Vice President, North America, Air China
As Vice President and General Manager for North America, Dr. Zhihang Chi manages all aspects of Air China’s business in the region and a team of 100-plus employees from its headquarters in Los Angeles.
Dr. Chi’s extensive experience in the airline industry, his visionary leadership and passion in promoting a closer and mutually beneficial Sino-American relationship are credited for Air China’s expansion and aggressive growth in North America, particularly in Los Angeles.
He is a much sought-after speaker on topics ranging from US-China relations, trade, tourism and aviation.
In November 2011, Dr. Chi received the prestigious China Business Leadership Award from the U.S.- China Policy Foundation. Each year the nonprofit, non-partisan, non-advocacy Washington, D.C.-based organization honors individuals who have made valuable contributions for the promotion of greater understanding between American and Chinese policymakers and government officials.
Dr. Chi’s experience, training and educational background have prepared him well for the challenges of his position as the head of Air China in North America. He worked in a number of increasingly responsible positions for Northwest Airlines from 1994 to 2003. During his years at Northwest, he developed and managed a number of strategic alliances with other international carriers, especially with the Chinese carriers.
He joined Air China in 2004 and has led the company’s unprecedented growth and significant investments in and contribution to the California economy. Before he was named Vice President and General Manager for North America in April 2008, Dr. Chi was General Manager, Western US. Prior to that, he ran Air China’s Los Angeles office.
Dr. Chi’s unrelenting advocacy for travel facilitation for Chinese visitors has made him a familiar figure to senior members of the U.S. Congress, State Department and the U.S. Homeland Security with whom he has personally met. Fluent in English and Chinese, Dr. Chi’s background makes him uniquely qualified to speak on China and U.S.-China relations.
A naturalized U.S. citizen, Dr. Chi was born in China. He earned his doctorate and master’s degrees from the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and received his bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Peking University in China.
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