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RELEASE: Prof. Zou Ji to Join the National Climate Research Center; Transition from WRI

Dr. Xiaomei Tan Appointed as Deputy Director for WRI’s China Office

The World Resources Institute (WRI) announced that Prof. Zou Ji will resign as its China Country Director, a position he held for more than two years. He will become the Deputy Director of the National Center for Climate Strategy and International Cooperation of China (NCSC), a new think tank on climate research under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

“We have been honored to have Prof. Zou’s extraordinary vision and leadership to guide our work in China,” said Manish Bapna, Acting President, WRI. “As the founding director of WRI’s first overseas office, Prof. Zou’s inspired leadership has created a highly credible presence for WRI in China, expanding our programs and forging new initiatives to advance our mission. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration with Prof. Zou in his new position, and we wish him great success in his future endeavors.”

Under Prof. Zou’s guidance, WRI has advanced solutions for China’s sustainable and low-carbon urbanization, and Prof. Zou has become a key voice on the future of China’s cities. Using the concept of Environmentally Smart Urbanization, developed by Prof. Zou and his colleagues, WRI helped the city of Qingdao become a key demonstration project for low-carbon development. WRI also recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the NDRC to encourage further collaboration between WRI and the Chinese government.

“I am honored to have established WRI’s office in China and to have developed some far-reaching projects on low-carbon development for the country. WRI is increasingly recognized as an independent and valuable think tank, with both local and international expertise,” Prof. Zou said. “As I turn to the future, I am looking forward to new opportunities with the National Climate Research Center to further contribute to sustainable development in China.”

WRI also announced that Dr. Tan Xiaomei will become Deputy Country Director for the China office. Dr. Tan has been working with WRI for the past four years, as a Senior Associate in both the Climate and Energy program and the Institutions and Governance program.

“We are very excited Dr. Tan has agreed to take on this responsibility and expand our programmatic activities in China,” said Bapna. “Dr. Tan has expertise across a broad range of issues, and she has experience in both the United States and China, which should enable her to be highly successful in this position.”

Dr. Tan has worked for 10 years on national and international energy policies with a focus on energy technology, clean technology development, and power sector climate policy.

Dr. Tan will also serve as the Acting Country Director for the China office, as WRI launches a search for a new full-time China Country Director.

“I am delighted by this opportunity to expand WRI’s work in China and to return to my home country,” said Dr. Tan. “Under Prof Zou’s leadership, WRI has become more active on key issues related to climate, energy, water, and transportation. I am looking forward to continuing this work and collaborating with my colleagues in China to build on this foundation.”

During Prof. Zou’s tenure, WRI’s China office has:

  • Positioned WRI as a leading, independent research institute on sustainability in China;
  • Established an MOU between WRI and NDRC;
  • Expanded WRI's China-based staff from three to 13 people;
  • Developed the concept of Environmentally Smart Urbanization;
  • Secured a major grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Qingdao Low-Carbon Development Plan; and
  • Helped secure a five-year, $12.5 million grant from the Caterpillar Foundation to promote sustainable and livable cities in China, India and Brazil.

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