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Mr. David W. Leebron
Distinguished Friends of China Award Recipient
Year of 2007


中国驻休斯敦总领事乔红 (左三), 中国人活动中心理事长杨俊(左一), 晚宴主席邹雅莉(左二), 晚宴共同主席陈维国
(左四) 共同颁发2007年杰出中国之友奖给莱斯大学校长李达伟(右二), 右一为德州亚洲协会主席福斯特.
 

Professional Position:

President of Rice University and Professor of Political Science  

 

Related Community Activities:

 


 

·         American Society of International Law

·         BioHouston Board of Directors

·         Carter–Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform

·         Greater Houston Partnership Board of Directors

·         Harvard Law School Visiting Committee

·         Houston Advanced Research Center Board

·         Houston Technology Center Board of Directors

·         World Affairs of Houston

·         Houston Forum

·         IMAX Corporation Board of Directors

·         Jacobs University Bremen, Germany Board of Trustees

·         Texas Medical Center CEO group

·         Council on Foreign Relations

·         U.S. National Security Higher Education Advisory Board

·          U.S. Secretaries of State Baker-Christopher War Powers Study Commission (ex-officio)


 

 

Major efforts and accomplishments in the promotion of U.S. - China relations and the friendship between peoples in the United States and China.

 

Since his first trip to the People's Republic of China in 1980, David W. Leebron has been committed to strengthening U.S.-Chinese relations.

 

·         Traveled to China to lecture on Foreign Investment and Project Finance in 1984 at invitation of Chinese governmental organization.

·         At New York University School of Law, Mr. Leebron served as advisor to Chinese graduate students.

·         As Dean of Columbia Law School, he hosted visiting professors from China, supported the law school’s continuing investment in Chinese Legal Studies, greatly increased the number of Chinese graduate students, and built relationships with many of the major Chinese law schools.

·         Since coming to Rice University and Houston, he has worked to enhance Rice's Asian programs, with a strong focus on China and to build stronger relationships with the local Chinese community.

·         In April 2005, Mr. Leebron provided the keynote address to the Asian Chamber of Commerce of Houston.  He invited attendees to join him as advocates for international education.

·         In June 2005, Mr. Leebron was invited by the China Education Association for International Exchange and the Chinese Embassy in Washington to address the China-U.S. University President Forum in Seattle, Washington, where he addressed Chinese Ambassador Wenzhong Zhou, Director General Cao, and leaders of higher education from China and the United States.

·         In the summer of 2005, Mr. Leebron led a Rice University delegation to China meeting with a number of the top universities and government officials in China, including Vice Minister of Education Madam Qidi Wu.  He visited universities in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Hangzhou.  Mr. Leebron also met with U.S. Ambassador to China, the Honorable Clark T. Randt, Jr., and encouraged improvements in the visa process for Chinese students.

·         In November 2005, Mr. Leebron gave the keynote speech for Houston’s Chinese Community Center Dinner.  He asked audiences members to commit themselves to education for all and to making possible the full potential of every human being.  

·         Mr. Leebron has hosted Chinese Vice Minister of Education Madam Qidi Wu on several occasions and continues to build strong ties between the higher education institutions in China and specifically Rice University.

·         In 2006, he was a member of a U.S. delegation to China let by Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to promote stronger educational ties between the two countries.  During the trip, Mr. Leebron provided remarks at Tsinghua University in Beijing at the Higher Education Roundtable on International Education hosted by the U.S. Departments of State and Education.

·         In 2006, Mr. Leebron was requested to serve on the Centennial Commission for Tongji University in Shanghai.

·         In 2007, Rice University launched the China-U.S. Center for Environmental Remediation and Sustainable Development, which built on a research relationship that had been established by professors at Rice and Nankai University.

·         In 2007, under Mr. Leebron’s leadership, Rice University was selected as host for the China-Rice University Leadership Forum, a two-week visit by China’s top education leaders (26 Chinese university presidents, chairman and vice chairman, and high officials from the Ministry of Education and the National Academy of Education Administration).  Rice is only the third U.S. university ever selected to serve as host, and the first one in the southern or western part of the country.

·         In September 2007, Mr. Leebron announced the founding of the T.T. and W.F. Chao Center for Asian Studies at Rice.

·         In October 2007 Mr. Leebron will travel to China to participate in a conference on the role of the humanities being held at Tianjin University.

·         By Mr. Leebron’s invitation, Chinese Ambassador Wenzhong Zhou, has agreed to speak at Rice University in 2008.

 

David W. Leebron became the seventh president of Rice University in Houston, Texas, and a professor of political science on July 1, 2004. Rice is one of the country’s premier private research universities and home to the top-rated Shepherd School of Music, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management, Brown School of Engineering and other highly ranked programs in natural sciences, humanities, and architecture schools.

 

A native of Philadelphia, Leebron is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was elected president of the Law Review in his second year. After graduating in 1979, he served as a law clerk for Judge Shirley Hufstedler on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angeles. In 1980, he taught torts as acting assistant professor of law at the UCLA School of Law. In 1981, he joined the New York firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, where he specialized in corporate law. He became a faculty member of the New York University School of Law in 1983 and also served as director of the International Legal Studies Program. In 1989, Leebron joined the faculty of Columbia University School of Law, and in 1996 he was appointed dean and named the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law. Leebron also served as a visiting fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and Comparative Law in Hamburg, Germany, and as the Jean Monnet Visiting Professor of Law at Bielefeld University.  Leebron has co-authored a textbook on international human rights and written numerous articles on issues of international trade, human rights, and corporate finance.

 

Mr. Leebron is married to Y. Ping Sun, who, since their marriage in 1990, has been his partner in building connections to China. They have two children, Daniel and Merissa, and are committed to raising them to know the languages and cultures of both their traditions. 


 

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