Dear Friends,

Last week, the 100,000 Strong Foundation hosted a luncheon in honor of Melodee Hanes, a former US Department of Justice official and spouse of US Ambassador to China Max Baucus. With the support of co-hosts Liz Haenle (Sage WorldWide), Deborah Lehr (The Paulson Institute), and Erin Walsh (formerly Goldman Sachs), the event was a huge success. Over 30 prominent women from the Washington, DC business, policy and academic communities came together to celebrate Melodee’s first year in China and the contributions she and her husband are making to US-China relations.

Deborah Lehr, Melodee Hanes

Melodee moved to Beijing in March 2014 and has spent the past year immersing herself in Chinese culture and policy issues. She has secured a Chinese driver’s license, traveled to 16 out of China’s 33 provinces, and is currently learning Mandarin. I had the honor of meeting Melodee at a reception she and Ambassador Baucus hosted for the Foundation in Beijing. Her excitement for our mission was palpable, and we both knew we wanted to work together. “We need more students studying Mandarin and traveling to China to continue to build economic and diplomatic bridges between our two countries. And we need them to reflect the diversity of America,” she said. “100K Strong Student Ambassadors are a testament to the effectiveness of people-to-people exchange, the hallmark of the Foundation’s mission.”

I am so excited that Melodee and all of our supporters share the Foundation’s commitment to preparing the next generation of Americans to engage with China.


Carola McGiffert
President & CEO