MetroCorp Bancshares Inc. (Nasdaq: MCBI) CEO George Lee has a history of investing in high-tech medical companies and wants a future in nonprofits, as I wrote in this week’s paper.

A notable item about Lee: He’s highly involved with the U.S. State Department’s 100,000 Strong Initiative, a program that has provided bridge scholarship funding for at least 10,000 American students to study abroad in China — and aims to raise at least $68 million from philanthropic private partners.

On the idea that American students should get much more exposure to China, President Barack Obama and Chinese leaders agreed in late 2009 that there’s a large imbalance between the number of Chinese students studying in America and the number of American students studying in China — 170,000 of the former, 14,000 of the latter.

The private foundation, which reports to the State Department, hasn’t launched yet, but the program will have nine directors — and Lee will be one of them, he said.

This article by reporter Collin Eaton appeared in the Houston Business Journal December 3, 2012

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