CKGSB Knowledge Series: Cross-Border Innovation Featuring Ambassador Gary F. Locke

April 08, 2018

Join us for a special morning exploring Cross Border Innovation, featuring Ambassador Gary F. Locke, former Governor of Washington State, US Secretary of Commerce, and, most recently, US Ambassador to China.

A CKGSB Knowledge Series Event in Partnership with Committee of 100

TOPIC: Cross-Border Innovation 

FEATURING: Conference Opening Address by Ambassador Gary F. Locke

Followed by CEO Panel on Cross-Border Innovation

When: 8:00AM – 11:45AM Friday, October 28, 2016

Where: Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley
2050 University Avenue
East Palo Alto, CA 94303

Join us for a special morning exploring Cross Border Innovation, featuring Ambassador Gary F. Locke, former Governor of Washington State, US Secretary of Commerce, and, most recently, US Ambassador to China.

Following Ambassador Locke’s keynote speech, CKGSB Professor Jon Liao will lead a CEO panel discussion with a group of entrepreneurs, exploring:

  • What are the opportunities and challenges in cross-border innovation between China and the US?
  • What are the major organizational challenges (i.e., culture, processes, capabilities, etc.) in cross-border innovation?
  • What are the key success factors leading to effective cross-border innovation?
  • What trends do you see in cross-border innovation?

This event is by invitation only. Please inquire to attend ASAP by emailing Julie Zhu at

08:00AM –0 8:40AMReception and Breakfast
08:40AM – 08:50AMGroup Photo
08:50AM – 09:00AMOpening Remarks by Mary Wadsworth Darby, Chief Representative of CKGSB Americas
09:00AM – 09:40AMKeynote Speech by Ambassador Gary F. Locke, former Governor of Washington State, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and American envoy to China
09:40AM – 10:00AMQ&A with Ambassador Locke
10:00AM – 10:15AMBreak
10:15AM – 11:40AMPanel Discussion led by Dr. Jianwen (Jon) Liao, CKGSB Associate Dean of Executive Education; Professor of Managerial Practice, Strategy, Innovation & Entrepreneurship; and Director of Innovation Research Center


  • Dr. Kenneth Fong, Founder & Managing Director of Kenson Ventures, LLC
  • Mr. Ken Xie, Founder, President and CEO of Fortinet
  • Mr. Yuan Jincheng, Chairman of Knights Group
  • Ms. Lu Zhang, Founding and Managing Partner of NewGen Capital
11:40AM – 11:45AMClosing Remarks by Alan Chen, Director of CKGSB Americas


Ambassador Gary F. Locke

As Governor of Washington State (the first Chinese American to be elected governor in United States history and the first Asian American governor on the mainland), US Secretary of Commerce, and most recently as America’s envoy to China, Gary Locke has been a leader in the areas of education, employment, trade, health care, human rights, immigration reform, privacy and the environment.

As Washington’s 21st Governor from 1997-2005, the nation’s most trade dependent state, Mr. Locke expanded the sale of products and services by leading 10 productive trade missions to Mexico, Europe, and Asia. He successfully strengthened economic ties between China and Washington State, more than doubling the state’s exports to China.

During his tenure, he achieved bipartisan welfare reform and oversaw the gain of 280,000 private sector jobs, despite two national recessions. Mr. Locke also had the most diverse cabinet in state history. And in filling judicial vacancies, more than half of his appointees were women and 25% were people of color. His accomplishments, management skills and innovations in government efficiency have won him acclaim by nationally recognized authors and organizations, including Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. During his time in office, Washington was ranked as one of the four best managed states in America.

Serving as the 36th Commerce Secretary from 2009-2011, he aggressively led the effort to implement President Obama’s National Export Initiative to double American exports in five years; assumed a troubled 2010 Census process but which under his active supervision ended on time and substantially under budget, saving taxpayers $2 billion; and achieved the most significant reduction in patent application processing in the agency’s history: from 40 months down to one year. Mr. Locke also oversaw a significant first step in the president’s export control reform effort that strengthened national security, while making US companies more competitive by easing their licensing burden for high-tech exports.

As America’s 10th Ambassador to China from 2011-2014, he opened markets for made-in-USA goods and services; reduced wait times for visa interviews of Chinese applicants from 100 days to 3 days; and through the Embassy’s air quality monitoring program, exposed the severity of the air pollution in China, causing the Chinese people to demand action by the government and the government in turn beginning to address the issue.

Mr. Locke began his career in public service upon his election to the Washington State House of Representatives serving from 1983-1994. He was then elected as King County Executive, serving from 1994-1997.  

Mr. Locke graduated from Seattle’s Franklin High School. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and is a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America.  He attended Yale University, graduating with a Bachelor degree in political science and received his law degree from Boston University.

Professor Liao Jianwen (Jon)

Dr. Liao is Associate Dean of Executive Education, Professor of Managerial Practice, Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CKGSB and Director of the Innovation Research Center. His professional experience spans across North America and Asia. Previously, he has held academic appointments at Peking University, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology and China European International Business School (CEIBS).

Professor Liao is well known for his cross-disciplinary research in strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship. He has closely involved in the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) – the first large scale, longitudinal research of nascent entrepreneurs and venture creation in the United States. He is the author of 30 scholarly articles published in journals including Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Journal of Small Business Management, Small Business Economics, and Journal of High Tech Management Research. His research paper was featured in The Small Business Economy: A Report to the President, 2007. He has won several awards for his research and teaching, including the research grant award from the US Small Business Administration (2007, 2008) and the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2009 at the IIT Stuart School of Business.

Professor Liao advises and speaks about strategy and innovation to major companies in China as well as MNCs operating in China. His clients include Cisco, Ford, Agilent, China Telecom, China General Nuclear Power Group, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Guangzhou Automobile Group, Mengniu, CITIC, China Merchants Group, Huayi Brothers, Longfor Properties, XCMG and New Oriental, as well as central/federal and local government organizations in both China and the US. Professor Liao is often featured in well-known media outlets including CNBC and CCTV and also frequently writes columns for the 21st Century Business Review and Peking University Business Review. An advisor to the US Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, he also serves on the boards and advisory boards of several publicly-listed Chinese companies, including Qihoo 360 and China Merchants Shekou Holdings Company. At CKGSB, Professor Liao teaches Strategic Innovation and Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice.

Professor Liao gained early entrepreneurial experience in the biotech industry and in management consulting. He received his PhD from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, his MA from Renmin University and his BS from Northeastern University. 

Dr. Kenneth Fong

Dr. Kenneth Fong is the Regional Chairman of the Committee of 100 for Northern California. He is currently the founder and chairman of Kenson Ventures, LLC, a company that specializes in crafting development strategy for early-stage biotech companies. Under his leadership, companies that were acquired or went public between 2007 and 2016 are: SABiosciences (to Qiagen), DHI (to Quidel), Fermenta (to ThermoFisher), Panomics (to Affymetrix), Epitomics (to Abcam), ACD (to Bio-Techne), Bioform (IPO) and Optimer (IPO). Prior to establishing Kenson, Ken founded and served as CEO of Clontech Laboratories (1984-1999), which was acquired by Becton Dickinson in 1999. Clontech, a leader in the molecular/cell biology market, was also the largest of its kind founded by an Asian American (400 people, including 65 Ph.D. scientists). Currently, Ken sits on the Board of 5 biotech companies, ranging from immunotherapy to medical tool companies.

Ken has held a number of leadership positions over the years. He served as the President of the Society of Chinese Bioscientists in North America (ca 2,000 members, 2007-09) and President of the Bay Area AAMA (1987). He was also a member of the Board of Trustees of California State University (2006-2013), the Advisory Board of the College of Science and Engineering at San Francisco State, Board of Associates at the Whitehead Biomedical Institute. Ken has many other philanthropic interests. He was one of the lead supporters for the San Jose Tech Museum, the Chinese Historical Society in San Francisco, the Bioengineering Auditorium at UC San Diego and the Indiana University graduate Seminar Programs. He has provided a number of scholarships to San Francisco State University, Peking University and the California State University students (Kenneth Fong-Hearst endowed Scholarships). In 2006, he was also involved in establishing the Fong Optometry and Medical Library at UC Berkeley and more recently an endowed professorship at Stanford University and a technology translation endowment fund at San Francisco State University. Ken received his PhD from Indiana University.

Mr. Ken Xie

As Founder, Chairman and CEO of Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT), one of the top 3 network security companies in the world, Ken Xie started his first network security company SIS in 1993, designing a software firewall product while he was studying at Stanford University. A few years later, he realized the performance limitations of a software firewall running on PC/server, and then started NetScreen in 1996 as founder, president and CEO. At NetScreen, Ken developed the industry’s first ASIC and dedicated hardware systems for high performance firewall and VPNs. NetScreen (NASDAQ: NSCN) later was acquired by Juniper (NASDAQ: JNPR) for $4 billion. In 2000, after recognizing that firewall and VPNs alone cannot stop content and application security attacks such as viruses, intrusions, spam and malicious Web content, Ken founded Fortinet, which pioneered Unified Threat Management (UTM). Fortinet (NASDAQ: FTNT) is the market leader in UTM and completed an initial public offering in November 2009, which was lauded by Renaissance Capital as “2009 IPO of the Year.”

Ken earned an MS degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and BS and MS degrees in Electronic Engineering from Tsinghua University. Ken is a member of the National Academy of Engineering for his contributions in cyber-security; a state-registered Professional Engineer in Electrical Engineering; and holds certificates of Advanced Project Management, Strategic Decision and Risk Management from Stanford University.

Business success and technology innovation has garnered Ken numerous patents and accolades. In 2013, Frost & Sullivan named Ken as Legends of Silicon Valley, He was also recognized as a Top 5 Entrepreneur by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2005, top 25 Chinese-Americans in Business by Forbes in 2010 and “Father of UTM” by InfoSecurity cover story in 2011. In 2006, Ken was named Northern California Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and Time Magazine.

Mr. Yuan Jincheng

Jincheng is Chairman of Knights Group and a director of Chinese and American Business Leaders Roundtable Foundation. Mr. Yuan is very experienced in industrial investment and equity investment, and his dominating investment projects involve many sectors such as real estate and high-tech. Knights Group is a diversified financial investment institution, founded in New York, US. Its focus is on the investment opportunities in the Chinese and US markets. The company serves as a comprehensive investment group with several directions including finance, real estate, logistics and internet. Knights Group has established and maintained good cooperative relations with major institutions in China and the US.

Ms. Lu Zhang

Lu Zhang is the Founding and Managing Partner of NewGen Capital, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm supporting entrepreneurs building globally disruptive platform technologies and business models with potential to drive systemic change. NewGen Capital focuses on globally disruptive, transformative technologies and business models that have a high technology barrier and/or the ability to reach and retain billions of customers via mobile internet.

Prior to starting NewGen, she was a Venture Partner at Fenox Venture Capital. She participated in more than 20 investments and assist M&A of the portfolios. Lu was also the Founder and CEO of Acetone Inc. (acquired 2012), a medical device company focused on non-invasive technology for the early diagnosis of Type II diabetes. She has also worked as a consultant at the United Nations Industrial Development Agency. Lu received her MS in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University and holds more than a dozen patents. Lu is frequently invited to speak at events and serve as an advisor and mentor to several innovation programs and incubators in Silicon Valley. 


Disseminating deep ideas for China success

Ideas are the currency of our age. And in an age when China’s global significance is growing, CKGSB Americas’ Knowledge Series is the US and Americas executive’s go-to source for a stream of provocative notions that can beneficially affect the way he or she thinks about building and expanding a China business.

Held in our state-of-the-art New York learning center in the heart of one of the world’s great financial hubs, our Knowledge Series lectures and discussions are an opportunity to learn from the world’s brightest minds as they focus on the topics and trends that are most pertinent to your specific China business goals.

Among other themes, Knowledge Series events have examined China’s financial turbulence and what it means for investors; business to business buying: how it has changed, and how we need to change with it; solar power’s future in the US and China; new consumption trends in China and their implication for companies in China’s global supplier network; doing business with a changing China; and where China is and where it is headed.

Regardless of your China interest, Knowledge Series events are your gateway to acquiring critical insight on macro trends, emerging opportunities, collaboration and competition with Chinese companies, cross-cultural competencies and how to best position China within your own organization.

In an era when ideas matter, the CKGSB Americas Knowledge Series is the authoritative generator of China ideas.


Julie Zhu
Program Manager
Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business
C | K | G | S | B
Tel: +1-646-627-7729

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