Robin J. Lewis, Co-Chair
ROBIN J. LEWIS is the President of the International Development and Public Policy Alliance (IDPPA), a consortium of graduate public policy schools in Brazil, Russia, India, China, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia founded in 2012. He is Co-Founder of Worldview Global Knowledge Services (WGKS), a consulting firm founded in 2009 and of Worldview Global Impact, an NGO registered in New York with a focus on using art, education, and social impact investing to promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Prof. Lewis was Associate Dean of the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in New York (1985-2007) and also was the first Executive Director of the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN), an innovative partnership between Columbia and top universities in London, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, and Berlin.
From 2009 to 2014, he was Professor and Director, School of Social Development and Public Policy (SSDPP) at Beijing Normal University and from 2013 to 2018 was Professor and Director of the Master of Global Public Policy (MGPP) Program at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) in Moscow, created in partnership with the World Bank and McKinsey.
He has advised governments, universities, foundations, and international organizations on higher education and policy training in more than twenty countries, including China, Vietnam, Germany, and Algeria. He has worked on projects with a range of organizations, including the Ford Foundation, the World Bank, the American Councils of International Education, the Government of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Yellow River Conservancy Commission, and Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Italy, Japan, Mongolia, Pakistan, South Korea, and the Soviet Union.
He holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University and is the author of one book, E.M. Forster’s Passages to India, and numerous articles. He was the Executive Editor of the Encyclopedia of Asian History [4 volumes] (New York: Macmillan, 1987), a publication funded by the Asia Society that brought together contributions from over 300 scholars worldwide.
Jasmine Wang, Co-Chair
Jasmine Wang (Wang Li) is Managing Partner of Worldview Global Knowledge Services(WGKS) and Producer of a Columbia University "Impact Investing" case study series.
WGKS does impact imvesting globally and provides guidance to clients in the U.S., Russia, and other BRICS countries in the areas of education, culture, technology and health care.
She is also the Co- founder and Co-Chair of Worldview Global Impact(WGI), a non-profit organization registered in New York State and committed to the promotion of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and impact investing.
Ms. Wang has over 15 years of experience in management, education, training and investment. She holds a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in education.
David Peng, Director of Communications
David Peng (Peng Cheng) is the Worldview Global Impact (WGI) Director of Communications. He works with the Co-Chairs and Interns to promote and manage WGI events at the United Nations, NASDAQ, Columbia University, and other venues in the US and China. He is also in charge of the WGI website and of all media and public relations activities.
David has a B.A. in Business from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam and is a fully licensed securities broker with a professional working knowledge of the US and Chinese financial industries. He has also worked as an intern at Cleary, Gottlieb, & Steen (a leading New York law firm), at the Central Park Conservancy, and at China California Heart Watch, an NGO working on improving health care services in rural western China.
Charles Laven is the President and Founder of Forsyth Street, an advisory and asset management firm focused on affordable housing, real estate, and municipal and impact investment. He has over 40 years of national and international experience providing financial advisory and consulting services to housing finance agencies, mortgage and investment banking firms, developers, foundations and not-for-profit organizations. Prior to founding Forsyth Street, he spent 12 years as a partner at Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler, Inc. (HR&A), a New York-based consulting firm.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, Mr. Laven was Founder of and Executive Director of the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, a New York City-based non-profit organization responsible for the rehabilitation of abandoned buildings and their conversion to cooperative ownership. Mr. Laven has conducted real estate training for many of the largest real estate banks in the world. He has offered executive education seminars in Beijin, London, Germany and Singapore and arranged study-tours in China for university students.
Mr. Laven has been a member of the faculty of Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation since 1981. From 1986-1993, Mr. Laven directed the Master of Science in Real Estate Development program and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Real Estate. Mr. Laven is a director or trustee of several organizations, including the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board and the Citizens Housing Planning Council, a New York City housing policy organization. He has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Architectural Design from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Lisa Anderson is Special Lecturer and James T. Shotwell Professor of International Relations Emerita at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. Dr. Anderson served as President of the American University in Cairo for five years, from 2011-2016. Prior to her appointment as President, she was the University’s provost, a position she had assumed in 2008. She is Dean Emerita of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia, where she led the school from 1997-2007. She was on the faculty of Columbia since 1986; prior to her appointment as Dean, she served as Chair of the Political Science Department and Director of Columbia's Middle East Institute; she held the Shotwell Chair in the Political Science Department. She has also taught at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and in the Government and Social Studies departments at Harvard University.
Dr. Anderson’s scholarly research has included work on state formation in the Middle East and North Africa; on regime change and democratization in developing countries; and on social science, academic research and public policy both in the United States and around the world. Among her books are The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830-1980 (1986) and Pursuing Truth, Exercising Power: Social Science and Public Policy in the Twenty-first Century (2003); she has also published numerous scholarly articles.
Dr. Anderson is a trustee of the Aga Khan University and a member of the advisory board of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and the Sciences Po’s School of Public Affairs in Paris. She is a member emerita of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch, served as President of the Middle East Studies Association in 2003 and as Chair of the Board of the Social Science Research Council (1998-2008). She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Rachel Cooper is the Director of Global Performing Arts and Cultural Initiatives at the Asia Society. She is widely recognized as a leader in the performing arts field, presenting traditional and contemporary works by Asian and Asian American artists within a strong cultural context. She is a frequent speaker and participant at major conferences and media guest (CNN, ABC, WNYC, PBS, NPR) addressing, international arts exchange, cultural diplomacy and Asian performing arts and culture. She has served as an adviser and panelist for major international projects and institutions in the U.S., and in Asia.
Ms. Cooper has commissioned, produced and presented contemporary performances in music, dance and theater, including composers Rudresh Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, Bun-Ching Lam, Jason Hwang, and theater director Chen Shi-Zheng, Roberta Uno, choreographer Shen Wei, Yoshiko Chuma, Yin Mei among others. She co-directed the Muslim Voices Arts and Ideas Festival with BAM and NYU in 2009. She has led the Asia Society’s initiative Creative Voices of Muslim Asia over the past five years curating film, literature, performance. She is the co-author of Making A Difference Through the Arts: Strengthening America’s Links with Asian Muslim Communities. The recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, she was awarded the Dawson award for Programmatic Excellence from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Manhattan award for developing programming of cultural diversity in New York City, A National Global Citizen Diplomacy award for best practices in Cultural Exchange and an ‘Izzy’ for the programming excellence for Festival of Indonesia. Ms. Cooper serves on the board of the Interdependence Movement, Cambodian Living Arts, Crosspulse and Gamelan Sekar Jaya. and has worked with National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, International Society for the Performing Arts among others. Prior to joining the Asia Society, Ms. Cooper was the Associate Director of the UCLA Center for Intercultural Performance. From 1989-93, she directed the Festival of Indonesia In Performance touring over 200 Indonesian artists across the U.S..She did her undergraduate and graduate studies at UCLA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Dance Ethnology.
Robert Garris, Managing Director, Leadership Programs at Trinity Wall Street. He was previously Director, Global Admissions and Strategic Initiatives for the Schwarzman Scholars Program at Tsinghua University in Beijing and has built innovative international programs at universities and foundations for more than fifteen years. Previously, he served in senior leadership roles at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Conference and Research Center as Managing Director and as Managing Director for the Philanthropic Sector grant portfolio; at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) as Senior Associate Dean, where he managed academic and administrative matters for the School and was responsible for coordinating the university’s efforts to open a Columbia Global Center in Beijing and leading efforts to build a global network of partner institutions in Europe, Asia, and Latin America; and at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Garris received his Ph.D. in European History from the University of North Carolina, where he specialized in immigration and urban policy.