Doing Business in China: Perspectives from Brown Alumni

In February 2012, the Year of China and the C.V. Starr Program in Commerce, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship sponsored three days of events, "Doing Business in China: Perspectives from Brown Alumni."

February 14
5:30 PM
MacMillan Hall, Room 115
167 Thayer Street

Barrett Hazeltine, Professor of Engineering and Drew Mason ‘89 moderated a discussion of the business case, "China Risk Finance: Riding the Wave of China's Financial Services Industry."

Part of the Year of China's reading initiative, "China…Page by Page"

More information on Drew Mason '89:
Drew Mason is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Jade Capital Management LLC, a leading provider of venture and growth capital for top entrepreneurs in China’s financial services sector. Mr. Mason is also one of the founding members of, one of the first Chinese companies to list on NADAQ, and China Risk Finance LLC, China’s leading consumer finance solutions provider voted Private Equity International’s Venture Capital deal of the year in 2007. Mr. Mason was formerly the head of investment banking for the technology sector in Asia Pacific for UBS Warburg, where he worked on Asia’s M&A deal of the year in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Mr. Mason’s operating experience includes serving as an intelligence officer during Operation Desert Storm for the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72). Mr. Mason is on the board of China Risk Finance LLC, Shanghai Harvest Network Ltd. and a member of the President of Brown University’s China Council. He has a BA in history from Brown University where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and a MBA from Harvard Business School. Mr. Mason has worked in New York, London and Hong Kong and currently resides in Larchmont, New York.

To see a full video of this lecture, please visit Brown University on YouTube.

February 15
4:00 PM
Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center, Petteruti Lounge
75 Waterman Street

Alison Friedman '02, choreographer, accomplished dancer, and founder of Ping Pong Productions led a career conversation, describing her path from Brown to an entrepreneur in China.

Ms. Friedman was International Director of the Beijing Modern Dance Company before she was hired by Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun to be General Manager of his company Parnassus Productions, Inc. She came to Beijing on a Fulbright Fellowship to research the development of modern dance in China. In addition to lecturing on modern dance in both China and abroad, Ms. Friedman has conducted research for the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the Asian Cultural Council, and her writing has appeared in Dance Magazine (USA). She has worked as consultant for the US Embassy in China, Columbia University, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, as well as other overseas dance and theater companies touring the Middle Kingdom. From 2003-2005 she hosted a live music program on China Radio International (CRI), China’s largest government-run radio station.

Ms. Friedman has produced international performance festivals in Beijing and was Production Coordinator for the John F. Kennedy Center 2005 Festival of China in Washington DC. During the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games she co-produced the Sino-US modern dance festival booking DANCE FESTIVAL beijing 2008.

As a performer / director, Ms. Friedman has collaborated with artists throughout China including the Living Dance Studio and the National Theater Company of China, and has choreographed/directed a bilingual production of Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat which premiered in May '05 at the China National Theater Company’s East Pioneer Theater and had a revival in March '09 at Shanghai’s Lyceum Theater. An accomplished tap dancer, she frequently teaches tap at the Beijing Dance Academy and in Shanghai.

Ms. Friedman graduated Phi Beta Kappa / magna cum laude from Brown University, where she studied Chinese literature/literary translation. She was a 2009-2010 Arts Management Fellow at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC and a 2011 ISPA Fellow.

To view the full video please visit Brown Univeristy on YouTube

Related article about this event:

Alum uses dance as ‘artistic ambassador’

Oral history excerpt of an interview with Alison Friedman

February 16
2:30 PM
Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center, Petteruti Lounge
75 Waterman Street

Entrepreneurship, Enterprise, and Technology in Modern China
Panel discussion on Entrepreneurship, Enterprise, and Technology in Modern China. Featured John Chen'78, P'06, P'11, CEO of Sybase, Alison Friedman '02 founder, Ping Pong Productions and Drew Mason '89 co-founder and Managing Partner of Jade Capital Management LLC.

To see a full video of this discussion, please visit Brown University on YouTube.

4:00 PM
Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center, Petteruti Lounge
75 Waterman Street

"Mutual Reassurance: How to Steer U.S.-China Relations Towards a New Golden Age"

John Chen'78, P'06, P'11, CEO of Silicon Valley software maker Sybase Inc. and a recognized expert on Asian foreign policy,  discussed the evolution of modern U.S.-China relations, what he sees as key goals and aspirations shared by the two powers, and how these could be leveraged to help transform Sino-American relations for the better.

John Chen has served as chairman, chief executive officer and president of Sybase, Inc. since 1998. Under his leadership, Sybase has become the recognized industry leader in enterprise mobility infrastructure. In addition, the company has significantly strengthened its position in data management, and has a long track record of increasing revenue and profitability. In acknowledging his business leadership, Forbes magazine named Mr. Chen one of the Top 25 Notable Chinese-Americans in Business. He was named 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Northern California.

Mr. Chen is actively involved in international relations. He has testified before Congress on U.S.–China trade relations. In 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush appointed him to serve on the President’s Export Council. In 2006, he was appointed co-chair of the Secure Borders and Open Doors Advisory Committee. In addition, Mr. Chen has been a longtime member of the Committee of 100 and currently serves as its chairman. In recognition of his leadership in building U.S.-Asia relations, he received awards from the US-Asia Institute in 2009 and California-Asia Business Council in 2007.

Mr. Chen serves on the boards of directors for the Walt Disney Company, and Wells Fargo & Co.
Mr. Chen graduated from Brown University magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He holds a master’s from California Institute of Technology (CalTech). He also has an honorary professorship from Shanghai University, an honorary doctorate from the San Jose State University in California, and the City University of Hong Kong, as well as an honorary doctorate in business administration from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Mr. Chen is active in the community. He is a trustee of CalTech as well as a governor of the San Francisco Symphony.

To see a full video of this presentation, please visit Brown University on YouTube.