The 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival presents Bridging Cultures: America and China's Mutual Fascination, a panel discussion featuring Hu Shuli, Damian Woetzel, Orville Schell, Wu Tong, Vishakha Desai, and Xiaolin Li."
Vishakha N. Desai
Vishakha Desai is president and CEO of Asia Society, a leading global organization committed to strengthening partnerships among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the US. Desai sets the direction for the society’s diverse sets of programs, ranging from major US–Asia policy initiatives and national educational partnerships for global learning to groundbreaking art exhibitions and innovative Asian American performances. She has an international reputation for introducing contemporary Asian art in the US through critically acclaimed exhibitions and scholarly catalogues. Under her leadership, Asia Society has expanded the scope and scale of its activities, including opening new offices in India and Korea, the inauguration of a new center on US-China relations, and the development of new initiatives focusing on the environment, on Asian women leaders, and on partnerships among the next generation of exceptional leaders in Asia and the US.
Li Xiaolin is the president of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), a post she has held since 2010. She joined CPAFFC in 1975 and successively served as chief of the division of US Affairs, deputy director general, and director general of the department of American and Oceanian Affairs. In 1996, she was elected as vice president of CPAFFC. From 1990 to 1992, she was the first secretary of the Chinese Embassy in the United States. US-CHINA
Orville Schell is the Arthur Ross director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York. He is a former professor and dean at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Schell is the author of 14 books, nine of them about China, and a contributor to numerous edited volumes. His most recent books are Virtual Tibet, The China Reader, and Mandate of Heaven. He is also a contributor to such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, and many others. He is a fellow at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University, a senior fellow at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a recipient of the Overseas Press Club Award and the Harvard-Stanford Shorenstein Prize for Asian Reporting.
Hu Shuli is editor-in-chief of Caixin Media, editor-in-chief for the weekly magazine Caixin Century, and dean of the School of Communication and Design at Sun Yat-sen University. Internationally recognized for her achievements in journalism, Hu was listed on the Top 100 Influential People in 2011 by TIME magazine. Under her leadership, the editorial team of Caixin Media won the 2011 Shorenstein Journalism Award by Stanford University. She was named by Foreign Policy as one of Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2009 and 2010. She received the 2007 Louis Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. In 2006, Hu was called the most powerful commentator in China by the Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal cited her as one of the Ten Women to Watch in Asia.
Wu Tong is a musician and composer and has become his generation’s most visible proponent of traditional Chinese music. Wu has achieved an unparalleled following for Chinese music on three continents as a founding vocalist of the pioneering rock band Lunhui (Again), which merges Western and Asian traditions; a performer with the Silk Road Ensemble; and a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. In recent seasons, he has appeared with the Silk Road Ensemble at such prestigious venues as the Aichi World Expo, the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Millennium Park. In 2010, the album Yo-Yo Ma & Friends: Songs of Joy & Peace, which Wu helped produce, won the Best Classical Crossover Album in the 52nd Grammy Awards. He also released his personal crossover album, The Sound from My Heart.
Damian Woetzel was a Principal Dancer at New York City Ballet and frequently performed internationally as a guest star and visiting artist with numerous companies including the Kirov Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, until his retirement from the stage in 2008. Woetzel currently serves as the Director of Arts Programs for the Aspen Institute, the Artistic Director of the Vail International Dance Festival, and as the Founding Director of the Jerome Robbins New Essential Works Program. Woetzel is also active as a director and producer outside these roles. Among his recent projects, Woetzel produced and directed an arts salute to Stephen Hawking at Lincoln Center for the World Science Festival, directed the first performance of the White House Dance Series, which took place in the East Room of the White House and was hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama, and co-produced the tribute to legendary ballerina Natalia Makarova as part of the 35th annual Kennedy Center Honors in December 2012. Woetzel also works with Yo-Yo Ma on his Silk Road Connect program in the New York City Public Schools, and has twice directed culminating year-end performances; at the Museum of Natural History in 2010, and for the Central Park SummerStage series in 2011. Woetzel was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities by President Obama in 2009. In July 2012, Woetzel was honored with the inaugural Gene Kelly Legacy Award - an award jointly created by the Dizzy Feet Foundation and the Estate of Gene Kelly in honor of the 100th anniversary of Kelly's birth - for his contributions to the arts as a ballet star and director of dance and music performances.