UW News

May 24, 2011

Yang Lan, Chinas version of Oprah Winfrey, to speak at UW, graduate student conference to follow

The woman described as the Oprah Winfrey of China will speak at the UW next Tuesday, May 31, regarding efforts to grow philanthropy in that country. The following day, a graduate student teleconference will continue the conversation.

Yang Lan

Yang Lan

Yang Lan will deliver this years Severyns-Ravenholt lecture, sponsored by the Department of Political Science. The evening begins at 7 in 210 Kane.

Yang is chairwoman of the Sun Culture Foundation, a China-based nonprofit focusing on education and ways to alleviate poverty. As a leading philanthropist and public figure in China, Yang hosted Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett during their September 2010 meetings with 50 top philanthropists and business leaders in China.

Yang is co-founder of the Sun Media Group and host of the popular Chinese television program, “Yang Lan One-on-One.” On the program, Yang has interviewed such people as former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and basketball star Kobe Bryant. Yang also hosted the closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

She received a bachelors degree from Beijing Foreign Studies University and a masters degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

In the 1990s, Yang worked at Chinese Central Television and won the Golden Microphone Award as the nations best television host.

The teleconference will be held Wednesday, June 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. in 317 Thomson Hall. It will bring together participants from the UW Department of Political Science, the Nancy Bell Evans Center, the Mark Lindenberg Center and the Center for Civil Society Studies at Peking University.