HomeBad Ass AsiansInfluential Chinese American entrepreneur Shirley Young dies

Influential Chinese American entrepreneur Shirley Young dies

Photo from Wellesley College

Well-known Chinese American entrepreneur Shirley Young passed away Sunday at the age of 85, according to the New York Post.

The daughter of a Chinese diplomat, Young was born in Shanghai in 1935, lived in the Philippines during World War II and moved to New York as a child. She became a prominent businesswoman influential in promoting business relations between the U.S. and China. 

In her earlier career, Young served as executive vice president and president of strategic marketing at Grey Advertising.

She was corporate vice president of General Motors from 1988 to 1999. As vice president, she led General Motors’ entry into China with a $1.5 billion joint venture. She later served as senior advisor to General Motors Asia Pacific. 

“She was very influential helping to introduce GM to China,’’ her son David Hsieh told the New York Post.

Young was president of Shirley Young Associates LLC, advising companies on business development in China. She served on the board of directors for Salesforce.com, Bank of America, Teletech Holding, Bell Atlantic/Verizon Corporation, and more companies. She was vice chairman of the New York Stock Exchange Nominating Committee .

She cofounded and chaired the Committee of 100, a Chinese American leadership group that aims to strengthen U.S.-China relations and promote Chinese American participation in all areas of American society. Current Committee of 100 members include cellist Yo-Yo Ma, former U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke and architect Maya Lin. 

“The Committee of 100 has lost one of its iconic members and someone who was a trailblazer in the advancement of Chinese Americans,” said Zhengyu Huang, President of Committee of 100. “Ms. Young was an active member in all of Committee of 100’s work and continued to support the organization for the past 30 years. Her passion for arts and cultural exchange between the U.S. and China will long be remembered, and her legacy on Chinese American issues will continue to guide our work at Committee of 100. She will be greatly missed.”

Passionate about the arts, Young served as board director of the New York Philharmonic and the National Dance Institute. She also chaired the US-China Cultural Institute, a nonprofit aiming to promote U.S.-China relations through arts and education.

Young received various awards for her work in and advertising, including “Advertising Woman of the Year” from the American Advertising Federation and the Women’s Equity Action Award for Achievement in Advertising. 

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