Education in a Global Era: The U.S.-Asia Connection


On May 12, 2014, Asia Society Northern California will hold its 11th Annual Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, San Francisco. The Annual Dinner is our most prestigious event of the year and is attended by over 400 Bay Area leaders in business and civic affairs, academia, the diplomatic corps, and the media. ASNC will present Leadership Awards in the field of Education to three distinguished individuals.

The theme of this year’s Annual Dinner is Education in a Global Era: The U.S.-Asia Connection.  The transformation of virtually all aspects of our lives in the 21st Century’s increasingly globalized world has necessitated a revolution in education - a revolution that has not yet truly taken place. Many of the skills needed for students to succeed are not well understood, and above all looms the question of how to ensure that all students have a chance to participate.

Fortunately, an emerging group of visionary leaders is addressing what is looming as one of the great challenges of the next generation – how to create a globally competent group of graduates able to take on the challenges of the increasingly interconnected world.

Join Asia Society Northern California as we honor Wendy Kopp, Co-founder and CEO of Teach For All; Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, Co-founders of Coursera; and Dr. Minxuan Zhang, President, Shanghai Normal University and Director, Center of International Education Study and Consultation, Ministry of Education, China, for their role in transforming global education. 

Preceding the Annual Dinner, we will host a daytime public program exploring global competence and education in the 21st century. Following a keynote by Dr. Zhang discussing Shanghai's education reformation, panelists Dr. Zhang, Wendy Kopp, Carola McGiffert, and Tony Jackson will deliberate on the skills students need in today’s global environment and how best to provide them. Click here to find out more and register. 

2014 Annual Dinner Honorees

Wendy Kopp, CEO & Co-founder, Teach For All

Wendy Kopp is CEO and Co-founder of Teach For All, a global network committed to ensuring educational excellence and equity by accelerating the impact of national organizations that are enlisting their nations’ most promising future leaders in the effort. Wendy founded Teach For America in 1989 to marshal the energy of her generation against educational inequity in the United States. Today, 11,000 Teach For America corps members – outstanding recent college graduates and professionals of all academic disciplines – are in the midst of two-year teaching commitments in the nation’s highest-need urban and rural regions. After leading Teach For America’s growth and development for 24 years, she moved into the role of chair of the board in 2013. In its seventh year of development, Teach For All is a growing network of 32 independent organizations around the world, including its founding partners Teach For America and the U.K.'s Teach First. 

Wendy has been recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards for public service. She holds a bachelor's degree from Princeton University, where she participated in the undergraduate program of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. 


Daphne Koller, Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University; Co-founder, Coursera

Daphne Koller is the Rajeev Motwani Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and the Co-founder of Coursera, a social entrepreneurship company that works with the best universities to connect anyone around the world with the best education, for free.

In her research life, she works in the area of machine learning and probabilistic modeling, with applications to systems biology and personalized medicine. She is the author of over 200 referred publications in venues that span a range of disciplines, and has given over 15 keynote talks at major conferences. She is the recipient of many awards, which include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the ACM/Infosys award, and membership in the US National Academy of Engineering. She was recently recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People for 2012. She is also an award winning teacher, who pioneered in her Stanford class many of the ideas that underlie the Coursera user experience. She received her BSc and MSc from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and her PhD from Stanford in 1994.


Andrew Ng, Director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; Co-founder, Coursera

Andrew Ng is a Co-founder of Coursera, and a Computer Science faculty member at Stanford. In 2011, he led the development of Stanford University's main MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platform, and also taught an online Machine Learning class that was offered to over 100,000 students, leading to the founding of Coursera. 

Ng's goal is to give everyone in the world access to a high quality education, for free. Today, Coursera partners with top universities to offer high quality, free online courses. With over 100 partners, over 600 courses, and 5 million students, Coursera is the largest MOOC platform in the world. Recent awards include being named to the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world; to the CNN 10: Thinkers list; Fortune 40 under 40; and being named by Business Insider as one of the top 10 professors across Stanford University. Outside online education, Ng's research work is in machine learning; he is also the Director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab.


Dr. Minxuan Zhang, President, Shanghai Normal University; Director, Center of International Education Study and Consultation, Ministry of Education, China

Minxuan Zhang is currently the President of Shanghai Normal University (formerly Shanghai Teachers University); Director-General of the Shanghai Academy of Educational Sciences (SAES), an independent research organization; Director of the Center for International Education Study and Consultation in the Chinese Ministry of Education, and a scholar in the field of comparative education. From 2004 through 2011, he served as the Vice-Director General of the Shanghai Municipal Government Education Committee.

Dr. Zhang serves on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Board and as the PISA National Project Manager for Shanghai. He has served numerous international organizations as an international expert, including the UN International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP, Paris) as an advisory member and UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning (UIL, Hamburg) as a board member.

Dr. Zhang has also undertaken research and provided policy advice nationally and overseas, including “Cambodia’s Fiscal Policy Advice Issues of Higher Education” (World Bank), “Cambodia’s Economic Development Assistance for Primary Education, Evaluation and Investment” (UNICEF), amongst others.

Professor Zhang received his PhD from University of Hong Kong in 2001.

Sponsorship Information

Corporate support is vital to our mission of connecting Asians and Americans for a shared future. Learn about the benefits of sponsoring our Annual Dinner, and find out why companies continue to support this signature gala year after year. Click here for details, or contact Makenna Nelson at (415) 421-8709.

If you are unable to attend the dinner, but would still like to make a donation, please click here and enter the amount you wish to give in the Donation field. If you wish to be invoiced rather than pay by credit card, please contact Anna Castagnozzi Bush at (415) 421-8707.  

11th Annual Dinner Sponsors

Lead Sponsor

           Reiko & Chong-Moon Lee

                         Susy & Jack Wadsworth


Patron Sponsor

                         Leslie & John McQuown



Benefactor Sponsor

Richard C. Blum & the Honorable Dianne Feinstein 

Phyllis C. & William Draper 




Asian Art Museum
California College of the Arts
Cathay Pacific
Maggie & Robert Cox
Dignity Health
Fenwick & West LLP

Buck Gee & Mary Hackenbracht
Jeffrey Heller
International Technological University
Manitou Ventures
McKinsey & Co.
Pacific Gas & Electric
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
Veritas Investments, Inc. 

Verizon Wireless

Media Sponsor
San Francisco Business Times 

Wine Sponsor
Hanson Li

(As of April 22, 2014) 

Additional Information

View the invitation and RSVP card

Attire: Business or Asian national dress.

Getting There and Parking: Directions and parking instructions, including valet information, for the Ritz-Carlton.

Photo Gallery: View a gallery of images from the 2013 Annual Dinner - honoring C. Richard Kramlich, Amory Lovins and Sidney Rittenberg for their achievements in Creating Cultures of Innovation - here.


Event Details

Mon 12 May 2014
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 600 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA
Buy Tickets
$275 Individual Tickets; $500 VIP Sponsor Tickets
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