partnership with the North Carolina China Business Association, a non-profit association of China-focused professionals and businesses.  They will be assisting us in relationships with corporations.  Next, we rolled out a brand-new website that explains our conference history in a clear fashion and gives potential delegates or sponsors the chance to become familiar with CLS.  Go check it out!  Finally and most importantly, the team has decided on the China Leadership Summit 2014 theme: The Chinese Dream: Local Realities and Global Implications.  This is something that Chinese President Xi Jinping has mentioned frequently in his many speeches, and so we are excited to unpack the term and delve into its underlying concepts.

As our team continues organizing 2014's China Leadership Summit, we would be thrilled to hear of connections to universities, businesses and corporations, NGOs, think tanks, and speakers who you imagine might be good fits.  If you would like to contact us with a thought, please send our team an email at!  Thank you so much for how you have supported the conference financially, and we are excited to keep you updated with the fruits of your donation.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, and happy holidays to you and your family,

The Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit Team


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Project Leader

Katrina Wertz

Chapel Hill, NC United States

Where is this project located?

Map of China Leadership Summit