March 2009 -

The Hub

We're in Beijing

As the newly appointed vice provost of global affairs, Steve Hanson says the UW is well-positioned to cultivate meaningful international partnerships-particularly in China. It helps, of course, that the UW is one of very few American universities literally positioned in China. Its Beijing office opened in late 2007.

"Our office in Bejiing represents the depth of our commitment to encourage research there-interactively and collaboratively," Hanson says. "Together, researchers can work to find solutions for pressing global concerns such as the environment, energy and global health."

The office is logistically ideal, operating in the same city as China's Ministry of Health and near universities and research centers. It also represents the UW's willingness to build a working relationship with the Chinese government. Hank T. Wang, who serves as vice president for the office, is responsible for identifying and coordinating UW partnerships with Chinese universities, research institutes, government and industry.

"We have a legally approved office in China-this is significant," Wang says. "This permission from the Chinese government is so important in pursuing valuable relationships there."

The office has been successful at bringing UW scholars and researchers together with Chinese health agencies to pursue solutions to global health issues such as HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. Chinese health officials have recently expressed interest in working with faculty from the UW's Department of Global Health on epidemic prevention.-Ina Zajac