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Beijing Conference

Wellesley College and Peking University present Women’s Leadership: Making a Difference in the World.

This first-of-its-kind conference was held on June 15, 2013, in Peking University’s Sunlight Hall in the Yingjie Exchange Center, Beijing, China.

Featuring prominent women from China and the United States, along with other special guests from around the world, the conference had the goal of helping women advance to positions of global leadership. By sharing their experiences and perspectives, participants engaged and educated each other to help prepare the next generation of women leaders.

The conference featured keynote speakers from U.S. astronaut Pamela Melroy '83 to Yang Lan, China's most celebrated media entrepreneur, as well as prominent academics and government officials. It concluded with a dinner at the historic Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, where China's top Kunqu actor performed an excerpt from the Peony Pavilion introduced by Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun.

This conference was the culmination of an intensive 10-day academic program in Beijing, based on the innovative educational model of Wellesley’s Albright Institute, designed to prepare women for global leadership. Twenty Wellesley students joined 20 female students from Peking University for the program, which was supported by faculty from both institutions.

By invitation only, the Conference attracted 300 high-level women from government, business, the arts, the sciences, and the media; distinguished Peking University alumni and Wellesley College alumnae; and the 40 students participating in the academic program. Together, participants explored the value and potential of women’s leadership—and commited to cultivating the next generation of women leaders.


Madeleine K. Albright '59 narrated the video that opened the conference. May-Elise Martinsen '12 composed the music.


  • Yang Lan, Media Entrepreneur, Talk Show Host
  • Pamela Melroy '83, Astronaut
  • Mona Locke, TV Journalist
  • Wu Qing, Legislator, Educator
  • Madame Wu Qidi, Ministry of Education
  • Shirley Young '55, Former Corporate VP, General Motors
  • Hu Shuli, Editor-in-Chief, Caixin Media
  • Hsueh-ming Wang, Chairman, BlackRock China
  • Gary Locke, U.S. Ambassador to China
  • Madame Chen Zhili, National People’s Congress

Diaoyutai State Guest House

Diaoyutai State Guest House was the site of a gala dinner closing the conference.

Tan Dun

Academy Award-winning composer and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Tan Dun introduced a performance of Peony Pavilion's An Amazing Dream at the Diaoyutai dinner.