Dr. Yang Jianli is a scholar and democracy activist internationally recognized for his efforts to promote democracy in China. He has been involved in the Chinese democracy movement since the 1980s. He participated in the 1989 Tiananmen protests and co-authored the Constitution of a Federal Democratic China. He holds PhDs in mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley and in political economy from Harvard University.
In 2002, Dr. Yang returned to China to support the labor movement and was imprisoned for five years. Following his release and his subsequent return to the U.S., Dr. Yang founded Initiatives for China, a.k.a. Citizen Power for China, an organization that promotes China’s peaceful transition to democracy. In March, 2010 Dr. Yang co-chaired the Committee on Internet Freedom at the Geneva Human Rights and Democracy Summit. In December, 2010 Dr.Yang represented Liu Xiaobo at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. In December 2011, Dr. Yang, joined H.H. Dalai Lama and four other delegates, to attend Forum 2000 hosted by former Czech president, Vaclav Havel. Dr.Yang is a recipient of numerous international human rights awards including the 2012 UN Watch Abram Human Rights Award, the 2012 Harvard KSG Alumni Achievement Award