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Jaquelin Robertson is an architect and urban planner at Cooper, Robertson & Partners, a firm in New York City that he co-founded in 1988. He was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, the youngest of three children. A short, but influential period in his life occurred at age 11 when his family lived in China for a year and a half. At the start of his architectural career, he was one of the founders of the New York City Urban Design Group, the first Director of the Office of Midtown Planning and Development and a City Planning Commissioner under Mayor John Lindsay. In his thirties, he spent three years in Iran directing the planning and design of Tehran’s new capitol center. From 1980 to 1988, he served as the dean of the University of Virginia School of Architecture. His awards include the Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture in 1998, the Seaside Prize for his contribution to American Urbanism and the 2007 Driehaus Prize for work in the field of traditional, classical and sustainable architecture.
University of Bonn, Germany, 1984-86, Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies & Business Administration
Fudan University, Shanghai, China, 1988, B.A. equivalent, Chinese language & economic history
University of Bonn, Germany, 1992, M.A., Chinese Studies (major), Japanese Studies & Business Administration (minors)
University of Oxford, England, 1998, D. Phil., Modern Chinese History
Elisabeth Köll is a Rhodes Scholar from Germany, who has studied and researched extensively in China. She specializes in Chinese business and socio-economic history and is fluent in English and Chinese and proficient in Japanese. From 1998 to 2007, she was taught modern Chinese business and social history at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. In July 2008 she joined the Entrepreneurial Management unit at Harvard Business School as an associate professor with teaching assignments related to business history and doing business in China for the elective MBA curriculum and the doctoral program.
Princeton University, 1995, B.A., Religion and East Asian Studies
University of Oxford, 1998, M.A., Politics and Philosophy
Matthew Polly, the eldest of two children of a doctor and a homemaker, grew up in Topeka, Kansas. After his junior year at Princeton, he dropped out to study kung fu with the famous Shaolin monks in rural China for two years. He has documented his experience in his recently released book called American Shaolin. He has also written articles for Esquire, The Nation, Playboy, Publisher’s Weekly, and Slate. He’s currently looking for suggestions on a career that doesn’t involve any work.
The following interview was conducted by email.