Women Who Empower: Jingyu Wang

Author: Colleen Wilcox

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Jingyu Wang

This story is part of Notre Dame International's series titled "Women Who Empower."

Jingyu Wang is hoping to redefine the meaning of a leader.

As the executive director of the Beijing Global Gateway, Wang is working to change the focus from “leading” to “serving.”

“The best leaders aren’t just motivating people to do the work; they’re helping and supporting them in a compassionate way,” says Wang.

She prefers to use her own terminology when describing her work for the University of Notre Dame. Instead of colleagues, she prefers teammates. She describes the University’s partners in China as friendships. Most importantly, she views students and potential students as her own children.

This approach stems from her background as an educator who served as an advocate for the most vulnerable. She got her start in education as a high school teacher in a small village in China. This experience led to a lecture position at Princeton University, where she taught the Chinese language.

While working in the United States, she was introduced to the University of Notre Dame, where she served as a research associate on a two-year project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, to strengthen Asian Studies at Notre Dame.

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“I knew right away that Notre Dame was special, one that had its own traditions and culture,” says Wang. “I wanted to be part of something that truly made an impact and sought to make the world a more peaceful place.”

In 2018, Wang was appointed executive director of the Beijing Global Gateway to serve the University community in China and facilitate programs for the campus community that promote understanding, advance knowledge, and address issues to serve the common good. Using her own definitions, Wang has since forged “friendships” with government agencies, Chinese universities, and businesses within the private and non-profit sectors, both in China and around the world.

Wang is exceptionally qualified for this role given her experience and dedication to higher education in both the United States and China. Her colleagues agree that it’s her empathic approach that makes her an even stronger and empowered leader.

“Your passions should give you energy,” says Wang. “I would like to use my energy to make this world a more beautiful place.”

Learn more about Wang’s work in China.