Yang Jianli, Ph.D.
Dr. Jianli Yang is a scholar and democracy activist internationally recognized for his efforts to promote democracy in China. He has been involved in the Chinese democracy movement since the 1980s. He participated in the 1989 Tiananmen protests and co-authored The Constitution of a Federal Democratic China. He holds Ph.D.s in mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley and in political economy from Harvard University. In 2002, Yang returned to China to support the labor movement and was imprisoned for five years. Following his release and his subsequent return to the U.S., Yang founded Initiatives for China, a.k.a. Citizen Power for China, an organization that promotes China’s peaceful transition to democracy. In March 2010, Yang co-chaired the Committee on Internet Freedom at the Geneva Human Rights and Democracy Summit. In December 2010, Yang represented Liu Xiaobo at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. In December 2011, Yang joined H.H. Dalai Lama and four other delegates to attend Forum 2000, hosted by former Czech president Václav Havel. Yang is a recipient of numerous international human rights awards, including the 2013 Truman-Reagan Freedom Medal from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.