Michael BARBALAS

Former President and Vice Chairman for American Chamber of Commerce in China, Beijing, China

Michael Barbalas is a Beijing, China based speaker, board member and consultant. He served as a member of the board of the American Chamber of Commerce in China for 2014 and 2015.

Until December 2012 he served as Vice President, China programs for UTC Aerospace Systems overseeing Aerospace Customers & Business Development for China and the integration of Goodrich China after Goodrich was acquired by UTC.

Michael joined Goodrich in 2010 as President for China business to provide operational support for existing China facilities and for the development and implementation of an enterprise-wide China strategy. He provided an overall Goodrich executive interface within China at vital government and industry organizations; supported China related business unit initiatives; and coordinated overall supply chain strategies and other manufacturing and aftermarket infrastructure with the broader regional and enterprise goals.

Prior to Goodrich he served as the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in China from November 2006 to March 2010 where he led the programs and services to support over 1,200 member companies and 2,600 individual members. He previously served on the board of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and was Vice Chairman in 2005. He also chaired the Shanghai Manufacturers Business Council.

From 1997 to 2006, he was Managing Director, Andrew Telecommunications (China) Co. Ltd. He led Lean Six Sigma efforts that generated annual savings exceeding $1 million per year. He previously worked in management positions in Tianjin, China for Management Technologies International, and in Hong Kong for Friends of China Foundation. He holds a B.S degree in Chemistry from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cornell University. Michael reads and speaks Chinese.

He is a frequent speaker in both the USA and China on US-China investment and business.

Michael was one of the first foreigners to be granted China permanent residence status. He is a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations.

HUANG Jing

Professor and Dean, Institute of International and Regional Studies, Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU); Chief Strategist and Vice Chairman, Academic Committee, Grandview Institution; Member, stars Scientific Board, Beijing, China

Prof. Dr. Huang Jing is University Professor and Dean (Academic affairs) of the Institute of International & Regional Studies at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU). Before joining BLCU, Prof. Huang served as the Lee Foundation Professor on US-China Relations and Director of Centre on Asia and Globalization of the LKY School of Public Policy at National University of Singapore (2008-2018), Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution (2004-2008), Shorenstein Fellow at Stanford University (2002-2003), and Associate Professor (tenured) of Political Science and Director of the Asian Studies Program at Utah State University (1994-2004). Prof. Huang also taught at Harvard University as an instructor in 1993-94.

Prof. Huang’s main research and teaching interests include security in Asia-Pacific, US-China relations, major power diplomacy in Asia-Pacific, China's foreign policies and its development strategy. He is the author of numerous papers and journal articles, and has published hundreds of columns and op-eds in major newspapers and magazines. Prof. Huang has authored two books: Factionalism in Chinese Communist Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2000) and Inseparable Separation: the Making of China's Taiwan Policy" (World Scientific Press, 2010), and edited or co-edited seven volumes on South China Sea, the environment policies of Asian countries, and the development of Russia’s Far East and Siberia. As an internationally renowned scholar, Prof. Huang has provided policy advices for governments, NGOs, educational institutions, think tanks, and businesses for countries in Asia, America and Europe, including China, the United States, Russia, Japan, India, South Korea, Norway, Germany, Vietnam, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Prof. Huang earned a bachelor degree in English literature from Sichuan University, a master degree in history from Fudan University, and a PhD in Political science from Harvard University.

Charles LIU

Founder and Venture Partner, HAO Capital, Beijing, China

Charles Yang Sheng Liu is the chairman of HAO International Group and founder of HAO Capital, a private equity firm investing in growth companies in China with over $600 million dollars under management. As the leading supporter in the founding of China Greentech Initiative, in a personal capacity, he has been actively investing and developing projects on energy conservation and emission reduction in China. He is also a regular contributor to BBC, CNBC, Bloomberg and CCTV on Chinese economic issues.

Charles also served on the Board of Directors of Applied Materials Inc., one of the first Chinese nationals to serve on the Board of Directors of a Fortune 500 company, and Chaired its Investment Committee, which led over US$ 1 billion in acquisitions. Born in Taiwan, he graduated from Princeton University with a B.A in Economics in 1972 and attended the Juris Doctor Program of New York University School of Law. He relinquished his Taiwan passport and U.S. Permanent Residency in 1975 to adopt the nationality and passport of the People’s Republic of China. Prior to forming HAO Capital, Charles was Managing Director of Lazard Asia from 1992-1999. From 1975 to 1991, he served in various capacities in the United Nations system of organizations, principally as negotiation secretary on economic matters and development projects in the developing countries.

Jayne PLUNKETT

Group Chief Risk Officer, Member, Group Executive Committee, AIA; Member, stars International Board, Hong Kong, China

Aged 49, Jayne Plunkett is the Group Chief Risk Officer responsible for the Group’s risk and compliance functions. She joined AIA in November 2019 from Swiss Re, where she was most recently Chief Executive Officer Reinsurance Asia, Regional President Asia and member of the Group Executive Committee.

During her time with Swiss Re, Jayne had held several senior positions including Head of Casualty Underwriting for Asia and Division Head Casualty Reinsurance. Prior to that, she was with GE Insurance Solutions. Jayne holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Drake University. She is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Toni SCHOENENBERGER

Executive Chairman, stars Foundation, Stein am Rhein, Switzerland

  • 2014 – present: Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of the stars Foundation Board, Weinfelden, Switzerland
  • 2008 – 2014: Chairman and Co-Founder of the stars Foundation Board, Weinfelden, Switzerland
  • 1994 – 2016: Member of the Board of UBS Wolfsberg and Congress Hotel Seepark AG
  • 1994 – 2014: CEO, UBS Wolfsberg. Emphasis on Business Development, i.e. initiating, supervising, and conducting UBS Briefings, UBS Health Forum, UBS Arts Forum, UBS Study Trips, UBS Think Tanks, Wolfsberg Podium (www.wolfsberg.com)
  • 1981 – 1994: Various responsibilities for UBS Management and Executive Development, Member and Chairman of the Board of UBS Art Collection
  • Concurrently: Member of the Board of various companies and foundations in Switzerland

Urs SCHOETTLI

Consultant on Asian Affairs; Former East Asia Correspondent of Neue Zuercher Zeitung; Member, stars International Board, Tokyo/Zurich

In 1978, Urs Schoettli was appointed Secretary General of the Liberal International, a world-wide federation of liberal and democratic parties, of which Urs Schoettli acted as Executive Vice President from 1983 until 1993. Also in 1983, he joined the Neue Zurcher Zeitung and became its South Asia Correspondent in New Delhi. Between 1986 and 1990, Urs Schoettli served as Representative of the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation in India.
In 1990, he left the Neue Zurcher Zeitung and became Head of project of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Spain. Between 1993 and 1994, he served as Director of the political academy of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Portugal and as Honorary Director of the Commission for the Greater Europe in Vienna and Moscow.
Urs Schoettli returned to the Neue Zurcher Zeitung as its Correspondent in Hong Kong in 1996. Three years later, he moved from Hong Kong to Tokyo and worked as the East Asia Correspondent of the Neue Zurcher Zeitung until 2002. During the following five years, Urs Schoettli was the China Correspondent of the Neue Zurcher Zeitung, based in Beijing. He then became the Far East Correspondent for the Neue Zurcher Zeitung based in Tokyo.
Urs Schoettli was Co-Editor of the reviews Indo Asia, LibroAperto and Debate Abierto. He has published widely on topics of liberalism, development policies and international security issues in Latin American, American and European journals. Urs Schottli is also the author of numerous books on South Asia, citizenship and environmental issues. Urs Schoettli studied philosophy at the University of Basel.

Roland SIEGWART

Professor of Autonomous Systems, ETH Zurich; Founding Co-Director, Wyss Zurich; Member, stars Scientific Board, Zurich, Switzerland

Roland Siegwart (1959) is full Professor of Autonomous Systems at ETH Zurich since July 2006 and Founding Co-Director of the Wyss Zurich. From January 2010 to December 2014, he took office as Vice President Research and Corporate Relations in the ETH Executive Board. He is member of the board of directors of various companies, including Komax and NZZ.

He received his Diploma in Mechanical Engineering in 1983 and his Doctoral Degree in 1989 from ETH Zurich. He brought up a spin-off company, spent ten years as professor at EPFL Lausanne (1996 – 2006) and held visiting positions at Stanford University and NASA Ames.

He is and was the coordinator of multiple European projects and co-founder of half a dozen spin-off companies. He is IEEE Fellow, recipient of the IEEE RAS Inaba Technical Award and officer of the International Federation of Robotics Research (IFRR). He is in the editorial board of multiple journals in robotics and was a general chair of several conferences in robotics including IROS 2002, AIM 2007, FSR 2007 and ISRR 2009.

Roland Siegwart’s research interests are in the design and control of robot systems operating in complex and highly dynamical environments. His major goal is to find new ways to deal with uncertainties and enable the design of highly interactive and adaptive autonomous robots. Prominent application examples are personal and service robots, autonomous micro-aircrafts, walking and swimming robots and driver assistant systems. Furthermore, he is a strong promotor of innovation and entrepreneurship in Switzerland.

Michael TAM

Chief Brand Officer, UBTECH, Shenzhen, China

Yinglan TAN

Founding Managing Partner and CEO, Insignia Ventures Partners; Member, stars International Board, Singapore

Yinglan TAN founded Insignia Ventures Partners in 2017. Insignia Ventures Partners is an early stage technology venture fund focusing on Southeast Asia. It manages more than US$350 million from sovereign wealth funds, foundations, university endowments and renowned family offices. Insignia Ventures Partners is the recipient of two back-to-back “VC Deal of Year” awards for Payfazz (2019) and Carro (2018) from the Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association and its portfolio includes many other technology leaders in Southeast Asia. Yinglan also serves on the Singapore Government’s Pro Enterprise Panel and he is a Member of the Board of Hwa Chong Institution and the stars International Board.

Joachim VON AMSBERG

Vice President, Policy and Strategy, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Beijing, China

Joachim von Amsberg drives the strategic direction for the Bank, including its sectoral and country priorities, its investment strategy and programming, its economic analysis and research, and its operating budget. He oversees the Bank's environmental and social policies, other operational policies, and their implementation.

Joachim previously served in a number of progressively senior roles at the World Bank where he most recently held the position of Vice President, Development Finance where he was responsible for the replenishment and stewardship of the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, and for trust fund and partnership operations.

He holds a Ph.D. in economic policy analysis and an M.B.A. from the University of British Columbia. Joachim also holds a M.Sc. in industrial engineering from the Technical University of Berlin. He is a national of Germany.

WANG Shuo

Editor-in-Chief, Caixin Media; Member, stars International Board, Beijing, China

As Editor-in-Chief of Caixin Media, China’s leading business and finance media group, Wang Shuo focuses on providing high-quality news reports through leading an independent and professional standard in China.

Under his leadership, the Caixin editorial team won the Shorenstein Journalism Award from Stanford University for its commitment to integrity in journalism, and for its path-breaking role as a leader in establishing an independent media in China. Shuo won the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Institutional Journalism of the State Street Institutional Press Awards (Asia Pacific) in 2014.

Prior to Caixin, Shuo served as managing editor of Caijing, a business and finance magazine in China from 1998 to 2009. He has played a key role in the magazine's editorial and management decision-making, and was behind many of the milestone articles that carried Caijing to fame.

Shuo was honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2012. He was also twice named a Young Leader at the 2007 and 2008 Boao Forum for Asia, and a Leader of the Next Generation by the Tallberg Forum in Sweden. He was named Yale World Fellow in 2016 by Yale University. He also serves as a member of the stars International Board.

Shuo holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Renmin University of China, a master's degree in philosophy from Peking University, an executive MBA from the joint program of Fordham University and the China Center for Economic Research at Peking University, and a master’s degree in international public policy from Johns Hopkins University.

Joerg WUTTKE

Chief Representative, BASF China; President, European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC); Member, stars International Board, Beijing, China

Joerg Wuttke is Vice President and Chief Representative of BASF China, based in Beijing. Since joining BASF in 1997, he has been responsible for helping guide the company’s investment strategies for China, negotiation of large projects and government relations. Previous to joining BASF, Joerg worked with ABB for 11 years.

Besides BASF, Wuttke is three-term President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (EUCCC). Wuttke previously served as President from 2007-2010 and from 2014-2017, and he took up his third term in 2019.

In January 2011 the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC), a Paris based body of major business associations that lobbies the OECD, named him to become Chairman of the BIAC China Task Force.

Since its establishment in 2013, Joerg is member of the Advisory Board of Germany’s foremost Think Tank on China, Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), in Berlin.

From 2013 to 2016, he was Vice Chairman of the CPCIF International Cooperation Committee, a group representing Multinational Companies in China’s Chemical Association.

Wuttke holds a BA in Business Administration and Economics from Mannheim and he studied Chinese in Shanghai 1982 and Taipei 1984-85. A frequent speaker on business and industry issues in China, he co-authored:

  • “The Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industry in China” Springer Publishing Trust (2005)
  • “Energy Resources Security” Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (2006)
  • “My 30 years in China” ACA Publishing (2008)
  • “Gelebte Geschichte - 40 Erfahungen” CBT China Book Trading (2012)
  • “The Handbook of Chinese Organizational Behavior: Integrating Theory, Research, and Practice” Edgar Elgar Publishing (2012)
  • “Peter Tichauer; Perspektivenwechsel” OWC (2015)
  • “The Dark Side of China’s Economic Rise” in "Europe and the World: Global Insecurity and Power Shifts; Helmut K. Anheier and Robert Falkner (eds.); University of Durham and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (2017)

Sherry XIAN

Chief Data Officer and Partner, iCarbonX, Shenzhen, China

At iCarbonX, Sherry Xian and her colleagues track consumer health changes, using machine learning to analyze data including omics, phenotypes, smart devices, medical records and social profiles, in order to make personalized recommendations to health-related content and solutions. Sherry is also an expert in longitudinal population data tracking and analysis. She worked with President Obama, NASA, leading professors and private institutions in China and the US. Sherry managed several large projects in psychology and neurophysiology funded by the NIH, the NSF and the Sloan Foundation. She is also a TEDx speaker, a LeanIN China mentor and Former Director of the Survey Research Institute, Cornell University.

Sherry received her BA of Applied Psychology from Beijing Normal University, a Ph.D. of Psychology from the University of Chicago and received Post-doctoral training from the Department of Neurobiology, Stanford University.