Professor Xi gained his undergraduate degree in physics from Xi’an Science and Technology University and his master’s in system engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University. In 1987 he was the first person in mainland China to be awarded a doctoral degree in the field of management engineering, while in 1993 became the youngest supervisor of Ph.D. candidates in management engineering in China.

As a visiting professor, he has conducted joint research projects in universities in Canada, America, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Much of his research in China has been designated as national key projects. His research and teaching areas cover strategic management and policy analysis, decision-making and decision support systems, management behaviour, and firm theory.

He has successfully supervised over 100 master’s and PhD students, while as an author or co-author has published more than 300 academic papers and 20 books. He has received many prizes at provincial and ministerial levels.

As well as sitting on a variety of national-level boards and holding a wide range of titles, including standing committee member of Xi’an Municipal People’s Congress, Professor Xi is also chief editor of Manamaga, a magazine and journal focussed on management, as well as an editorial board member of several Chinese academic journals.


Professor Qiuling Chao is Vice President for Student Affairs and Information, and Secretary of Party Committee at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. She is also a Professor and Doctoral Supervisor in the Institute of Leadership and Education Advanced Development. Apart from that, she is a Professor and Doctoral Supervisor of School of Public Policy and Administration at Xi’an Jiaotong University.

Her research areas are educational psychology and higher education. She has conducted eight research projects with partnerships from home and abroad, including those funded by the National Social Science Fund of China and projects at provincial and ministerial level. She has participated in more than 20 projects funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, published six monographs, translated two international monographs from English, and published about 50 articles in SCI (Science Citation Index) and SSCI (Social Science Citation Index). Professor Chao maintains long-term academic cooperation with University of Liverpool, Yale University, UC Berkeley, Ohio State University, Queen’s University and other internationally renowned universities.

Professor Chao served as Deputy Head of the Educational Technology Department and Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges at Xi’an Jiaotong University, and worked as Dean of the Liverpool Confucius Institute at the University of Liverpool.

At present, Professor Chao is also committed to social duties, including acting as a board member of the China Family Education Society; vice chair of the Committee on Early Childhood Care Services from the Chinese Association for Improving Birth Outcome and Child Development; expert reviewer for the China Scholarship Council; Commissioner of Jiangsu Bachelor’s Degree Evaluation Commission; expert committee member of Jiangsu Education Association for International Exchange; member in the Expert Database of Philosophy and Social Sciences of Jiangsu Universities; and board member of the Suzhou Federation of Social Sciences.


Dr. Xiaojun Zhang got his Ph.D. degree at Xi’an Jiaotong University. He joined Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University as the Deputy Director of Institute of Leadership and Education Advanced Development (ILEAD), which was created by him under the support of university leaders. Now Xiaojun is Dean for ILEAD at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in China.

Dr. Zhang is a Principal Fellow of Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) in UK. ILEAD had become a unique and leading center for education innovation, development, and education of educators (degree programmes) in education globally under his leadership. Its key customers include XJTLU students, XJTLU staff, as well as local, regional, national and international educational practitioners and institutions. He developed and supported every projects and programmes of ILEAD includes pedagogical programmes (Postgraduate Taught and PhD degree programmes), support for XJTLU student learning, educational and professional development for XJTLU staff, global community for education innovation, training and development initiatives for external educators and professionals in education sector, and research on future university (internationalization, learning and teaching, educational leadership, educational management).

Most of Xiaojun’s current work focuses on educating the educators in universities, including teachers, professionals, and institutional leaders and managers. He has developed many professional development programmes for educational practitioners across the country. His programmes were attended by more than 10,000 staff from more than 500 Chinese universities. Xiaojun created one of the most influential community for teaching innovation in China: XJTLU National University Teaching Innovation Award. More than1,250 innovative teachers from 150 Chinese universities applied for this award since 2016. Every year there are millions of online visits to this events, and there has accumulated more than 500 excellent teaching innovation cases.

Dr. Zhang’s research area includes institutional change and the role of leadership in institutional change in higher education context; internationalization in Higher Education, especially the Sino-foreign Cooperative universities; research-led learning and teaching; student-centred education, etc. He has published more than 80 academic papers and 3 books in these areas. His research focus on problems in practice and pay attention to practical implications. Most of his research has been adopted in his training programmes for higher education practitioners.


Dr. Christopher Brighton, originally from the UK but now a global citizen, holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and specialises in intercultural development. Prior to his current position in XJTLU, he has been the Coordinator of Global Understanding at East Carolina University (Greenville, NC, USA) and a Senior Lecturer of English at Krosno State College (Poland). Additionally, he has guest-lectured at universities on four different continents and worked on several EU and USA government funded projects in international education.

He is the author of the 2013 book Socio-Cultural Values in the Development of ICC, published by Peter Lang, and over fifteen articles that have been published in peer reviewed journals on the topic of socio-cultural and intercultural learning. His work has further seen him involved in innovative virtual exchange methodology to develop cultural learning and global competency skills.

Chris’s research areas focus on socio-cultural competences and innovative practices that relate to the development of intercultural skills, transformative learning and international education.


Dr. Liu is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Leadership and Education Advanced Development (ILEAD) at XJTLU. Her research interest includes the impact of college on students, college student success, and diversity in higher education. She has published in various SSCI (Social Sciences Citation Index) journals, such as Journal of Diversity in Higher Education and Journal of College Student Development.

Dr. Liu earned her M.A. degree from the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education program at Michigan State University. Her Ph.D. degree is in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Iowa. Before Joining Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Dr. Liu worked at ACT, Inc, the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education at the University of Iowa, and a public four-year university in North Carolina in the United States, assessing college student success and using data-driven evidence to improve institutional effectiveness.


Dr. Juming Shen is a local resident of Suzhou. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Soochow University in 2007 and 2010 respectively. To further explore his interest in academic studies, he went to Australia with the fund from China Scholarship Council after graduating from Soochow and obtained his Ph.D. in higher educational studies from Queensland University of Technology in 2013. He returned to his hometown immediately and started working at Soochow University as a lecturer in its School of Foreign Languages. In 2016, Dr. Shen joined the Language Centre of Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University where he taught modules on English for Academic Purposes and established the new module of Developing Students’ Intercultural Awareness and Skills. In 2019, he transferred to ILEAD as a lecturer for the program of M.A. Global Education.

Dr. Shen started publishing academic papers in peer-reviewed journals as early as in 2008 and his research interest ranges from intercultural communication and language studies to semiotics and educational policy and practice analysis. He holds membership and leadership in a number of national and international academic associations and journal editorial and advisory boards. Apart from academic research, Dr. Shen has been dedicating passionately to the development of students and local educational communities. He is on the teaching and learning advisory board of several international middle and high schools and has personally coached dozens of students for national and international contests and competitions.


Dr. Sarah is the Research Director and Program Director of M.A. in Global Education. She has a background in MBA, social-organization psychology, and education. She received her Master’s and doctorate degrees from Teachers College (TC) Columbia University in New York and served as the program leader/lecturer of the “Summer Youth Leadership Training” program at TC. She went to study abroad since high school and lived in the United States for twenty years. During her doctoral study, she proposed to combine leadership, organizational development, and education to conduct interdisciplinary research on the leadership of Sino-foreign cooperative schools. Her doctoral thesis, Exploratory Study of the Experience of Chinese-Foreign Cooperative School Managers, applied critical incident research method and interviewed 14 managers from ten Sino-foreign cooperative universities in China. Dr. Sarah is the Provost Doctoral Research Award Recipient at Teachers College Columbia University. In addition to her academic work, she prefers to describe herself as a research-practitioner in education. While in the United States, she was invited by businesses and schools to provide training and consulting on cross-cultural communication and organizational development. She has directed international cooperation programs in many British and American schools. She has published many articles in well-known journals domestically and internationally, a winner of the 2020 China Education International Exchange Association Research Project, XJTLU Research Development Fund Recipient. Her research interests include organizational development, educational leadership, teacher development, and self-directed learning.


Dr. Rong Wang is the Professor and Head of the Department of the Educational Studies in the Institute of Leadership and Educational Advanced Development (ILEAD) at XJTLU. Dr. Wang holds a Ph.D. in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program and a Graduate Certificate in Institutional Research at Indiana University. She obtained a master’s degree in the Higher Education program from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Wang has more than ten years of research, teaching, and administration experience in higher education. Before joining XJTLU, Dr. Wang was the Director for Assessment, Planning, and Accreditation in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She also worked as the Assistant Director for Academic Strategy and Policy at Virginia Tech. Dr. Wang’s research interests focus on college teaching and learning, student engagement, institutional research and assessment, and international comparative higher education. She worked as the Research Project Associate at Indiana University’s Center for Postsecondary Research for five years. Dr. Wang has led several research projects using large-scale multi-institutional datasets from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), and the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE). Her studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences, from research and methodology focused conferences to practical-oriented conferences. Dr. Wang’s cross-cultural teaching experiences ranged from the undergraduate level to the doctoral level and ranged between China and the United States.


Dr. Rong Yan is currently a senior associate professor of developmental and educational psychology in the Institute of Leadership and Education Advanced Development (ILEAD) at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU). Before coming to ILEAD, he was a full professor in the School of English Language, Literature & Culture, Beijing International Studies University. Dr. Yan obtained his Ph.D. from the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2007. Two years later, he was honored by the Patton College of Education, Ohio University, to further his study in bilingual education as a Post-doc researcher. His primary research areas are developmental and educational psychology, language acquisition and bilingual education.

Dr. Yan has presented his work internationally and served on various committees in China, US and Canada, including Chinese Psychological Association, China National Society of Early Childhood Education, Association for Childhood Education International, Center for Language Acquisition & Precision Education, Canada (CLAPE), Family-School-Community Education Professional Committee of China Family Education Institute and Special Education Specialist Committee of SIP. So far, as PI and key member, he has led and participated more than 20 research projects, some of which were funded by the China National Humanities and Social Science Foundation, the State Ministry of Education of China and Beijing Municipal Government. With more than 18 years of teaching and research experiences in language education, developmental and educational psychology, he has published 5 books and over 40 research articles. In 2013, Dr. Yan received the Top Award for Outstanding Education Research by Beijing Municipal Education Commission.


Dr. Sam Zare has a Ph.D. in Linguistics and Second Language Teaching from Massey University, New Zealand. Sam has been in language education since 1997 and has extensive experience and expertise in language teaching and learning, including Second Language Acquisition, Principles of Language Teaching and Learning, Assessment in Education, and TESOL Teacher training. As a qualified teacher trainer, Sam has trained both native speakers and non-native speakers of English (New Zealand, Iran, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia) on different teacher training programs, including Trinity College London Cert-TESOL.

Sam is currently the Director of Global Digital Citizenship Centre (GDCC) at the Institute of Leadership and Education Advanced Development (ILEAD). In this role, he is working on the improvement of XJTLU Digital Literacy profile by designing modules, workshops, and products for XJTLU students and staff, and other Chinese academic entities.

As a Ph.D. student supervisor at ILEAD, Sam’s research interest covers issues in English Language Teaching and Learning, Teacher Training, Intercultural Communication, Socio-cultural Studies, Sociolinguistics, Discourse Analysis, Language and Identity, Cultural Identities, New Media Discourse, Virtual Communities, Weblogs, Online Social Networks, Social Network Analysis, Migration and Transnationalism, and Emotion.

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