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Hang-Sheng Cheng

Founding President 


Dr. Hang-Sheng Cheng is the Founding President of the 1990 Institute. Now retired, he was formerly the Director of the Center for Pacific Basin Studies at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Prior to his work at the Federal Reserve Bank, Dr. Cheng was a research economist at the International Monetary Fund.

For the 1990 Institute, Dr. Cheng was instrumental in obtaining “sponsorship” for the Institute from the SF Federal Reserve through its then-President Robert Parry.  Dr. Cheng also came up with the then-novel idea to team up 20 U.S. and Chinese scholars together to launch a research program (Phase I) examining economic reform in China. In 1993, the Institute’s first publication, China’s Economic Reform, which examined six key

areas of economic reform – macroeconomy, agriculture, enterprises, foreign trade, prices, labor and decentralization, was presented to China’s top leadership. It was warmly received by the Chinese government and adopted as a textbook on China’s economy by Stanford.

Dr. Cheng also helped edit numerous 1990 Institute publications in Phase II, a series of more intensive and focused studies of China’s economy, including foreign business law in China, ongoing agricultural reform, a mid-course assessment of China’s economic reform, financial reform and monetary policy, fiscal policy, and state-owned enterprise governance.

Dr. Cheng also helped organize the Bank’s delegation trips to China, traveling at various times with Federal Reserve Chairmen Paul Volker and Alan Greenspan.

In 2008, Dr. Cheng resigned from the Institute, passing the baton to the younger leadership of the 1990 Institute, in order to deal with his encroaching battle with vascular dementia. He continues to look upon the 1990 Institute as a major part of his life’s work.

Dr. Cheng holds a PhD Economics from Princeton, a Master in Economics from Johns Hopkins University, and a BA in History from Tsinghua University.

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