Ching Tien in Beijing, China 2017. Photo by Aaron Berkovich.
The Ching Tien Foundation for Women prepares the next generation of women leaders from Asia by providing scholarships to pursue graduate studies in a global setting. Our ambition extends beyond the achievement of academic excellence, the goal is to empower the next generation of women changemakers.
Founder and President
Ching Tien Foundation for Women
Ching Tien is a Chinese-Canadian social entrepreneur and a globally recognized advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment through education. Born in Beijing in the 1950s, Ching attended a privileged girls-only school until her education was interrupted by China’s Cultural Revolution. Instead of completing her education, she was sent to one of the poorest regions in Western China, Gansu Province, where she worked in a factory for eight years. The hardship she experienced, and especially witnessing how local women and girls were treated, would later compel Ching to dedicate her life’s work to the advancement of underprivileged women and girls.
Ching immigrated to Vancouver, Canada in 1983. For over 20 years, she owned and managed an art gallery and was actively involved in the city’s arts community. Life in Canada, and witnessing the opportunities available to her own children, inspired Ching to establish Educating Girls of Rural China (EGRC), stemming from her deep belief that educated women have educated children.
From 2005 to 2023, Ching and EGRC tirelessly empowered rural Chinese girls by providing financial sponsorship and emotional support to complete their high school and university education. In its 18 years of operations, EGRC sponsored over 2000 young women, and they achieved a graduation rate of over 99%. All EGRC graduates found employment, enabling them to lift their families out of poverty. Many of them give back by making annual donations and volunteering for EGRC.
Building on the success and experience of EGRC, Ching has established the Ching Tien Foundation for Women to continue her mission of empowering women from underprivileged backgrounds. The Ching Tien Foundation provides young women from Asia with scholarships to pursue advanced academic studies and professional training in a global setting, and prepares them to acquire the mindset, confidence and skills to become leaders in their fields and in their communities.
Through numerous recognitions and speaking invitations, Ching has established herself as a prominent voice for the advancement of girls and women. She has been an invited speaker at Asia Society in 2015, TEDx Beijing 2016, Alibaba’s Global Women Entrepreneurship Conference in 2017, and Eve Programme’s annual Asia Pacific Conference in Singapore in 2019 and in Phuket, Thailand in 2023.
Ching was awarded the Canadian Governor General’s Visit Medallion in 2017 and she was a Finalist for the RBC Women of Influence Award in 2018. Ching received the WeWorkingWomen Grand Impact Award in 2019, and in 2020 she received the 5 at 50 Award from the Canada China Business Council on the occasion of 50 years of diplomatic relations.
Ching Tien in the media
- September 28, 2023 – Vancouver Sun
Vancouver charity has abrupt end to its work in China funding scholarships for girls from rural areas
- February 1, 2023 – Wild China, Episode 31
Educating Girls of Rural China with Ching Tien
- July 8, 2021 – The Bilateral—A CCBC Podcast, Episode #6
Ching Tien received CCBC’s 5 at 50 award in the Women’s category
Don Kayne, Co-Chair
President and CEO, Canfor Corporation
Don Kayne has been Chief Executive Officer of Canfor Corporation since May 2011 and is a Director on Canfor Corporation and Canfor Pulp’s Board. Don has spent his entire career at Canfor, starting out as a regional sales representative in 1979. Don was one of the lead architects of the market for British Columbia lumber in China, and his work growing markets for Canfor products around the world has provided him with deep connections to markets and customers in every region Canfor serves. Don is a Director and past Chair of the Forest Products Association of Canada, and Director of BC Lumber Trade Council and Council of Forest Industries. In 2014, he was appointed to the bi-national Softwood Lumber Council and currently serves as the Chair Emeritus of the Softwood Lumber Board.
Jane Milner, Co-Chair
Jane has held senior corporate positions at several financial institutions including Royal Trust, CIBC in Toronto and five years as CEO of North Shore Credit Union (BlueShore Financial) in Vancouver. She has served on many volunteer and charity boards and has been very involved in the Arts. She created the Pacific Arts Initiative, a strategic direction and decision framework for the Province of BC to invest in the arts and culture sector. This enabled $229 million new government funding to the non-profit arts sector, including a $150 million permanent endowment. Jane is retired and lives on Georgian Bay north of Toronto.
Ying Du, Member
China Chief Representative, Mackenzie Investments
Ying joined Mackenzie Investments in November 2017 as China Chief Representative and was promoted to Head of China in December 2019. She is responsible for Mackenzie’s strategic development in China and throughout Asia region. Prior to Mackenzie Investments, Ying spent 19 years at AXA Investment Managers working in Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing where she held a variety of investment management, Sales & Client Services and other senior management roles.
Travis Joern, Member
Director of Asian Market Communications, BC Forestry Innovation Investment (FII)
In his role at BC FII, Travis supports the market analysis and operations reporting in China, India and Vietnam. Prior to this role, Travis served as the Managing Partner at Traverse Global Consulting and as the Managing Director for the Canada China Business Council. Over his career, Travis has coordinated high-level programs for government officials of key federal, provincial and sectoral trade missions, working with hundreds of companies on trade policies, regulations and market development strategies. He has served as the Vice-Chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, as a special advisor to the Canadian Chamber in the PRD, and a member the Canadian Creative Industries Advisory Group.
Ashleigh Au, Executive Director
A career communications strategist, Ashleigh launched her career spending over a decade living and working in China, most notably leading international public relations for property developer SOHO China. After relocating to Toronto, Canada in 2017, she founded Ou & Company Ltd., a communications consultancy specialized in supporting China-North America and cross-cultural business. Ashleigh had the privilege of serving as Educating Girls of Rural China’s Executive Director, Eastern Canada from 2018 to 2023, and is thrilled to continue to build on EGRC’s legacy at the Ching Tien Foundation.
Amanda Chui, Office Manager