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Meet The Team

Shaoming Zhu

Dr. Shaoming Zhu is the Founder and President of FLIA. She earned the degree of Doctor of Juridical Science from the Pennsylvania State University and Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws in China. She has published two books and numerous articles. Her publications and funded research projects focus on jurisprudence, comparative law, private international law, NGOs and global governance, Chinese legislation on social and economic development, and other related topics. 

Daris (Miaoqiang) Dai

Daris Dai is the Program Director and a research assistant at FLIA, now in charge of Belt and Road Initiative Simulation Program. He is a second-year Master of International Affairs candidate at Pennsylvania State University and also a CFA level II candidate. His research is focused on the international political economic analysis, corporate social responsibility, and global economic governance. Miaoqiang also has published several translations and papers on journals both in China and abroad.

Kyleleigh Patterson


Mark Poustie

Professor Mark Poustie is a Board Member of FLIA. He served at the University of Strathclyde as Head of the Law School from 2007-2013 and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, in charge of international affairs from 2013-2015. At the same time, Professor Poustie was very successful in his academic field. He has conducted significant research in the area of environmental law, land law, urban planning law, and EU law, with considerable impact on the international scene. Also, Professor Poustie was an active practitioner, who was involved in the governmental policy-making process. He was appointed as a part-time Oriental Scholar at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) from 2014-2016 before taking up a full-time Thousand Talents Scholar post at SUFE from 2016. He teaches and researches areas of environmental law, EU law and common law at SUFE.


Asen Velinov

Asen Velinov is a FLIA Fellow. He is also a California Attorney-at-Law, a Media Consultant, and a Belt & Road and China Expert. Asen helps Chinese and foreign enterprises with their cross-border Investments.  He has a strong interest in the B&R initiative (holds a Belt and Road Certificate from Fudan University) and the CEE 16+1 group of countries and has done extensive work to popularize them to potential investors, including by helping produce TV programs on the opportunities there. He holds degrees from three of China’s top universities, Tongji, Fudan and SJTU and provides frequent commentary on investment, corporate and China matters for publications in China, Europe and the US.

Kyleleigh Patterson

Kyleleigh Patterson is a Negotiation Specialist and Editor at FLIA, she is currently assisting with the Belt and Road Initiative Simulation Program. She is currently a second-year Master of International Affairs candidate at the Pennsylvania State University. Her concentration is in conflict resolution and international criminal justice reform. For the four years prior to returning to graduate school, she worked as a legal secretary for the local government. 


Jiayi Zhou

Jiayi Zhou is a participant in the first Belt & Road Simulation held in the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and was awarded the best public speaker and gold team award.  Participated in several moot competition, such as Jessup and Asia Cup, she was fond of International law. Currently studying in Georgetown University Law Center, she is pursuing the LL.M. degree certificate in Securities and Financial Regulation Law. She received her Bachelor’s Law Degree in International Financial Law from the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.  She had interned in several law firms and have a profound knowledge of financial law. 

Vicky (Chien-Hui) Weng

Chien-Hui Weng is the Deputy Director of Operations as well as a Research Assistant in FLIA. She is studying for a Master of International Affairs and a Graduate Certificate of Applied Statistics’ at Pennsylvania State University. Currently, she works as a teaching assistant in graduate school, and as a research assistant for the Associate Dean of Penn State’s International Programs. She obtained her BSocSc (Hons) in Public Policy and Management at City University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on international economics, international development, trade policy and development policy.


Nan Hao

Hao Nan is a master student on public policy with full scholarship from Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. As a scholarly practitioner, Hao Nan once worked in intergovernmental, non-governmental and academic organisations during his gap years after obtaining his dual bachelor's degrees on English and Diplomatic Studies in 2016. As a practical scholar, he has produced several papers in Chinese and foreign journals both in Chinese and English. He was also involved in producing several books. 

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Natnael Tsegaw

Natnael Tsegaw is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland. He majored in Government and Politics with a minor in Professional Writing. Natnael’s interests are largely focused on international affairs. This includes learning about different cultures, histories, and of the relations among different countries across the world. His experience with research normally deals with issues relating to policy, more so on the international level, but some domestic as well. Natnael’s goal now is to work in diplomacy, as he wants to be a part of a global system that can help to create understanding and awareness across cultures.


Ryan Thomas Walker

Ryan Walker is a Postgraduate student at Keele University in the UK, set to earn his LLM in International Law in September 2018. While the LLM program is broad and focuses on many different aspects of International Law, Ryan’s master’s thesis focuses on the United Nations and International Organization Law, or lack thereof. He also enjoys Humanitarian Law, Diplomacy, and Human Rights Laws. In 2016 he previously earned his Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Political Science from Old Dominion University in the US. Through his studies, Ryan has found interest in US-Russia Relations, State and International Organisation violations of International Law, and Diplomacy of States. In the future he hopes to work in foreign policy to help promote international law within the US.


Oluwayemisi (Kehinde) Winful

Oluwayemisi (Kehinde) Winful is a recent (2016-2018) graduate from The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), where she received her MA in International Development with a major in human security. Kehinde’s policy concerns include: water policy, sustainability, and management, corruption, the promotion of good governance, environmental policies, and the intersections of international law and development. Prior to her MA, Kehinde received a BA in English and a BS in psychology from Loyola University Chicago (2012-2016). Kehinde is particularly interested in the environmental implications of the Belt and Road Initiative in China and other participating countries.

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Doris Li

Doris Li is a current student at Wellesley College completing her degree in political science and technology policy. She will be abroad at Oxford University next year, studying the intersections of media, technology, and politics in the UK and European Union. Outside of academics, she has volunteered at Harvard Law School’s Legal Services Center, assisting attorneys who provide pro bono services to the community. Her main interests are helping people protect their data, Internet policy, and writing/performing poems with puns.


Aryan Azimi

Aryan Azimi is currently working as a research intern at FLIA. He is a current 2019 Juris Doctor candidate at the Catholic University Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. At Catholic, Aryan focuses on public international law and national security law, and is a member of both the International Law Student Association and the Military and National Security Law Student Association. His areas of interest include diplomacy, multilateral treaties, the Middle East peace process, global counterterrorism efforts, and international humanitarian law. In 2016 Aryan graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and a minor in History. His previous academic works include writings on the legality of the use of drone strikes under international law, comparing Hezbollah and Hamas, global anti-money laundering initiatives, and covert military activity between the United States and Iran.

Young (Yixuan) Zeng

Young Zeng is a Research Assistant and Assistant to the President at FLIA. Her research focuses on East Asian Study, international diplomacy and development policy. She holds the Master degree in International Affairs from the Pennsylvania State University in 2017. Previously, she received Bachelor degree in Philosophy from Sun Yat-Sen University in 2015. During her study at Sun Yat-Sen University, she worked as journalist intern at New Express, a daily newspaper in China. she also volunteered as elementary school instructor in Thailand.

Jiayu Yang

Jiayu Yang is the software developer for the Belt and Road Simulation Program. He is also doing research in the field of natural language processing and search engine. He is currently working in Chang’an University and has been in charge of many web application and development programs before, such as the Could Printing Project, the Self-help Q&A Robot Project of the Students' Affairs Service Center, the Easy Class Application and Ecological Construction and so on.

Previous Team Members


Yige Qu

Yige Qu is a Research Assistant at FLIA and currently working on case development and training materials for the Belt and Road Initiative Simulation Program. He holds a master degree of International Affairs at Pennsylvania State University. H's research focuses on relationship between politics and economy under globalization, international diplomacy, and security studies.

Yana Yaremchuk

Yana Yaremchuk is a Research Assistant at FLIA and currently working on case development and training materials for the Belt and Road Initiative Simulation Program. Yana holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and another Bachelor's degree in International Relations. Her research focuses on human rights issues, environmental protection, and development with emphasis on the role of NGOs in international relations. During her internship at a Washington based non-governmental organization, Yana assisted with the development of ‘Priority Recommendations U.S. Assistance to Ukraine'.

Edgar Mutta

Edgar Mutta is a Research Assistant and Program Coordinator. He focuses on International Law, Conflict and Security, Terrorism and International Relations. He holds master’s degree in international law, Security, and Terrorism from the University of Nottingham. Previously, he received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. During his stay at both universities, Edgar had the privilege to intern in the Department of Political Science, Defense Foreign Relations Department at the Tanzania People’s Defense Force Headquarters and volunteered in different educational programs.

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