2015 Profiles

Twenty candidates were selected in the 2015 cohort. They come from a broad range of careers and backgrounds.


tom cantle

Tom Cantle is a brand consultant working for a media agency, currently focused on the world of sport.  He enjoys bringing his active listening and creative thinking skills into problem solving on personal and professional challenges. He is proud to be of mixed race, a living embodiment of the East and West union and the successes that can be achieved by their closer ties.  He completed a Masters degree in East Asian Development & Economics after his BA in English Literature, both at Bristol University. Tom views the DEL programme as a bright new beginning for him, having overcome cancer in 2015 (receiving the all clear in September 2015). He is now an active community member on the Macmillan Cancer online forum providing vital support to fellow sufferers and survivors of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, alongside maintaining a blog about his own experience. Tom is determined to make the most of his new lease of life, and is fully committed to using his and his new cohorts’ endeavours to propagate social good through the power of shared intellect and abilities.



Gavin Cheng is from Hong Kong.  He graduated with a B.B.A. in Global Business & Economics from Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, an M.Sc. in International Political Economy from LSE and an M.A. in International & Development Economics from Yale University.  He was an overseas scholar at Columbia University backed by HSBC.  He worked in investment banking across London and Hong Kong including executing corporate transactions of various structures, industries and geographies, two China-Europe cross-border M&A transactions and also been involved in the design and structuring of exotic financial products.  Gavin is passionate about global political economy and social justice. A committed volunteer, he has traveled from the poorest districts in New Delhi to the conflict zone in the West Bank and the wild in Southern Patagonia, to interact with locals and hear their challenges. These experiences have given him a deeper understanding and focus on how best to help communities in need. Equipped with a broad range of software development skills, Gavin continues to build on his expertise and experience  in commerce and technology and aspires to apply them in solving transnational problems that are intertwined with the private sector and technological development, including poverty, crime and injustice. With his knowledge and skills, real world exposure, commitment to social causes, he hopes that together with the pool of talent and resources within the DEL Programme, they can make a powerful social impact for the British Chinese community and other communities globally.



Emmanuel Hanley-Lloyd is from Lancashire and graduated from Exeter University with an English Literature and Mandarin Chinese degree, after spending a year in Beijing’s Peking University. He is fluent in French and has a keen interest in languages particularly the ways that language and vocabulary is affected by cultural and geo-political borders, and the interaction of literature, marketing and business.  He considers Chinese to be a beautiful language because of how it condenses meaning into concise, elegantly structured characters that convey the history of a civilisation in a handful of strokes. He enjoys exploring the universality of the human experience in various cultural traditions and has drawn on these in his first novel which he completed in 2015.  Emmanuel is fascinated by China and is a ‘passionate observer of the rise of China and India as modernising global powers’. He wants to play a part in highlighting their crucial importance in British society. He is equally committed to improving youth engagement in politics and civic society, focussing on education creating opportunities for all. He is eager to build on East-West cultural, academic and business bridges and has participated in ‘UK-India Education Research Initiative’, an inter-governmental programme on strengthening UK-India cultural and economic links, and educating single Indian mothers and their children.  He also worked for an Indian NGO in Bangalore to understand challenges of rapid urbanisation and modernisation to Asian cities. His work experience with the European Parliament in Brussels with Sajjad Karim MEP has focused his mind on the importance of national, European and global political co-operation and engagement. Emmanuel is currently developing business projects. He hopes that participation in the DEL Programme will help him on his journey to become a diplomat or politician with a strong focus on bringing East and West communities much closer together.



Lester Yangzi Hu is a Chinese media professional with extensive experience in international television content licensing and business development from Hunan province, China.  He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Digital Asset and Media Management at King’s College London.  Previously, he was the Assistant Department Head of Program Strategy and International Business at Hunan TV, one of China’s leading satellite broadcasters and entertainment producers,  where he had initiated and managed a number of successful format acquisitions and co-development projects throughout his eight year career, making a positive contribution to a greater exchange and collaboration between East and West in the media and broadcasting industry. Lester is well travelled, interested in cooking and photography and excited about entrepreneurship opportunities. As London is the hub for creative TV, he aspires to gain a better understanding on how digital technologies are re-shaping the global media landscape and also to explore emerging opportunities to build a stronger industrial partnership and creative media exchanges between China and the UK.


Dr Jing-Yee Hung is British born and an emergency doctor working in a NHS Trauma Centre, with political ambitions.  She completed her medical degree at King’s College London, with an intercalated Bachelor of Science in Infectious Diseases and Immunobiology. She was appointed an Associate of King’s College London in 2009.  She is a member of the UK International Emergency Trauma Register and has worked on multiple humanitarian relief programmes overseas including Romania, Haiti, Vietnam, Cambodia and South Africa.  She is committed to creating bilateral medical internships between China and UK supporting further cross-cultural understanding.  At her boarding school in Cambridge, she was Operations Director of a Young Enterprise Company, sculling coach for international students and Conductor of the school Philharmonic orchestra. At 16, she was the youngest youth from the Chinese Church in London to fly out to Southeast Asia as a missionary. She was the first ethnic Chinese to be selected from the European Union to participate in the 3rd European Eccumenical Assembly, sponsored by the Catholic Bishops of England & Wales. She believes that affordable healthcare is a basic human right; in joining the DEL Programme, she will make use of its technical, networking and political ties to enable equal access to healthcare for the poor.


michael lan

Michael Lan is a British born entrepreneur and consultant who graduated from Durham University having studied Modern Languages: French and Spanish. After finishing university, Michael moved to China for a year where he learnt Mandarin, discovered more about the East and enhanced his global network. Since then, Michael has founded an import company specialising in global trade in the consumer electronics market. Having lived in France, Spain and China, Michael speaks five languages. He is especially interested in cross-cultural relations, and is keen to promote British-Chinese cultural understanding and relationship building. Michael is eager to bring positive change to UK society through social enterprise, and aims to increase the profile, exposure and engagement of the British Chinese community within the UK.  He is delighted to be on this year’s DEL Program.



Mary-Jess Leaverland is originally from Gloucestershire and is an international singer and songwriter.  She is fluent in Mandarin and studied Music & Chinese Studies at Sheffield University and Nanjing University in China.  Whilst studying in China, Mary-Jess sang a Chinese song on 民星唱翻天, a live singing competition show on Chinese TV (the UK press called ‘The Chinese X Factor’) with a viewing audience of 70 million people and won! She then released her début album ‘Shine’ which won both ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best Newcomer’. Mary-Jess has also featured on nine other albums and has performed with Russell Watson, Sir Tim Rice and Don Black, sang to royalty in Windsor Castle, sang at the GREAT Festival of Creativity in Shanghai and has appeared on numerous national TV programs in the UK and China. She also performed at the FA Cup Final in Wembley Stadium singing ‘Abide With Me’ in front of a live audience of 90,000 people and a worldwide television audience of 300 million people and was chosen to sing the Downton Abbey theme tune.  Mary-Jess was appointed by the Prime Minister to be the UK’s representative of The GREAT Britain Campaign in 144 countries. She is also a ‘Leading Light’ of the Generation UK: China Network, an initiative set up by the British Council to encourage links between the UK and China. Mary-Jess is a member of the Royal British Legion Gloucester City Branch, patron of The Door Youth Project which help troubled, disengaged young people and their families, and an ambassador for Half the Sky, a charity that help orphaned and abandoned children in China.   Mary-Jess is thrilled to be on the DEL Programme because she aspires to be a leader in UK and Chinese music industries, and to create albums to celebrate the very best of East and West music.  She hopes that by doing so, she will be able to inspire younger generations, in the East and West, to take up music and enjoy the richness of both types of music.


Brian Lee is a Trader at Royal Bank of Scotland, a Chef and Sommelier. He comes from Hong Kong and graduated with an Economics & Statistics degree from UCL and also an MPhil degree in Finance and Economics from Cambridge University. Brian  acquired the prestigious Cuisine Diploma from Le Cordon Blue in Paris and has worked in famous chateaus including Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Chateau Clerc Milon and Chateau d’Armailhac. He is also a James Beard Scholar for Le Cordon Bleu, a rare scholarship offered by Le Cordon Bleu. He founded the HK Cambridge Wine Network, a wine appreciation society, to enhance cultural communication between the West and East.  Brian has held leadership positions across financial, sports and music organisations at  High School and university. Brian’s passion to help the community is evident through volunteering work and he was awarded the Silver volunteering award from the HK Government. At University, he mentored new undergraduates and also successfully tutored sixth formers to obtain outstanding A level grades. Brian is thrilled to be working with other highly talented members of the DELP program and is keen to use his skill sets and experiences to make a positive social impact on the British Chinese Community and through their joint efforts make the Chinese diaspora a powerful force within the UK and globally.


karlson lee

Karlson Lee is a technology and e-commerce start-up entrepreneur from Hong Kong.  He graduated with a first class degree in Theoretical Physics from Imperial College, London, with an exchange year at the University of Padova in Italy.  He is currently doing a Computing Masters at Imperial College, London and has just set up a social impact start-up business, Peer2Pass, an online platform for university students to seek tutorial help. Karlson has worked for various organisations including being a summer analyst at Citicorp Global Markets in Hong Kong, a metal trading graduate at Trafigura in Geneva, a venture capitalist analyst at Global Founders Capital in Berlin and for Rocket Internet in Kenya where he helped develop Lamudi, Africa’s largest real estate classified. He also previously worked at the Hut Group to develop their vitamins and sport nutrition ventures in the US and UK.  He says his experience is driven by a desire to work with other talented people creatively to create social good and his multi-cultural working experience has equipped him with a genuine entrepreneurial spirit and diverse skill sets. Karlson’s ambition includes making an impact to benefit particularly the Chinese communities, by combining technology with smart commercial execution and he believes that the DEL Programme will be extremely valuable in helping him to do so.


mandy leung

Mandy Leung is currently working as a Researcher for the global legal search consultancy Major Lindsey & Africa, with particular interests in developing gender and minority diversity in executive leadership. She was born in Hong Kong and began her “diaspora” adventure at age five when she immigrated to Toronto, Canada, living there for over 15 years. After spending her undergraduate years at the University of Toronto studying a mix of philosophy and sociology, she first pursued law school in Hong Kong before coming to the UK for an MPhil in Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies at Cambridge as a Scholar of The Women’s Foundation. Mandy is strongly passionate about exploring cultural exchange and social enterprise and aspires to create positive social impact with the Diaspora Emerging Leadership Programme, aiming to break the stereotypes on the Chinese Diaspora in UK and beyond. On a typical weekend in London, Mandy can be found looking for contemporary art and good coffee.


Peony Li comes from Hong Kong and graduated with an Economics degree from Cambridge University. She now works as an Energy and Power financial advisor at Merrill Lynch in London. Peony is extremely passionate about female issues, gender equality and challenges faced by young professional women and also the UK Chinese communities.  As Head of House of her London boarding school, she worked hard to integrate the Chinese ladies into the boarding community through initiating social dinners and events. As Vice President of the Chinese Society at Cambridge University, she took the initiative to ensure closer social interaction between Chinese and non-Chinese  students.  At 15, Peony initiated and built, the first ever handmade aircraft (RV-8) in HK, with the help of 30 pilots, aircraft engineers and a team of younger girls under a special programme.  She enjoys motivating and helping to instil young ladies of her age with the ‘can-do’ spirit.  She blogs about common issues faced by young professional ladies to engage, interact, raise awareness, inspire and be inspired by them. Peony is thrilled to join the DEL Programme and hopes that with her contribution, they will be able to make a positive social impact to the UK Chinese communities and to the wider society.

danyang liu

Danyang Liu is a serial Entrepreneur who arrived in the UK from Mudanjiang, China at 14, and managed her integration into British society through volunteering at her secondary school in Twickenham, including helping mentally disabled children to move closer to their dreams by teaching them to dance and paint. She went to Lancaster University and graduated in Accounting and Finance. At university, she  was involved in many volunteering activities including founding a Culture Society and Language Exchange Programme. Since graduating, she has worked as an Energy trader at Centrica in Windsor, and more recently as an entrepreneur. She set up Lighthouse Careers to reach out and help young people with their careers and find more creative ways to lead happier lives.  She also runs an event company NexusNow, to help busy professionals make the right connections enjoyably through fun-filled events. Danyang is passionate about inspiring others and finding and creating connections with people and hopes that with the joint efforts of her team members on the DEL Programme, she will continue to do so and also reach out to even more people in the Chinese communities.

jon lui

Jonathan Lui is British born and currently a medical student at London’s UCL with research experience in regenerative medicine and healthcare management. He has set up and led charities and health-related student societies at University, which have produced publications for the Department of Health.  With a passion for politics, he helped to lead the Conservative Friends of the Chinese campaign group at the 2015 General Election and has also served as a youth campaign co-ordinator for the Conservative party.  He runs Quorum, an interactive platform that promotes British Chinese culture and involvement in politics. Jonathan has previously won national titles in hockey and represented England at Chess. Jonathan is delighted to be on the DEL Programme and to collaborate with other talented and like-minded team members to deliver community based social action projects for the Chinese community and to foster stronger East –West relationships.

leo li ma

Leo Li Ma is a dedicated technology investment banker, social entrepreneur and debater from Shandong province, China. He works at BNP Paribas in London, having previously worked at GP Bullhound, Europe’s largest technology investment bank, advising on a variety of cross-border M&A transactions with a China angle and worked closely with the UK and Shanghai Governments.  Leo is an Oxford graduate in MSc Financial Economics with the Dean’s Commendation. Prior to Oxford, he studied at Nottingham University’s China and UK Campus’ and was the recipient of Vice-Chancellor’s Achievement Award, the most prestigious award for exceptional contributions to the University. He also won the National Scholarship of China and the President’s Scholarship.  He was the debating champion on campus and founded a British Parliamentary debating club with over 500 members, and established the China Debate Camp, one of the largest international debating training programmes in China. In 2012, he was selected for the Social Entrepreneurship Global Programme by the British Council for co-founding a microfinance consultancy. He has also regularly featured on Chinese national TV conversing with various VIP’s including Prince William, Jack Ma, Kobe Bryant and musician Jay Chou. Leo  is a descendant of Confucius (75th Generation). He is passionate about building UK and China links and hopes that with the help of the  DEL Programme, he can make a positive social impact and facilitate cross-border transactions in technology, energy and infrastructure sectors.


Amy Shang is from Tianjin, China and came to study at a UK boarding school in the Lake District aged 10.  She  is passionate about renewable energy and sustainability management and works for TESLA Motors, developing the Supercharger network in the UK. She read Economics at London’s UCL and also has a Master’s degree in Sociology from Oxford University.  She recently completed her PhD in Electric Vehicles & Innovation Ecosystems at the Department of Engineering at Cambridge University.  Amy is also the Director for Silicon Valley Initiative at Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE) and is a Global Shaper for the World Economic Forum, Cambridge Hub. She is actively involved in entrepreneurship societies and is also passionate about helping to promote increasing Chinese female representation in the UK especially in the fields of energy and engineering.  Amy is extremely thrilled to be on the DEL Programme because she believes that she by working closely with her talented team members, they will inspire each other and collectively harness their strengths to make an important and useful contribution to the UK Chinese communities through continued community engagement.



Luna Yuping Sun is a serial entrepreneur. She comes from Harbin and graduated with a Chemistry degree from Heilongjiang University.  At university, she was chairman of the student union and voted the best singer. She was selected as a management trainee of Longfor Group and gained extensive experience in the financial market & Real Estate industry in China. including being involved in Longfor’s IPO in HK. She then became the youngest private banking manager at HSBC in Beijing (out of a total of only 17 private bankers in China at the time) managing high net worth individuals and successful entrepreneurs. She subsequently graduated with an MBA degree from Liverpool University. Since then, she has set up Entrepreneurs Global to help young start-up entrepreneurs in the UK to find investment, resources and talents in UK and China. She also set up Girlup UK, which has successfully organized a female Entrepreneurs Event in London.  She co-founded EcoLive Technology Ltd, with other engineers, which makes a smart hardware device allowing end users to control the growth of green plants at home. The project won one of the Top 5 awards at the 2015 China Talent Entrepreneurship & Investment Competition and the 2015 CSSAUK High-Level Entrepreneurship Challenge award. Luna believes that through joint team-working and collaboration with her team members on the programme, they can make a real difference to the Chinese communities in the UK and in China.

tao tang

Tao Tang is a forensics accountant at Price Waterhouse Cooper investigating financial fraud. He graduated from Tianjin University of Finance & Economics  and subsequently with a Masters’ degree in International Management from LSE. He is very passionate to develop initiatives to bring Chinese people and communities together using a range of fun activities.  He sits on the committee of China Interest Group in PwC. Outside of his professional work, he is also a career and dating consultant and a director of Eastern Blossom China Connection and  CupofTea.me, a dating platform organising fun events for oriental professionals in the UK to expand their social circle.  He initiated the university career talk series at LSE to help hundreds of students with their job applications last year.  Tao is also an avid traveller and has so far visited 51 of the 191 must see target countries he plans to visit. He believes that his knowledge of the Chinese community and social enterprise skills will add much value to the DEL Programme and also to the Chinese community social enterprise projects that will be undertaken as part of the programme.


Deon Widjaja is British born and his family comes from Malaysia.  He is a Technology Entrepreneur and a former Management & Technology Consultant for Accenture. He graduated from London’s UCL with an Economics and Statistics degree.  A highly enterprising individual, Deon aims to use his technology expertise to make a strong positive impact on the UK Chinese Community. He co-founded Eastern Blossoms, an organisation linking Chinese young professionals working in the banking and consultancy sectors. He set up ‘My Chinese World’, an online platform for the Chinese community to post their Chinese related events and has also helped to build organisations like GanLanZhi, a free information platform for Chinese Job Seekers. Deon has a proven track record of delivering successful projects and events as well as utilising his business skills to help build profitable organisations. Deon hopes that through his participation in the DEL Programme, he will be able to set up an awards system for young Chinese to encourage them to volunteer in the Chinese communities and the wider British community, as he is keen is to get more Chinese involved in community projects and hopes that he can ultimately inspire real positive change in the Chinese communities.


Elvis Xurui Yan is from  Suzhou province, China and is currently a third year Economics student at London’s LSE.  He was LSE’s Director of the China Development Forum (CDF), the largest student-led China-related forum across Europe, an interactive Forum hosting regular topical discussions on China’s economic, political and social development.  He is also the founder of Talent Utopia, an organisation aimed at facilitating overseas Chinese students to find internships and full-time employment opportunities in China, and also aimed at channelling  British world-leading educational resources to Chinese schools and educational institutions. Elvis has also participated in an NGO’s six weeks programme in Brazil to help its slum children.  He is ecstatic to be on the DEL Programme. From his own experience, he is very aware that there is a lack of understandings of the ways and workings of the Chinese and China and he is keen to use this unique opportunity of being on the Programme to learn from the management team and also better understand the British culture, customs and its people.  He hopes also that through the joint efforts of the other talented team members, they can improve the cultural understanding of the Chinese and in doing so, build much stronger ties between East and West.



Jessica Caiqing Yang is an entrepreneur and an advocate of youth empowerment.  She comes from Jinan, Shandong province and graduated from the Beijing International Studies University with a degree in English Language & Literature .  She subsequently obtained an MSc in Development Management at the LSE,  and also won the “LSE Generate Competition.’’ Whilst at University, she travelled to Saudi Arabia and South Korea as a national youth delegate for Sino-Saudi and Northeast Asia youth forums, and coordinated the Indonesia-China youth exchange programme. She was also the Chair of AIESEC organisation at University and helped university students with international exchange and volunteering experiences. She co-founded MengYa, an educational tour provider for British and Chinese youngsters who want to experience a deep cultural immersion and field experiences in Britain and China. Jessica is delighted to be on the DEL Programme and aspires to promote mutual understanding and deep cultural learning between UK and China.