Professor David Daokui Li awarded honorary commendation for 30-year contribution to education

In recognition of their long-term dedication and hard work throughout their careers in education, and on the occasion of the 39th annual Teachers' Day, Tsinghua University held a special ceremony to commemorate faculty and staff that have been engaged in education for 30 years or more. Dr. David Daokui Li, a professor under the School of Social Sciences’ Institute of Economics and director of the Academic Center for Chinese Economic Practice and Thinking at Tsinghua University, was among those awarded with an honorary commendation.

Professor Li was in the first class of undergraduate students to graduate from the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University, having later received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 1992. Since then, he has been engaged in academia and teaching, including at the University of Michigan’s Department of Economics and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, as well as serving as an advisor to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In 1999, Professor Li accepted a position to become an associate professor in the Department of Economics at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, after which he returned to Tsinghua University in 2002 where he has remained ever since.

Over the years, Professor Li has remained steadfast in his commitment to the development and expansion of economics as an academic discipline, and currently holds professorships at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management and School of Social Sciences. He concurrently serves as director of the university’s Academic Center for Chinese Economic Practice and Thinking and co-president of the Society for the Analysis of Government and Economics. He previously carried out duties as the founding dean of Tsinghua University’s Schwarzman College, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the People's Bank of China, and the first chief economist for the BRICS group of nations’ New Development Bank, having made outstanding contributions to the development of economics and the training of young talent in China.

As a well-known economist in China, Professor Li has worked in recent years towards promoting the establishment of Government and Economics as an emerging field of study internationally, having established the Society for the Analysis of Government and Economics to research relevant modern economic theories based on China’s experiences during its period of reform and opening up. This effort aims to shed light on those economic theories of universal significance based on China's own economic thought and practice, providing the world with a means to objectively understand and recognize the significance of China's experiences in economic development. In addition, during the past decade, Professor Li has increasingly felt that China's educational approach to economics is in urgent need of reform and improvement, including overcoming the major challenges that have characterized the pedagogical methods used to teach basic economics in Western countries. He has encouraged his colleagues at Tsinghua University to take the lead in establishing a foundational economics course called "A Comprehensive Survey of Economics" at the university, which has been steadily promoted among other universities across the country starting in 2023.