Dear Friends,

I had the privilege to travel to Beijing last week in conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit. There were so many wonderful moments during my 48 hours on the ground – not least of which, of course, was Mrs. Obama’s speech at Peking University’s Stanford Center!

A major highlight was the 90-minute meeting between Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong and 100K Strong Board member Florence Fang.  Madame Liu and Mrs. Fang are longtime friends, and I was honored to be able to accompany Mrs. Fang to this important meeting with China’s most senior female official. 100K Strong Foundation Chair George Lee and Board member Dan Wright attended as well.

Fang, Liu

Vice Premier Liu Yandong welcomes 100K Strong
Board Member Florence Fang to Beijing

The warm conversation focused on China’s deep support for the 100K Strong Foundation, and ways in which we can work together to promote our shared mission of expanding US study abroad to China. Keep an eye out for some exciting announcements on this front in the weeks and months to come!

The First Lady’s speech at Peking University was truly an inspiring event. Mrs. Obama emphasized the importance of American students from diverse backgrounds having the opportunity to learn Mandarin and study in China. It was also a thrill to hear the First Lady mention 100K Strong in her remarks and feature our very own 100K Strong Student Ambassador Philmon Haile from the University of Washington. In fact, the First Lady quoted Philmon’s statement that “study abroad is a powerful vehicle for people-to-people exchange as we move into a new era of citizen diplomacy.”

Michelle Obama

Another 100K Strong Student Ambassador, Jeffrey Wood, had the opportunity to interview Mrs. Obama for a 30-minute program about the First Lady’s trip called “Exchange for a Day.” Jeffrey is studying in Harbin, China.  He is a student at George Mason University and a graduate of the APSA program, a 100K Strong signature partner.

Please take a moment to review some of the tremendous coverage of the First Lady’s trip, including mentions of 100K Strong, in The New York TimesTime MagazineCNN, and CCTV.

We look forward to building off of this momentum and are excited about many more great things to come.
Thanks for your support,

Carola McGiffert
President & CEO