Project Pengyou's mission is to deepen understanding and promote friendship between the U.S. and China through activities that serve, inspire, and transform lives.

Project Pengyou (“Pengyou” means friend in Mandarin Chinese) is a flagship initiative of the Golden Bridges Foundation that fosters U.S.-China youth leadership.

Conceived in 2011 as a public-private partnership with the State Department to build a global community of Americans with firsthand China experience, Project Pengyou has since trained over 200 youth leaders and launched over 80 Project Pengyou campus chapters across the United States to empower young Americans and Chinese to serve as active U.S.-China bridge-builders.

Backed by funding from the Ford Foundation, Project Pengyou chapters organize events and national U.S.-China youth campaigns, with a growing footprint in coastal and interior states, including New York, California, Kentucky, and Iowa. In addition, Project Pengyou maintains a dynamic online resource hub with over 7,000 members, and hundreds of China related jobs, events and exchange programs.


Americans and Chinese with firsthand experiences in both the United States and China represent our world's most crucial and valuable asset in improving Sino-American relations. However, despite the global importance of U.S.-China ties and unprecedented need for collaboration to solve world problems, the inherent distrust and fear is a constant source of tension and hostility in both nations. Widely differing values, culture, and language have created conditions for xenophobia to be deeply embedded in both American and Chinese society.

To address this, Project Pengyou is mobilizing Americans and Chinese who have lived in both countries to serve as community leaders and influencers promoting more friendly U.S.-China relations. We believe the solution lies in organizing young people and empowering them with the skills and the will to bring about a functional, robust and peaceful future for both nations - and thus for the world.

  • PROMOTE STUDY ABROAD TO CHINA - Project Pengyou was founded to support initiatives that cultivate international student exchange programs between the U.S. and China. We engage an inter-program network of study abroad advocates throughout the U.S. school system to help promote study abroad.
  • U.S.-CHINA YOUTH LEADERSHIP TRAINING - We provide transformative 4-day Leadership Trainings to build cross-cultural leadership and community organizing skills, catalyzing a new generation of U.S.-China bridge-builders.
  • CAMPUS CHAPTERS - Project Pengyou is building a network of community chapters across the United States that advocate for humanizing, constructive, unifying and empowering dialogue and action between American and Chinese people.
  • NATIONWIDE CAMPAIGNS & EVENTS - PENGYOU DAY and PAY IT FORWARD ON CHINESE NEW YEAR (PIFOCNY): Our annual Pengyou Day campaign is held during the State Department's International Education Week in November mobilizing hundreds of American & Chinese educators and students to promote U.S.-China friendship and exchange. The Pay it Forward on Chinese New Year (PIFOCNY) campaign encourages Project Pengyou Chapters to visit local elementary and middle schools teaching Chinese language and culture to inspire curiosity and encourage empathy in children to learn about China and the world.


"The Project Pengyou training program has been an amazing and transformative experience. It was a lot of hard work but completely worth it!" -- Cameron Xing, 2017 PP Leadership Fellow

"This community is incredible; I have a feeling we are part of something bigger than we realize, built on mutual admiration and a desire for change." -- Heidi Weingardt, 2014 PP Leadership Fellow

"You have all transformed me, elevated me, enlightened me, and empowered me. To simply say thank you would be a disservice." -- Lillygol Sedaghat, 2014 PP Leadership Fellow

Thank you for spreading the word and joining us today!