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. Participants will receive an exclusive invitation to participate in a four-day Leadership Training Summit.

This is a unique opportunity to join our nationwide Leadership Network of 80+ Project Pengyou chapters and serve as a pioneer for U.S.-China bridge-building on your campus and in your community. As ties between the United States and China grow more complex and challenging, it is more important now than ever to build leadership skills and make meaningful connections. Join us to reshape the future of U.S.-China relations.


"You represent a side of America that the world wants to see - that is compassionate and generous and that wants to give opportunities to others who might not otherwise have them.

- Richard Buangan, Managing Director for International Media, US Department of State to Project Pengyou Leaders.

The Project Pengyou training program has been an amazing and transformative experience. Thank you for ensuring that we are not alone on this journey!“  

- Cameron Xing, 2017 PP Leadership Fellow

…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

See the recap and photos from the most recent Leadership Summit here: Fall 2017 Recap, Fall 2017 Photos


  • PARTICIPATE in a transformative training program and gain unique skills in cross-cultural leadership, nonviolent communication and community-organizing methods
  • JOIN a vibrant global community of leadership fellows and connect with other motivated students with U.S.-China experience
  • ACCESS 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.

Past speakers have been prominent individuals in the U.S.-China space, including diplomats, artists, thought and business leaders in the U.S.-China space, including:

  • Dr. Graham Allison, widely published author, former policy analyst and political advisor, and Harvard Kennedy School professor,
  • Abigail Washburn, Grammy Award-winning musician and TED fellow
  • Kaiser Kuo, founder and co-producer of the Sinica Podcast,
  • David Barboza, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist for the New York Times and former foreign correspondent in Shanghai
  • Richard Buangan, Managing Director for International Media Engagement at the U.S. Department of State
  • Mei Yan, Senior Partner, and head of Brunswick China and former director of Viacom MTV

and more!

Additionally, we have arranged official visits for our Leadership Fellows to organizations like Foreign Policy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the State Department’s Center for Diplomacy in Washington D.C.

(speakers and activities TBA)


  • 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 2019 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.


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.


*This year’s program details coming soon.

* Applicants should have an account on and have completed over 75% of their online profile, including a profile photo


Project Pengyou Chapters are student organizations at U.S. 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 U.S.-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 (“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 60 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.


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