China-based Staff

Students, parents, faculty, and advisors can rely on the Alliance to provide insightful guidance and comprehensive support services throughout their experience. Before departure, students may contact their U.S.-based Program Advisor with any questions or concerns.

Once students arrive overseas, our Resident Directors and on-site staff lead orientation programs and are available to students at all times for academic and personal support and practical advice. They work to enhance students' study abroad experience through planned cultural activities, lectures, field study trips, and social events.

Shanghai Staff

LIU Pei, Ph.D.

Director for China Programs

As Director for China Programs, LIU Pei oversees all Alliance programs across China. She also oversees academic and student services training related to the U.S. State Department's Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) programs in China in conjunction with American Councils for International Education. Pei received her Ph.D. in Public Administration from The George Washington University, where she also worked in the Center for the Study of Globalization and taught and advised students. As part of her dissertation, in 2004, she conducted field research in China on the development of Sino-foreign collaborative educational alliances. A native of China, she earned her B.A. in Trade Economics from Wuhan University of Technology and M.P.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her academic interests focus on new developments in transnational education, joint educational ventures, and international quality assurance and regulation. Previously, Pei also served as the Georgetown University’s Liaison Office Director in Shanghai and managed the Educational Evaluation Services for Architects program at the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in Washington D.C.


Chris Van Velzer

Resident Director, Shanghai Programs

Chris Van Velzer has been working in higher education and study abroad for the past 15 years. Prior to joining the Alliance, he held leadership roles within an educational consulting firm and multiple study abroad programs based in Shanghai, including the Shanghai International Program which he established and directed for Pepperdine University. In addition, Chris has taught courses in business administration and intercultural learning. His current research focuses on holistic, integrated learning models that situate global learning in both local and international contexts. He earned a B.A. in Humanities and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Higher Education. Chris is passionate about helping students navigate and maximize the life-changing experiences study abroad affords and has a deep investment in and love for Shanghai and Chinese culture.



Language Director, Shanghai Programs

A native of Beijing, WANG Qi holds a B.A. in Chinese Language & Literature from Beijing Normal University and an M.A. in Asian Studies from Seton Hall University. Qi’s teaching career started as a lecturer in Chinese language and literature at Beijing Foreign Studies University. After coming to the United States, Qi first served as a visiting lecturer in Chinese at Brown University and later spent six years as a Chinese lecturer at University of Pennsylvania. Throughout these years, she has taught all levels and various types of Chinese language courses. As the Shanghai Language Director, Qi oversees and manages the Chinese language programs in Shanghai. She is also responsible for clearly defining and maintaining high standards of excellence in Chinese language teaching for Alliance language teachers across the Alliance’s programs in China.


ZHANG Yingyi

Student Services Manager, Shanghai Programs

ZHANG Yingyi joined the Alliance in 2009 as a lead Chinese language teacher, with a B.A. in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language from Heilongjiang University and extensive Chinese language teaching experience in Singapore. As Student Services Manager, she assists the Resident Director in all aspects of student services for the International Business program and is involved in program planning and logistical coordination with the Alliance’s host university. Yingyi’s significant experience in Chinese language teaching has deepened her understanding of students’ needs and is complemented by her passion for facilitating language and cultural immersion. As a long-time Shanghai resident, Yingyi speaks the local dialect and is always ready to assist Alliance students with experiential learning and exploration of this booming international metropolis.


Take the Next Step