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Project Pengyou is a program of The Golden Bridges Foundation, a U.S.-registered independent 501(c)(3) public charity with operations in Beijing. Since 2007, The Foundation has built bridges to China and worked with over 100 nonprofit organizations as a program builder and facilitator to serve, inspire and transform lives.

In 2011, the U.S. State Department was seeking a nonprofit partner to build an online alumni network for the 100,000 Strong Initiative. With support from the Ford Foundation, Golden Bridges created and developed “ProjectPengyou.org” in response to this call, so as to connect and serve the broad network of American study abroad programs in China and their student alumni communities.

As a public-private partnership, the program was initiated by a grant from the Ford Foundation in February 2011 and personally endorsed by Secretary Hillary Clinton and the former U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke.


The 100,000 Strong Initiative was launched in 2009 as the first national campaign aimed to dramatically increase the number and diversity of American students in China. The goal is simple: to reach 100,000 American students in China by 2014.

ProjectPengyou.org was conceived as the “alumni network” of the 100,000 Strong Initiative, tasked to build a global community of Americans with China experience, and carry forward the long-term missions of strengthening people-to-people engagement for the United States and China.


Nov 2009 President Barack Obama announced the 100,000 Strong Initiative in a Shanghai Townhall meeting

President Obama

May 2010 Secretary Hillary Clinton officially launched the 100,000 Strong Initiative with Madam Liu Yandong in Beijing
Jan 2011 The Golden Bridges Foundation was requested by the State Department to build an alumni network for the 100,000 Strong Initiative (Project Pengyou). Michelle Obama promoted the 100,000 Strong Initiative during Hu Jintao’s visit to Washington DC, and the new “alumni network” was mentioned in the event’s Whitehouse press release
May 2011 Secretary Hillary Clinton mentioned ProjectPengyou.org in Washington DC during the Inaugural Meeting of the Advisory Committee for the 100,000 Strong Initiative during the third joint meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED)  (see video here)
Dec 2011 U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke gives the opening speech at the Beijing Launch Event of ProjectPengyou.org  (see video here)
Jan 2013 Secretary Hillary Clinton announces the launch of the 100,000 Strong Foundation.
Feb 2013 Golden Bridges Foundation receives a new grant from the Ford Foundation to promote grassroots community engagement in the Project Pengyou network.
Mar 2014 Project Pengyou convenes diverse young leaders from alumni community and holds a Leadership Training Summit at Harvard University to launch grassroots chapters across the nation.
June 2014 Project Pengyou co-hosts the Annual Consultation on People to People Exchange at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing with the China Scholarship Council in honor of 35 years of scholarly exchange between the U.S. and China.
Oct 2014 Project Pengyou holds a second Leadership Training Summit at Harvard University.
Nov 20th, 2014 Launch of Project Pengyou’s inaugural “Pengyou Day” campaign, a day of massive grassroots action around the nation promoting exchange between Americans and Chinese.