Q&A with Alum Hui Wang, Pardee RAND Board of Governors Member
Photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND
Since receiving his Ph.D. in 1992, Pardee RAND alum Hui Wang has had a dynamic and extensive career. As CEO of First China Capital, he is a deal maker in international investment and mergers and acquisitions. He has pioneered a new field that involves collaboration between major banks and other investment institutions in the U.S. and other source countries, on the one hand, and businesses and financial investment vehicles in China, on the other.
Wang has authored The Gradual Revolution, a book of RAND studies, and Market and Contract, a book published by Beijing University Press. Prior to studying at Pardee RAND, he was a department head at China Economic Reform Institute in Beijing, advising Chinese leadership on the original economic liberalization in the 1980s. Wang recently sat down with the School to answer some questions about his time at Pardee RAND and how his degree impacted his career.
How did your education at Pardee RAND help you in your career?
First of all, my education helped me form a habit of being dedicated to and, sometimes, obsessed with quality. Second, it made me realize that, in this world of uncertainty and the unknown, I should always try to work with others as a team, which often improves the result of one person’s effort. Third, it helped me understand that thinking objectively and innovatively enables a person to go far.
What do you think is the most critical issue facing the world — and policymakers — today?
It seems that there is a higher calling for better integrating and leveraging economy, institutions, and technology when dealing with international conflicts and long-term challenges.
Who is someone you admire for being the answer to a particular policy problem?
I admire Charles Wolf for addressing the issue of China’s rise. Dr. Wolf’s profound understanding of and work regarding China, its neighbors, Asia as a whole, Communism, and the planned economy, greatly contributed to knowledge and decision-making. His insight, judgment, and work have strengthened the United States and made the world more sustainably peaceful.
What about Pardee RAND inspires you to give back (as a volunteer and/or philanthropically)?
Pardee RAND can contribute to understanding and finding solutions to the many problems facing the U.S. and the world. I would like to see more people benefit from this great school and help Pardee RAND make more significant contributions.
Who were your favorite professors at Pardee RAND and why?
Paul Davis (national security), Jonathan Cave (microeconomics), and Dick Neu (macroeconomics) were my favorite professors. They all taught with conviction and enthusiasm. Paul’s class trained me how to think strategically and adopt a strong sense of history. Jonathan’s and Dick’s classes made me think about economic issues, both rationally and passionately.
What is one of your favorite memories from your time at Pardee RAND?
When I first came to Pardee RAND from China, over a quarter of a century ago, I saw a new world. I received more than generous help from Darlene Thomson, the assistant to the dean, and from students and alumni, including Jerry Stiles, Manbing Sze, Jeff Sine, Michael McGinty, Desmond Newton, Yongsup Han, Ku Shin, Loren Yager, and all of the members of my small class. Their faces are still vivid in my mind today. I am very grateful to them for their influence.
How much time did you spend at the beach versus at RAND? What were your favorite beach activities?
I probably spent 5% versus 55% of my time at the beach and at RAND, respectively. At the beach I swam… I loved the big waves.