Guo, Yadama named assistant vice chancellors for international affairs

Will focus on increasing impact, visibility in Greater China, India 

Two Washington University in St. Louis faculty members with strong global ties will assume additional responsibilities as assistant vice chancellors for international affairs, announced Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.

Shenyang Guo, PhD, the Frank J. Bruno Distinguished Professor of Social Work Research in the Brown School, will serve as assistant vice chancellor for international affairs-Greater China (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan).

Gautam N. Yadama, PhD, professor in the Brown School, will serve as assistant vice chancellor for international affairs-India.

“Shenyang and Gautam are both gifted and creative scholars and wonderful ambassadors for the university,” Wrighton said. “Their work as assistant vice chancellors will greatly help us strategically expand our global reach in two vast and important regions of the world. I am grateful for their willingness to take on these key positions.”

Guo and Yadama will both report to James V. Wertsch, PhD, vice chancellor for international affairs, director of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy and the Marshall S. Snow Professor in Arts & Sciences. Their three-year appointments were effective Sept. 1.

“Washington University has a growing global presence, and we would like to see us have more impact and visibility in India and Greater China,” Wertsch said. “We already have many, varied activities for students and faculty members underway in India and Greater China and are ambitious about creating more.

“I am thrilled that Shenyang and Gautam have agreed to help develop an increasing presence in these two regions,” Wertsch said. “They will be instrumental in coordinating our efforts to find new synergies and develop more visibility for all the impressive things Washington University is already doing.”

Wertsch said one of Guo and Yadama’s first responsibilities will be to convene and coordinate faculty and students at Washington University who are already engaged in activities in Greater China and in India.

They also will work closely with the admissions office to help recruit more students from the two regions and with Alumni & Development programs to organize more alumni activities in Greater China and India.



Guo serves as the McDonnell Academy’s ambassador to Fudan University in Shanghai. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Fudan and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Michigan.

Guo joined the Brown School faculty this year from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work, where he had been the Wallace H. Kuralt, Sr. Distinguished Professor.

He is the author of numerous research articles in child welfare, child mental health services, welfare and health care. He is an expert in applying advanced statistical models to solving social welfare problems and has taught graduate courses on event history analysis, hierarchical linear modeling, growth curve modeling and program evaluation.

He is the co-author of “Propensity Score Analysis: Statistical Methods and Applications” (2010), a comprehensive guide to statistical techniques that are useful in estimating the effects of social and health programs.

For the past 10 years, Guo has taught summer courses in statistical methods at various universities in China, including Fudan University, Peking University, Renmin University of China and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.



Yadama serves as the McDonnell Academy ambassador to both Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai.

His research focuses on the social and environmental challenges of rural poor in South Asia and China and sustainable interventions to improve their wellbeing. He examines these challenges in the context of varying environmental, ecological and institutional conditions with a particular focus on solutions to improve the social, economic, environmental and health outcomes.

Yadama’s research in India is on livelihoods of natural resource dependent poor and their strategies to achieve sustainability in their lives and resources. He is helping implement several transdisciplinary research projects in India, including a randomized control trial to study sustainability of new and efficient stove technologies to improve household air pollution, health and environmental outcomes for rural poor in India.

This study involves engineering, social work, social system design lab and medicine. The project is in collaboration with two Indian partners — the Foundation for Ecological Security and the Indian Council of Medical Research Center for Advanced Research on Environmental Health: Air Pollution, Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai.

Previously, as director of international programs at the Brown School, he was instrumental in building professional and educational initiatives in India, China, Nepal, Thailand, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and the Republic of Georgia.

His book with photographer Mark Katzman, “Fires, Fuel & the Fate of 3 Billion: The State of the Energy Impoverished” (Oxford University Press 2013), is a 152-page collection of essays and photos examining the complex nexus of energy, poverty, ecology, environment, gender inequality and technology.