Ambassador Linda Tsao Yang
Director, Pacific Pension Institute
Ambassador Yang chairs the Asian Corporate Governance Association based in Hong Kong. It is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating corporate and economic development in Asia through improved corporate governance. A Non-Executive Independent Director on the board of Bank of China (Hong Kong), she is the founding chair of the Strategy and Budget Committee of the board and serves on the board's Audit Committee and Nomination and Remuneration Committee. She is on the board of The Committee of 100, a national Chinese-American organization, and an advisory board member of The Center for Asia Pacific Policy, RAND Corporation. She is a Trustee of The Asia Foundation which operates 17 field offices in Asia focused on development programs and is a member of its Audit committee. She was a director of the Pacific Pension Institute for six years. Currently, she serves on the Advisory Council of the institute and its Program Committee.
Ambassador Yang was the U.S. Ambassador and Executive Director to the Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank ( ADB) in Manila from 1993 to 1999. During her 6-year tenure at the bank, she made many field trips to developing members countries to gain first-hand knowledge on the formulation and execution of development projects. Upon her retirement in December 1999, Ambassador Yang was presented the Distinguished Service Award of the U.S. Treasury Department. The award citation states, " ... Ambassador Yang played a key role in defining the Bank's participation in the international response to the Asian economic crisis, including pushing for early and expanded attention to social impacts and social development. She has provided strong fiduciary and operational oversight of Bank operations and has worked to make the Bank more transparent and accountable."
The first woman Executive Director appointed by the United States Government to the board of a multilateral financial institution and the first Executive Director appointed by President Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate., Ambassador Yang initiated and led the ADB Board to adopt a comprehensive private sector development strategy policy. She was complimented by President Clinton in his letter accepting her retirement that, " ... I am particularly grateful for your work to reform the Bank's operational policies in order to encourage private investment, which will help to reduce poverty. Your actions have upheld American values and improved our ties with Asia." To date, with the policy in place, the Private Sector Group at the bank greatly expanded its operations which lately reached an annual volume of close to US $2.0 billion in direct investments in projects, private equity funds, and credit risk guarantees.
From 1980 to 1982, Ambassador Yang was California's Savings and Loan Commissioner responsible for the regulation and supervision of all state-chartered savings and loan institutions. She was the first Asian American appointed to the Board of Administration of the Public Employees' Retirement System of the State of California ( CalPERS) and served as Vice President of the Board and Vice-chairman of its Investment Committee. She is a graduate of St. John’s University in Shanghai and earned her Master of Philosophy degree (Economics) from Columbia University of New York with areas of concentration in banking, finance, and international economics.