About Us

Our Philosophy

At the Tai Initiative, we strive to educate the public through our three core lenses: Leadership, America-China relations, and the subnational level of relationship. The point of overlap of all three of these lenses allows us to provide focused, expert, educational material to our audiences. 

Leaders equipped with such knowledge and skills make lasting change. 

By empowering the individual, we create subnational leaders capable of bridging the gap between American and Chinese futures. 

Our Leadership

Executive Director

Carson Tavenner (泰卡森)is a member of the National Committee for US-China Relations and a retired US Air Force officer with thirteen years of experience serving the Pacific Command.  His association with China began much earlier, in 1986, when he  initiated one of the early sister-school relationships in Washington State, between Puyallup High School  and Nankai Middle School in Chongqing.  He is a 1991 graduate of the US Air Force Academy and a 2000  graduate of the University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies Masters  program. Currently he teaches Global Studies: China at Everett Community College. He has also taught world and East Asian history at the U.S. Air Force Academy, teaches leadership and teamwork in China through outdoor leadership programs, and is the Director of 爱世界 (Love the World), a non-profit bringing leadership and English training to needy Chinese communities.

Intern Team

Wang Qinghu

Wang Qinghu, from China, has spent eight years living in the USA. Having experienced the difference between the two countries, he wants to help others learn some of the same  important lessons. He is now studying International Studies at UC Irvine and is planning to graduate this year. He also served as the Vice President of the UCI Chinese Automobile Association (CAA) club to improve social influence between Chinese and Americans.

Lou Yanning

Yanning Lou is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in International Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She was born in Guangdong, China, and came to the United States in 2016. She has volunteered in both the P.R.C. and the U.S.A. including pro bono teaching experiences in remote areas of China. She is a member of TI’s China Cabinet Program volunteers..

Board of Advisors

Zhou Baolin, Chief Mentor, Beijing Exploration Cultural Development Holding Co. Ltd.; Co-Founder, China Green Marathon Action Consortium

Donald A. Bishop, Minister-Counselor, U.S. State Department Senior Foreign Service (Ret.); Board of Directors and Immediate Past President, Public Diplomacy Council

Larry Donnithorne, COL, US Army (Ret.): President Emeritus and Professor of Leadership and Ethics, Colorado Christian University; Author, “The West Point Way of Leadership”

William Wild, Mayor of the City of Westland, Michigan

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