Asia Society Board Welcomes Three New Trustees at Fall 2019 Meeting

New York; October 24, 2019–The Asia Society global board of trustees announced the election of three new members at its fall meeting in New York: Jean Liu, Ram Krishnan, and Ernie Thrasher. Each has extensive business experience in and knowledge of Asia, as well as a commitment to Asia Society and its activities across disciplines.

“Jean Liu is a dynamo in the Chinese and global transportation industry as well as an advocate for women’s empowerment in the tech industry,” says Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran. “Asia Society honored her in 2017 as one of our Asia Game Changers for revolutionizing transportation in China, and we are thrilled now to welcome her to our Board.”

“With his experience in corporate business and consumer marketing in the U.S. and Asia, Ram Krishnan is a wonderful addition to our Board,” said Sheeran. “As Global Chief Commercial Officer of PepsiCo, he also represents a through line in our longtime relationship with the company that was initiated by fellow Trustee Indra Nooyi.”

Ernie Thrasher brings a unique blend of global perspectives— from his headquarters in the heartland of the United States to his deep ties to Asian markets,” Sheeran said. “His insights on the future of energy and the U.S.-China relationship will be invaluable to our Trustee work.”

Biographies of the new Trustees follow.


Jean Liu

Jean Liu or Liu Qing (Chinese: 柳青; pinyin: Liǔ Qīng) is the President of Didi Chuxing, the world’s largest on-demand transportation network company based in China.

Working with Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of DiDi, Jean led the company to its current position of success. In 2018, DiDi delivered over 10 billion trips to users across Asia and Latin America with the support of premier global investors including Alibaba, Apple, Bookings, CITIC, CMB, Coatue, Softbank, Temasak, Tencent and Toyota.

Jean has championed a more collaborative approach for DiDi and the new tech sector to work with policymakers, public transit bodies, and the automotive industry in developing smart transportation solutions for the world’s mobility, environmental, and employment challenges. She is also an advocate for women’s empowerment in the tech and sharing economy sector, in part through DiDi Women’s Network, the first women development program in the Chinese internet sector.

Jean joined Goldman Sachs in 2002 as a junior analyst and became Managing Director for Asia in 2012, before switching to Didi Dache as chief operating officer in July 2014. She has been included twice on Fortune’s international Most Powerful Women list, on Time’s 100 Most Influential People list, and on Fast Company’s "World's Most Creative People in Business" list.

Jean received her bachelor's degree at Peking University, and her master's degree at Harvard University. She currently lives in Beijing with her three children.

Ram Krishnan

Ram Krishnan is the Global Chief Commercial Officer of PepsiCo and Chief Executive Officer of Greater China. He oversees PepsiCo’s Global Commercial teams as well as Global R&D, Insights, Design and E-Commerce, and works with the PepsiCo Executive Committee to codify and implement the company’s advanced Commercial Digital capability roadmap. As PepsiCo’s Chief Executive Officer, Greater China, he continues to lead the Greater China business across both foods and beverages.

Since joining PepsiCo in 2006, Ram has held a number of senior leadership roles across brand and shopper marketing. As Senior Vice President and General Manager of PepsiCo’s global Walmart Customer Team, he elevated the company’s partnership with Walmart to new heights, offering innovative solutions for the retailer and its consumers that have bolstered PepsiCo’s position as Walmart’s #1 supplier by retail sales.

Ram has also served as Frito-Lay North America’s (FLNA) senior vice president and Chief Marketing Officer. In this role, he led the digitization of consumer outreach and built new capabilities central to FLNA’s commercial success. Prior to Frito-Lay, Ram spent six years at Cadillac and was part of the team that turned around the Cadillac brand.

Ram has won numerous product innovation and advertising industry awards and serves on the Board of Directors for Tractor Supply Company. Ram holds an MBA from University of Michigan and an MS, BS in Engineering and currently lives in Connecticut, with his wife and daughter.

Ernie Thrasher

Ernie Thrasher has over forty years of experience in the energy industry. His experience began in 1974 working for a family-owned mining company with operations in Maryland where he held various positions in operations and management through 1981.

Prior to forming Xcoal Energy & Resources in 2003, Thrasher spent twenty-two years in various global marketing positions at Primary Coal and AMCI.

Xcoal is a global coal marketing and logistics company and has broad reach in the energy field. he Leads a 100+ person team spread across 20 offices globally. 

As a leader in the energy industry, Thrasher has developed and employs innovative logistical processes to reach global markets around the world. Based in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, USA, Thrasher brings a unique local and global perspective to all his work.

Thrasher also founded XLNG Energy & Resources in 2015, which is marketing LNG originating from global sources with emphasis on natural gas reserves, and which reaches South America, Europe, and Asia.

Thrasher serves as a Director of Coronado Global Resources, on the President’s Leadership Council-Boy Scouts of America, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves as a Director on the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and serves as a Director of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum.