Project Pengyou is recruiting passionate young Americans and Chinese with first-hand experience in both countries to build a brighter future for the U.S. and China.

This is a unique opportunity to join our nationwide Leadership Network and lead the establishment of a Project Pengyou chapter on your campus. Participants will receive an exclusive invitation to participate in a four-day Leadership Training Summit at Harvard University on October 7-10, 2016.


  • PARTICIPATE in a transformative training program and gain unique skills in cross-cultural leadership and community-organizing methods
  • JOIN a vibrant global community of leadership fellows and connect with other motivated students with U.S.-China experience
  • ACCESS to professional development opportunities in the U.S.-China space
  • LEAD a Project Pengyou Chapter and drive US-China exchange, knowledge and action at your school

* All participants are responsible for their own airfare and travel. Lodging, food, speaker and summit costs will be covered by Golden Bridges Foundation / Project Pengyou. Limited travel stipends will be available based on donations.


  • Current students at a U.S. university, community college or high school (graduate students also eligible) with experience studying or living in both the U.S. and China
  • Candidates who will graduate May 2017 or later
  • Individuals highly committed to launch and lead a robust Project Pengyou Chapter that promotes cross-cultural inclusion, constructive dialogue and U.S.-China exchange
  • Students who demonstrate high potential for leadership, community building, problem solving and public speaking

* If your school does not already have a Project Pengyou Chapter, we encourage candidates to partner with other students from their school (who should also apply) to lead and mobilize their school's chapter.

* Keep in mind that preference will be given to schools with higher numbers of applicants, as critical mass of interest is important for a successful Project Pengyou Chapter at that school.


The Leadership Training Summit is comprised of four days of intensive and hands-on learning covering tools needed to lead a strong chapter: leadership, organizing, action and U.S.-China bridge-building.

Leadership, Organizing and Action

Derived from material developed by Harvard Professor Marshall Ganz, the curriculum teaches leadership as accepting responsibility to enable others to achieve purpose in the face of uncertainty. This program will explore how leadership is exercised through the mastery of five practices, including:

1. Crafting public narratives to inspire others

2. Building relationships with stakeholders

3. Recruiting leadership teams

4. Strategizing and organizational positioning

5. Empowering others through leadership and action

US-China Bridge-building

Leadership Fellows will also explore the challenges and importance of US-China people-to-people exchange with their peers and prominent experts in the field.

Following the summit, Leadership Fellows will immediately apply these practices in the real world by organizing a new Project Pengyou Chapter at their school or strengthening an existing chapter with the skills they have learned. Each Chapter will hold an event on “Pengyou Day” November 17th, 2016 to celebrate their chapter’s launch (or continuation).


  • Step 1

    General Application

    Complete questions on general information about school and work experience

  • Step 2

    Short Essay Questions

    Please answer three short essay questions (100-300 words each, submit online)

  • Step 3


    Please provide contact information for two references who have worked closely with you and can answer questions about your specific leadership qualities and skillsets.


* Click here to preview the application. * Applicants should have an account on ProjectPengyou.org and have completed over 75% of their profile, including a profile photo * Applicants accepted into the semi-finalist round will be notified on August 22, 2016. (Round 2 will include a video component and submission of an event proposal)


  • August 26, 2016 6:00 PM EST: Deadline for submission of application materials
  • August 28, 2016: Semifinalists will be announced and invited into Round 2 of the selection process (Round 2 will include a video component, please be prepared to record a short video and an event proposal)
  • September 2, 2016 6:00 PM EST: Semifinalist Round 2 submission deadline
  • September 6, 2016: Finalists will be announced (Upon notification, candidates have 48 hours to accept the position)
  • September 8, 2016: Confirmed Fall ‘16 Project Pengyou Leadership Fellows announced
  • October 7-10: Project Pengyou Leadership Summit held at Harvard University


Since 2014, we have held three Leadership Training Summit with over 120 trained Leadership Fellows and 40 Project Pengyou Chapters initiated. See the recap and photos from our last Summit in Fall 2015 here: Fall 2015 Recap, Fall 2015 Photos.

IMG_7216…So many of us have walked away from this conference with a strong sense of community, capacity, strength and love rooted in unforgettable and unbreakable friendships. To simply say ‘thank you’ would be a disservice to what [the Fellows] have done for me. You have all transformed me, elevated me, enlightened me, empowered me.”

- Lillygol S., Spring 2014 Leadership Fellow, University of California, Berkeley

IMG_6603It’s hard to believe that we have just begun. We’re seeing new avenues opening and deepening our exchange with China. I think professors also feel a bit of fresh air the spirit Project Pengyou brings to campus. I believe in us. We have big dreams. We are not afraid to take on challenges those dreams demand.“  

- Tammy T., Fall 2014 Leadership Fellow- University of Wisconsin – Madison

IMG_9046Never have I felt so loved and empowered before. [The Fellows] vision for a better tomorrow and fearlessness and quest for transformation inspire me…This doesn’t end when you go back home; we will keep inspiring, caring, and transforming lives and telling our stories!”

- Jianyin R., Fall 2014 Leadership Fellow, University of Tennessee-Knoxville

IMG_2595“[This group of people] are incredible; even though we are apart I have a gut feeling this [community] isn’t going to disappear. That we are all part of something bigger than we realize, that is built on a system of mutual admiration and a desire for change.”

- Heidi W., Fall 2014 Leadership Fellow – University of Colorado, Boulder


Project Pengyou Chapters are student organizations at US high schools, colleges and universities built by Americans and Chinese who have lived and/or studied in both countries. They serve as advocates to fight xenophobia and promote inclusion, collaboration and mutual understanding between Americans and Chinese. Led by trained Project Pengyou Leadership Fellows, these hubs of constructive and empathetic US-China exchange hold discussions, activities, and campaigns that develop cross-cultural competence, leadership and friendship. For more information, take a look at our Chapter Building FAQ.


Project Pengyou is mobilizing the next generation of U.S.-China bridge-builders.

We connect young Americans and Chinese who have first-hand experience in both countries through high-impact leadership training, events and a social networking site. Project Pengyou is a non-profit initiative of the Golden Bridges Foundation that was conceived in 2011 as the alumni network of the President's 100,000 Strong Initiative.

Project Pengyou ("pengyou" means friend in Mandarin Chinese) was founded on the belief that young people with frontline experiences in both the US and China are our most crucial and valuable assets for building a brighter future for both countries.

In 2014, we launched the Project Pengyou Leadership Fellows Program and began mobilizing a grassroots network of campus chapters across America.


Questions? See our frequently asked questions page. For all other queries, please contact us at nihao@projectpengyou.org