Program Leadership


Stephen A. Schwarzman, Founder and Chairman

Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of Blackstone, Stephen A. Schwarzman founded the Schwarzman Scholars program in order to give the most talented future leaders the power to change the course of history. An active philanthropist, Mr. Schwarzman has personally donated $100 million to this effort and is leading a campaign to raise $300 million more to fully endow the program—the single largest charitable effort in China's history coming from largely international donors.

In both business and education, Mr. Schwarzman has dedicated his career to developing transformative solutions to some of the world’s great challenges. His charitable giving has included anchor support for the New York Public Library, the establishment of the Schwarzman Center at Yale University, and sponsoring educational opportunity for talented children. His vision in designing Schwarzman Scholars was to create change at a global scale.

Amy Stursberg

Executive Director

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Amy Stursberg is the Executive Director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, CEO of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Education Foundation and Interim Executive Director of the Schwarzman Scholars Program. In her work with the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Ms. Stursberg has created and overseen the Blackstone’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, bringing four innovative programs to twenty states and four countries. As CEO of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Education Foundation and Interim Executive Director of the Schwarzman Scholars Program, Ms. Stursberg has helped to launch Schwarzman Scholars, a new fellowship program at Tsinghua University in Beijing. In her role, she has helped to raise over $400mm to endow the scholarship program, has overseen the selection of the inaugural class of scholars and the creation of a new Robert A.M. Stern building on Tsinghua’s campus. Prior to joining Blackstone in 2008, Ms. Stursberg served on the transition team for Governor Eliot Spitzer. From 2006-08, Ms. Stursberg managed the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s $90 million program in cultural and in community grants in Lower Manhattan. Previously, Ms. Stursberg served as the final Director of the September 11th Fund. There, she helped to manage the $500 million fund to support communities, individuals and organizations impacted by the events of 09/11. Prior to that role, she held various positions at the Office of Management and Budget at the Office of the Mayor in the City of New York, as well as at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. Ms. Stursberg received her BA with honors from the University of Michigan and her Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Currently, she serves on the Partnership for New York’s Innovation Council and on the Board of Directors for the Tectonic Theater Company; formerly, she served on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE).


Director of Global Admissions and Strategic Initiatives

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Robert Garris, Director of Global Admissions and Strategic Initiatives for Schwarzman Scholars, has built innovative international programs at universities and foundations for more than fifteen years. Prior to joining Schwarzman Scholars, he served in senior leadership roles at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Conference and Research Center as Managing Director; Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) as Senior Associate Dean, where he worked on all academic and administrative matters for the School and was responsible for coordinating the university’s efforts to open a Columbia Global Center in Beijing and leading efforts to build a global network of partner institutions in Europe, Asia, and Latin America; and at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Garris received his Ph.D. in European History from the University of North Carolina, where he specialized in immigration and urban policy.


Executive Dean

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David Qingzhong Pan is Executive Dean of Schwarzman Scholars at Tsinghua University, overseeing the program’s daily operations and responsible for organizing an innovative course to encourage active engagement between students and industry leaders. As an entrepreneur, David worked in the IT industry as an Engineer, Director of R&D, CEO and Chairman, and was granted various awards for technological innovation in China. Returning to academia in 2004, David served as Director of the Development Office of the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (SEM), where he was also in charge of activities of the School’s Advisory Board, and taught courses and conducted research in managerial economics, corporate governance, and Chinese economic history. David received his BE in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, ME in Economics and PhD in Finance from Tsinghua University, and his MS in Engineering Economic Systems at Stanford University.


Associate Dean, Academic Affairs

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Jason Wenhao Cheng is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of Schwarzman Scholars at Tsinghua University. As the founding Director of Tsinghua’s Anti-Corruption and Governance Research Center, his research covers important subjects such as public governance, government reforms and corruption prevention. He was member of the China Supervision Society, Supervision Committee of the Beijing Olympic Games, and the Young Leaders Forum organized by the National Committee on United States-China Relations. He won championships in the Young Faculty Teaching Contests of both Tsinghua University and Beijing. Professor Cheng received his bachelor’s degree in International Politics from Peking University in 1996 and his doctoral degree in Political Science from Yale University in 2002. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in 2003.

Melanie Koenderman

Associate Dean, Student Life

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Melanie Koenderman, Schwarzman Scholars Associate Dean for Student Life, has spent over twenty years blending her interests in education, student development, and internationalization into a varied career. For the nine years prior to joining the Schwarzman Scholars program for its inaugural year, Melanie helped to launch Canada’s first independent liberal arts and sciences university, Quest University Canada in British Columbia, as the founding Dean of Students and Vice-President. She previously brought her interest in education to her time spent as a Canadian diplomat, working on foreign student policies and programs with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and representing Canada during postings to embassies in India, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. She previously managed student residences, international student services, and English language programs at various universities and secondary schools in Canada and abroad. Melanie studied literature at McMaster University, earned a teaching degree at the University of Ottawa, and completed a Master of Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Youqiang Wang


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Professor Wang Youqiang received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Ohio University in 1989 and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1997. He taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1997 through 2002 and then became a faculty member of the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University, where he had served as Assistant, Associate and later Executive Associate Dean and Party Secretary until 2010. He also worked in the municipal administration of Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province, from 2010 through 2012. Currently he is the director of China Center for Public Leadership, and the deputy director of China Institute of Development Planning. Professor Wang is the co-lead professor for the leadership course at Schwarzman College. His teaching and research interests are in public economics, public management and leadership, as well as in urban development policy, with a particular focus on issues of planning, industry, finance, human/social services, and sustainability. Professor Wang has published a number of articles in international academic journals in economics and public administration, including the American Economic Review, the Public Administration Review, the China Quarterly, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Economic Theory, Economics Letter, Journal of Public Economic Theory, and German Economic Review. He has been working on numerous research projects for a broad array of government organizations at the levels of the central government, province, city and county.