The daughter of a Chinese diplomat, Shirley Young, spent her early childhood years traveling until she attended Abbot Academy (now Philips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts) for high school. Like her older sister, Genevieve Young ’52, she attended Wellesley College. She graduated in 1955, Phi Beta Kappa, with an economics degree.
After briefly attending graduate school in economics at New York University, Young started working at Grey Strategic Marketing. Young was named president of the marketing company in 1983, and in 1988, after 25 years of service, she left to become vice president of consumer market development at General Motors Corporation. In 1996, she became vice president of the China strategic development unit at General Motors. Currently, she is president of Shirley Young Associates, LCC, a business advisory company for those interested in developing the Chinese market.
Young has received numerous awards for her work, including Advertising Women of the Year, American Advertising Federation; Women’s Equity Action Award for Achievement in Advertising; Woman of the Year, Chinese-American Planning Council; Director’s Choice Award, National Women’s Economic Alliance; and Award for Outstanding Corporate Director, Catalyst magazine.
Even with all of her business accomplishments, Young has found time to volunteer for multiple associations. She is the chair of the Committee of 100, a Chinese American leadership resource; a founding member of the Committee of 200, an international group of prominent women of business; and has served on the board of directors at Harvard Business School. She is a lover of fine arts and has served on the Board of Directors for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Interlochen Center of the Arts, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
She has three sons and six grandchildren.
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