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Daniel Bensonread bio
Daniel Benson is a British national and graduated from Clare College, University of Cambridge in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Economics. His interest in China stems from a great love of Chinese culture, language, history and cuisine, as well as thinking critically about China’s position in the global economy; a country that has developed whilst not subscribing to the ideals dictated by dominant economic theory. Daniel has travelled extensively within China and beyond, including working abroad with international students, including many Peking University students, and seeks to contribute to the relationship between the Yenching Academy and the wider university. Daniel is keen to put into practice the insights he learns about the Chinese economy and business environment into a career in Economic consultancy. He hopes that the cross-cultural communication and leadership taught at the Yenching Academy will help will help him to achieve these goals with greater confidence and conviction.
Megan Cansfieldread bio
Megan Cansfield is a British-American dual citizen and 2017 graduate of the University of Michigan with majors in Political Science, International Studies, and Asian Studies. At Michigan, Megan served as the Asia Regional Editor of the Michigan Journal of International Affairs and wrote her honors thesis analyzing the intersections between US-China strategic trust-building and security cooperation on North Korea. She also studied in five Chinese cities and interned with the US Embassy Beijing, US Consulate-General Guangzhou, and US-China grassroots exchange organization Project Pengyou. Megan was a Fulbright research fellow in China at Yanbian University where she conducted an independent project investigating the influence of the Korean Peninsula security crisis on US-China relations. Following her studies in Politics and International Relations at the Yenching Academy, Megan aspires to continue fostering Sino-American cooperation and engagement in East Asia at the intergovernmental level through a career in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.
Ting Ting (Michelle) Kanread bio
Michelle grew up in Hong Kong and moved abroad to the UK to study Social Policy with Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In her dissertation, she discussed the use of private providers in publicly funded health care systems, and its implications on the quality of health care services. During her time at the Yenching Academy, Michelle is interested in learning more about China’s social policies and examining the cross-section between public and private spheres in developing countries.
Hannah Rose Kirkread bio
Hannah Kirk holds a degree in Economics from Trinity College, University of Cambridge. Hannah's primary academic interests lie in behavioural economics. Her dissertation explored the incorporation of societal norms into a game-theoretic framework, designing an experiment to test the effect of religiosity on strategic interactions. The opportunity of studying in China provides a first-hand view of how culture and religion become deeply imbued in societies, affecting trust and cooperation. Hannah has a keen interest in programming and has completed projects applying machine-learning techniques to consumer data. Working at the Bank of England and Goldman Sachs lended insight into the scope for data science in the public and private sector. Beyond academia, Hannah competed for the University Modern Pentathlon team and was Chair of Cambridge’s Economics Society. Aside from English, the only other language Hannah is fluent in is Python but she looks forward to adding Mandarin to this list.
Ankur Samir Shahread bio
Ankur Shah is a 24-year-old British Indian from Manchester. In June 2016, he graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a first-class degree in Chinese and Russian. During his undergraduate studies he spent 15 months studying in Sichuan and St Petersburg, culminating in him working on the Trans-Siberian Express from Moscow to Vladivostok. Swapping train tracks for the open road, this desire to explore saw Ankur partake in a 20,000km Silk Road expedition, sponsored by the National Geographic, driving from Venice to Xi'an. Ankur spent four months retracing the footsteps of Marco Polo, researching China's Belt and Road initiative (BRI), interviewing key stakeholders and visiting flagship projects across Eurasia. This project built on his time spent working at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris on the organisation's Silk Road Online Platform. Ankur returned to London to work as an analyst at a leading political risk consultancy in the firm's Former Soviet Union team. Ankur’s time at the Yenching Academy will be focused on politics and international relations, studying the Sino-Russian strategic partnership, BRI and its compatibility with the Eurasian Economic Union. After Yenching, Ankur intends to work in international, multilateral organisations, with the intention to eventually move back to the UK to help bridge political gaps between the UK and Asian cultures.