Gao Qing is the Executive Director of the Confucius Institute U.S. Center – the national center that coordinates more than 100 Confucius Institutes in the United States. He served as the Director of the Confucius Institute at George Mason University (CIMason) from 2010 – 2017, where he oversaw the programming, finance, and operations. CIMason received the “Confucius Institute of the Year” award in 2013. Gao himself received the “Individual Excellence” award in 2012 from Confucius Institute Headquarters. He has chaired panel discussions on the topics of assessment and evaluation, teaching technologies, program development in International Confucius Institute Conferences, and given lectures at Chinese Director Training programs since 2012. He is also a faculty member of Arts Management and Special Assistant to the Dean of College of Visual and Performing Arts for China and Global Initiatives at George Mason University. He develops various collaborative relations between George Mason University and leading Chinese arts, cultural, and educational institutions on philanthropy and arts management, as well as educational partnerships. In addition, he assists with business development initiatives for investment and trade between East Asia and Virginia. Before joining Mason in 2010, he worked at US-China Policy Foundation – a think tank in DC. He conducted research on Sino-US cultural and political relations, and managed China Materials Service Center for four years. Gao completed his Masters degree from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University and Bachelors degree from the School of Management, Fudan University.
External Communications Liaison
Professor William Reeder has enjoyed a 40-year career in education, management, philanthropic administration and the arts. Throughout his career, Bill has raised over $250 million in private funds for the arts and education and has developed innovative public private partnerships that resulted in an additional $100 million for cultural facilities. Currently Bill is as a Professor of Arts Management at George Mason University and holds the Imminent Scholar’s Heritage Chair of Cultural Criticism. Bill also serves as Co-Director of Mason’s Confucius Institute. In 2015, Bill retired after 14 years as the founding Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason. As Dean, Bill managed a $28 million budget, and was responsible for eight academic divisions: The School of Music, School of Art, School of Dance, School of Theater, Arts Management Masters Program, Film and Video Studies Program, Computer Game Design Program and the Potomac Arts Academy. Bill also managed two campus-based regional performing arts centers, the Center for the Arts in Fairfax, and the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Virginia and oversaw the Great Performances and Hylton Presents series. Prior to joining George Mason, Bill was Vice President and General Manager of the Washington Performing Arts Society. For two years, Bill was with the Sallie Mae Corporation, where he was the Founding Director of the Sallie Mae Trust for Education. From 1993 to 1997, Bill was President of the Saint Louis Conservatory of Music, then for six years served as Executive Director of the Levine School of Music, in Washington D.C. Early in his career, he was on the voice faculty of Illinois State University and Indiana University, Bloomington, where he also held administrative positions. For eight years, Bill was a leading operatic tenor engaged by the Zurich, Switzerland Opera Company. He performed over 25 leading tenor roles in Zurich, Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, and other major venues throughout Europe. His principal conductors were Ferdinand Leitner, Carlo Maria Giulini, and Marek Janowski. Stage directors included Goetz Friedrich and Harry Kupfer. Ioan Holender, the longest serving General Director of the Vienna Staatsoper, managed Bill’s opera career. Bill holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He completed 55 hours of Doctoral credits at Indiana University, Bloomington, and holds a Certificate in Fund Raising Management from the Indiana University/Purdue University Center on Philanthropy.
Manager of Communications
Melissa Christensen is the Manager of Communications at the Confucius Institute U.S. Center. Melissa recently spent two years in Shanghai improving her Mandarin and consulting with a Chinese tech company on branding and business strategy. Prior to China, Melissa worked as a communications coordinator at an international company in Santa Barbara, California. Melissa pursued her undergraduate degree at Westmont College and received her Chinese language certificate from Fudan University. Melissa is a cross-cultural team member with a global perspective–having lived and worked on three continents, and with experiences in 43 countries.
Senior Program Officer
Digital Marketing and Program Associate
Miao Li is the Digital Marketing and Program Associate at the Confucius Institute U.S. Center. Prior to joining the CIUS Center, she worked as a Communications Consultant for Environmental Defense Fund and International Fund for China’s Environment in Washington, DC. Miao began her career in public relations and communications in Beijing, where she worked as an Account Manager for HAVAS. Miao received her master’s degree in Public Relations and Communication from Georgetown University, and her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Miao is passionate about cause-driven communications, including cross-cultural understanding and climate change.