Andrea Pasinetti, Founder and CEO
In 2008, during a year of study at Tsinghua University’s Inter-University Program, Andrea traveled to seven provinces in an effort to understand the contours of educational inequity in China. During his travels he spent time in more than 300 schools, talking to students, teachers, principals and education officials. Moved by the magnitude of the problem, Andrea founded Teach For China to aid in China's ongoing effort to bring quality educational resources to all children, irrespective of where they are born. After recruiting Hu Tingting and Rachel Wasser to the effort, he launched the organization in July 2009.
Andrea studied at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, where he focused on education in Chinese rural reform policies and the New Socialist Countryside Campaign. As an undergraduate, Andrea served as a director of Princeton University's Interact Program, engaging his peers in an effort to afford underprivileged high-school students in the Trenton City area a quality education.
In 2011 Andrea was recognized as the most influential foreign citizen residing in China by China Newsweek Magazine.
Meredith Karazin, Chief Operating Officer
Meredith oversees all Teach For China operations, including Finance, Human Assets/Resources, Information Systems, Legal/Compliance, and Administration. As a member of the leadership team, she also works on governance, strategic planning, and overall organizational effectiveness.
Meredith initially joined Teach For China as a non-profit consultant. Prior to coming to Teach For China, Meredith worked as a non-profit consultant in the US for a number of years, most recently with the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center on the development of a new program for youth wellness, involving multiple government and private partners, and on the organizational strategic plan. Prior to that role, she was a consultant with the Bridgespan Group, a consulting firm incubated at Bain and Company that helps nonprofit and philanthropic leaders to develop strategies and build organizations that inspire and accelerate social impact. In that role, Meredith worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Aspire Public Schools, Education Trust West, Gateway to College, and other leading non-profits. Before consulting, Meredith worked in program management, development, and volunteer coordination for an educational nonprofit, started a social justice documentary filmmaking organization, and volunteered with an entrepreneurial organization serving homeless individuals. Meredith graduated from Washington University in St. Louis.
When not working, Meredith enjoys traveling, hiking, urban exploration, film, and Latin music.
Laura Bai, Chief Program Officer
Laura leads Teach For China’s program teams in striving toward a vision of educational equity in China. She oversees the development of Teach For China’s program strategy and manages Recruitment, Training & Support, and Alumni Impact.
Laura joined Teach For China after serving for two years as a Partner Engagement Director at Teach For All, the global network of social enterprises working to expand educational opportunity. In that role, she worked to build Teach For China’s capacity across programmatic and organizational areas, and managed Teach For China’s engagement and knowledge-sharing with the broader Teach For All network. Prior to Teach For All, Laura worked for several years at the Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit consulting firm seeking to advance the social impact and learning of mission-driven organizations. Her work at Bridgespan included a number of strategic planning and organizational development projects for U.S.-based and international foundations and nonprofits, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Communities in Schools, Landesa Rural Development Institute, First Place for Youth, and others. Laura has also worked with Dream Corps International, a nonprofit organization seeking to address education inequity in China by building libraries and designing educational programs in disadvantaged rural and urban communities. Laura holds a B.S. in Economics with a second major in Philosophy from Duke University.
Laura enjoys dance, capoeira, traveling, and cooking.
Hu Tingting, Co-Founder and Director of Public Sector Engagement
Tingting works to establish and maintain the relationship between local government and lays the foundation for Teach For China's short-and long-term influence. Tingting's work includes school visits and selection, Fellow placement, relationship building with partner schools, and regular exchange and cooperation with local government.
Tingting was born and educated in Henan Province, and moved to Beijing in 2006 to pursue her Master's degree at Tsinghua University. In 2008, she successfully defended her thesis and graduated from Tsinghua with an advanced degree in History. During her time as a student in Beijing, Tingting served as a commissioner of Tsinghua's foreign exchange program and as a director of Tsinghua's Commercial Outreach Program. In 2007-2008, Tingting supported Andrea's initial policy research and observational trips to the Chinese countryside, as well as Teach For China's founding in 2008. Upon graduation from her Master’s program, Tingting became a classroom teacher at Tsinghua's renowned Inter-University Program, continuing to play an instrumental role with Teach For China throughout 2008-2009 and joining the leadership team as full-time staff in 2010.
Tingting enjoys spending time on online social websites, browsing various comments, and then buying all kinds of music and short stories.
Mi Zhenhua, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships
Mi Zhenhua manages strategic partnerships for Teach For China, including mainland opportunities for Teach For China alumni, development, and Chinese recruiting.
Mi has been working with Teach For China since 2010, when she joined as Director of Chinese Recruiting and University Relations. Mi started her career at the Anbang Insurance Company, where she focused on brand development and public relations. Mi graduated from Tsinghua University where she also worked as a Chinese Teacher for the Inter-University Program.
In order to help her relax, Mi enjoys writing fiction in her spare time.
Sarabeth Berman, Vice President of Development and Communications
Sarabeth Berman works to secure the necessary funding to drive Teach For China's intended impact, with an emphasis on resources that will contribute to a long-term sustainable funding model. Her team does this through marshaling resources, cultivating private sector champions, and creating opportunities for revenue growth in China, Hong Kong and the United States of America.
In 2005 and 2006, Sarabeth worked at Seeds of Peace, a program promoting trust and communication between Arab and Israeli teenagers. In 2006, Sarabeth moved to China as a Henry Luce Scholar, based at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. She relocated to Beijing in 2007 to work as the Program Director of BeijingDance / LDTX, managing tours and artistic collaborations in Asia, Europe, and North America as well as producing the annual Beijing Modern Dance Festival at the National Center For Performing Arts (“The Egg”). Sarabeth is a graduate of Barnard College, where she majored in Urban Studies. Sarabeth lives with her husband, Evan Osnos, in Beijing; she is a dance-lover, an avid runner and traveler, and enjoys studying Chinese.
Jessica Shyu, Vice President of Regional Affairs and Training & Support
Jess leads Teach For China's Yunnan and Guangdong regions to enable Fellows and staff to have a transformational impact on the lives of children in their communities. Jess's team manages pre-training for Fellows at Summer Institute, yearlong support for Fellows, and works closely with both the Recruitment and Alumni teams to ensure Fellows have a deep impact on children over the long-term. The Regional Affairs and Training & Support team also manages the relationships with government and other external partners to build a lasting cohort of influencers in all sectors of Teach For China's work.
Jess started in education as a Teach For America corps member teaching middle school Special Education in New Mexico from 2005-2007. Following her commitment, Jess joined the staff of Teach For America to support corps members and help lead regional program teams from 2007-2011. Jess graduated with a degree in journalism and government from the University of Maryland, College Park.
In addition to Jess's work in education, Jess and her husband started a social business called Community Ladders to provide high-quality financial planning and coaching for the non-rich, which currently serves a worldwide audience.
Leah Fine, Executive Director of US Operations
Leah oversees Teach For China's US office, including the recruitment and selection of American and Chinese Fellows in the US, US development efforts, and programming for US-based alumni.
Leah joined Teach For China in 2010, serving as a US Recruiting Manager from 2010-2011 and Director of US Recruiting from 2011-2012. Over her two-year period with the US Recruiting Team, she helped applications increase by over 250% while raising the selections bar for all incoming Fellows. Prior to joining Teach For China, Leah worked in the corporate sector in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, although her Mandarin continues to be a work in progress. Leah graduated from Barnard College, with a major in History and a minor in Spanish.
While living in Beijing for over two years, Leah developed a profound love of Chinese food. Now in the US, she frequently spends her spare time researching new Chinese restaurants to explore.
Colin Pfeiffer, Executive Director of Yunnan Region
Wang Jingjian (Hugh), Senior Managing Director of Program
Hugh oversees the Guangdong cohort of American and Chinese Fellows, and directly manages all Guangdong program staff. As a member of the Training and Support Leadership Team, Hugh helps set Teach For China's yearly goals and priorities around student achievement.
Prior to serving as Senior Managing Director of Program, Hugh was a Fellow in Teach For China's first cohort. Hugh attended Sun Yat-sen University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and 22 credits towards a PhD in History.
Hugh was in kindergarten the first time he saw his mother post a letter, where automatic equipment sucked the envelope into the mailbox. For a long time, Hugh believed there was a huge magical tubing system underground which delivered all the parcels and letters to the receivers everywhere around the globe by the request of the senders.
Rachel Wasser, Consultant
In 2008, Rachel met Andrea and Tingting while the three were studying at Tsinghua, and they began working together to create Teach For China. Rachel served as a member of Teach For China’s senior leadership team until April 2012, including as Co-CEO from September 2010 – April 2011.
Rachel is a graduate of Yale University, where she focused on rural development and international policy in the developing world. Upon graduation in 2004, she moved to China in order to serve for two years as a Yale-China Teaching Fellow at Chinese University of Hong Kong, where she taught a full course load and researched non-profit culture and governance in mainland China. Rachel moved to Beijing and began working in the non-profit sector in 2006, spending extensive time in China’s rural communities.
Rachel now resides in New York City, where her family is based, and serves as a consultant to the organization.