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Fondly called "Mulaohu" (Mother Tiger) by her students

Fiercely passionate about demystifying the Chinese language for her students in the US and teaching in innovative ways that promoted cultural insight as well as technical skill, Mrs. Lin prepared a generation of path breakers and thought leaders in China Studies and an array of other fields as China and the US established diplomatic relations in 1979. She achieved this by defying social, cultural, and professional barriers; taking educated, expansive risks; and pursuing audacious aspirations.



Former students, colleagues, friends & other supporters

Our “tiger community” includes former students and colleagues who studied and worked with Mrs. Lin from 1966 – 1986, a seminal time in China-U.S. relations. We represent a diverse array of sectors and academic fields, from business, journalism, and law to such academic fields as anthropology, art history, language teaching, literature, history, and political science. Some of us devoted our career to China Studies or China-US relations. Some of us did not.

Our community is diverse in background and views. The Helen T. Lin Initiative is not aligned with any government, political party, or partisan organization.



Engage the "Tiger Community" and broader world

We offer opportunities for intellectual exchange, networking, retrospective reflection, and forward leaning inquiry related to China, China-US relations, and China Studies in the rigorous, mischievous spirit of Mrs. Lin.

We encourage lively exchange, thoughtful discourse, and meaningful reflection and do not endorse any particular views, positions, or policies voiced by members of the Tiger Community or participants in our talks, forums or other channels of online sharing of ideas and experiences.

Upcoming Tiger Event
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Global Health: Does it Matter?

May 12, 2024 at 12:00:00 AM

Healthcare to the masses knows no border. Kwan Kew Lai fulfilled her childhood dreams of worldwide medical volunteering when she left medical academia as a professor of medicine in 2006 to be a medical humanitarian volunteer. She began her volunteer work right after the Asian Tsunami. Since then she has volunteered all over the world for HIV/AIDS, and worked with refugees and internally displaced people during wars and conflicts, after natural disasters, including the greatest Ebola outbreak in West Africa. She chronicles her experiences in her first two books: Lest We Forget: A Doctor’s Experience with Life and Death During the Ebola Outbreak, and Into Africa, Out of Academia: A Doctor’s Memoir. Kwan Kew will share what motivated her to change her career path, the challenges she faces, and her myriad of volunteering exploits in her almost two decades of humanitarian work. Her most recent book is a memoir, The Girl Who Taught Herself to Fly, describing how she came from an impoverished family in Penang, Malaysia to attend Wellesley College on a full scholarship.

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