These days, when so many companies are eager to do business in China, it's important to carefully think through every aspect of your globalization strategy.

It goes beyond just understanding exactly why it makes sense for your company to expand into a country with a population of well over a billion. It also requires preparing for the intercultural challenges that must be met to be successful.

Developing an ongoing strategy for intercultural consulting, training and coaching is crucial and should be integrated into every aspect of a company's globalization plan.

Investment in training that enhances mutual respect and understanding will only help your bottom line.
Meet the Expert

Jason Patent PhD

Consultant Jason Patent PhD

About Jason

  • Expert cultural interpreter with more than two decades of experience with China, including more than 10 years living and working in China. Work has spanned the worlds of education, for-profit business, and non-profit organizations.
  • Currently, director of the Center for Intercultural Leadership and chief of operations at International House, UC Berkeley. Formerly, American co-director of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China, and inaugural director of Stanford’s Overseas Studies Program, based at Peking University.  
  • Deep connection to China from childhood, growing up hearing stories from his grandparents about “the Shanghai years” – the nearly two decades they called Shanghai home. Stateless Jews from the USSR (grandfather) and Iraq (grandmother), in the 1930s they settled in Shanghai, one of the few havens for Jews at the time. Jason’s father bore witness to both the Japanese occupation and the Communist revolution, before emigrating to San Francisco in 1950.
  • Grounded in Chinese culture through education, language mastery, in-country experience, and scholarly research. Fluent in Mandarin, known for uncannily native-like pronunciation.
  • At Gap International, a consulting firm based near Philadelphia, led a team of linguists charged with investigating and innovating methods of using language to improve business performance.


Chief of Operations, International House, U.C. Berkeley • Director, Center for Intercultural Leadership
Jul, 2014 — Present
  • The Director of the Center for Intercultural Leadership (CIL) is responsible for building the CIL from the ground up, beginning with I-House's existing training programs and expanding them to meet the needs of increasing numbers of I-House residents, U.C. Berkeley campus units, and external businesses and non-profit organizations.
  • The Chief of I-House Operations has oversight of admissions; financial aid and scholarships; resident support services; activities, conferences and programs; events and facilities rentals; physical operations – including maintenance and custodial services;  human resources and personnel.
  • Reporting to the Executive Director, the Chief of I-House Operations works closely with other directors and top managers to ensure that the programs and services I-House offers continue to develop in ways that meet students’ needs and interests.
  • International House Berkeley is a non-profit, self-supporting entity that generates over $10MM annually to cover operational expenses, student support services, major maintenance costs, and building modernization and improvement expenses.
American Co-Director • Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies
May, 2011 — Jun, 2014
  • Served as primary representative of Johns Hopkins University in 50-50 joint venture with China's Nanjing University.
  • Worked closely with the Chinese co-director, appointed by Nanjing University, as well as with other administrators and faculty. Supervised four American staff members and co-supervised more than 40 Chinese staff members who are jointly appointed by the two universities.
  • Provided intellectual and programmatic leadership to the international (non-Chinese) faculty, as well as supervising daily administration.
  • The Center is equivalent to a small professional school so the co-director has all the responsibilities of a president or dean, VP for student affairs, VP for administration, and chief faculty liaison.
Vice President, Communications and Marketing • Orchestrall, Inc.
Nov, 2009 — Apr, 2011
  • Created and implemented communications and marketing strategy for cutting-edge company inventing new business models for global service delivery.
  • Devised strategies for coordination and communication among Orchestrall's global locations (Hong Kong, Philadelphia, Beijing, Shanghai), and among customers, Chinese government officials, business development partners, and delivery partners.
  • Leveraged communications and marketing to broaden and accelerate the sales pipeline.
  • Guided government officials visiting from China. Guided customers and partners on visits to China.
Vice President, Cultural Affairs • China Prime
Jun, 2009 — Oct, 2009
  • Created marketing pieces about key differences in business practices between the U.S. and China.
Various Clients • Independent Consultant
Jul, 2007 — Oct, 2009
  • Cartus: Coordinated and led intercultural training sessions for executives relocating internationally. Involved both general intercultural theory and practice, and in many cases, China- and U.S.-specific knowledge.
  • ITAP InternationalDesigned day-long training programs for a client of ITAP. Areas: influencing, conflict resolution.
  • Gap International, Inc.: Led language research team at Springfield, Pa.-based consulting firm. Innovated and developed new technologies to maximize the power of language to help businesses produce extraordinary results. Generated new business for the company through cold calls, mailings, sales presentations. 
Seminar leader • Your Development Partner
Jan, 2007 — Apr, 2007
  • Facilitated management trainings in Mandarin for mid-level Chinese managers. Goal: To introduce Western management practices into Chinese companies, using materials provided by YDP, franchisee of Crestcom, Inc.
Director • Stanford Program in Beijing
Mar, 2004 — Jun, 2007
  • In consultation with Bing Overseas Studies Program staff, oversaw the development of all aspects of the Beijing center: academic, administrative, financial, etc. Conceived of and implemented a broad vision for the center.
  • Built and maintained relations with Peking University hosts. Worked with a broad variety of Stanford, host-university and other constituencies: development, alumni relations, faculty, language instructors, deans, parents, trustees.
  • Monitored quality of instruction and adjusted according to needs.
  • Represented the program to media.
  • Advised students. Designed and facilitated orientation sessions. Created, and kept up to date, the center handbook for students. 
The Rockridge Institute • Research Associate
Oct, 2003 — Feb, 2004
  • Delivered trainings and wrote articles on political framing language.


University of California, Berkeley
PhD, MA, Linguistics, PhD, 2003; MA, 1996
Stanford University
MA, East Asian Studies, 1994
Harvard University
A.B., East Asian Studies, 1990

Academic Honors

Magna Cum Laude

Keynote Speeches

  • “Fostering Intercultural Leaders in Your Organization,” 12 March 2014, European Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Insight, Nanjing. Workshop with senior European executives.
  • “Intercultural Leadership: The Most Critical Skill of the 21st Century,” 26 Feb. 2014, European Chamber of Commerce, Nanjing. Workshop with top European and Chinese 5 executives.
  • “How to Save Time and Money: Intercultural Leadership in the Global Marketplace,” 30 Nov. 2013. Keynote address at New York Institute of Technology-Nanjing School of Management, Annual Stakeholders’ Conference.
  • “Is Seeing Believing? Learning to Question Our Cultural Perceptions,” 29 Oct. 2013, Shanghai University.
  • “Words Into Action: Walking the Talk,” 24 Jan. 2013, Deloitte China Annual Strategy Refresh Meeting, Hong Kong. Concrete steps for effectively implementing corporate strategy in a culturally diverse organization.
  • “China No-Brainers: How Mindset Mismatches Cost Time and Money,” 30 Nov. 2012, American Chamber of Commerce in China, Beijing.
  • “A New Lens on Leadership: Study Abroad As Leadership Training,” 14 Nov. 2012, CIEE annual conference, Shanghai.
  • “Beyond Guanxi: A Goal-Centered Approach to Getting Things Done in China,” 10 Nov. 2012, 6th annual meeting of the China Teacher Consortium, Changsha, China.
  • “Mindset and Worldview: Reflections on How Place Shapes the Mind,” 8 Sept. 2012, 3rd China–U.S. Cultural Forum, Nanjing. Hosted by Jim Leach, Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Cai Wu, Chinese Minister of Culture.
  • “A Linguistic and Cultural Perspective on Human Rights in China and the U.S.,” 14 March 2012, Hopkins-Nanjing Center, Nanjing.
  • “Pioneer Journeys: Why Alumni Matter,” 10 Dec. 2011, Beijing Temple Theater. Formal kickoff of partnership between 100,000 Strong and Project Pengyou. Selected co-speakers: Ambassador Gary Locke, Evan Osnos, Kaiser Kuo.
  • “Are These Truths Self-Evident? Mapping Chinese and American Mindsets,” 28 Nov. 2011, CIEE Nanjing University.
  • “Leadership Challenges for the American in China,” 8 Sept. 2010, Philadelphia. Delivered to 50 area businesspeople preparing to enter the China market, as part of day-long event arranged by The China Business Network.
  • “The Whos, Hows and Whys of Business in China,” 5 Mar. 2010, Philadelphia. To prepare participants for an upcoming trade delegation to China. Co-sponsored by the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia and Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business.
  • "China in Our Future: Getting to Know the World’s Most Populous Nation,” 21 Feb. 2010, Stanford Club of Philadelphia. Topics: Common concerns and questions about China's emerging role in the world.
  • “Leadership in Cross-Cultural Perspective,” 22 Sept. 2009, Villanova University. Lecture to leadership course for professionals at Villanova University. Addressed differences between “Eastern” and “Western” leadership.
  • “Multiple Cultures: Challenges and Opportunities in a Cross-Generational 21st-Century Workplace,” 10 Sept. 2009, Aetna, Blue Bell, Penn. Talk video-streamed live to Aetna employees worldwide. Topic: Increasing productivity in organizations by viewing generational groups as cultural groups and breaking down barriers. 
  • “Culture in the Classroom: Making the Most of Our Differences,” 4 May 2009. School District of Philadelphia. Lecture to Chinese teachers in the public schools. Topic: How to understand American students’ thinking in order to improve teaching.
  • “Language Is the Key to Culture,” 4 May 2009, Widener University. Lecture to Widener faculty and students preparing for a trip to China.
  • “What is culture?” 30 April 2009, University of Pennsylvania, Organizational Dynamics graduate program. Lecture to students preparing for a trip to China.
  • “Are These Truths Self-Evident? Digging Deeper into Chinese and American Culture,” 12 Feb. 2009, University of Pennsylvania, Organizational Dynamics dinner lecture series. Topic: Scientific and anecdotal evidence for differences between Chinese and American culture.
  • “American Conceptions of Morality,”  22 March 2007, Capital Normal University. Topic: Relating conceptions of morality to finding purpose in work. Delivered to undergraduates training as volunteers for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
  • “Cultural Difference: What is it?” 21 Sept. 2006, Beijing International Society. Topic: Findings from psychology and linguistics on cultural differences between the U.S. and China.
  • “Living in China,” 14 June 2006, Third Annual Stanford-Siemens Workshop on Globalization, Beijing, P.R. of China. Topic: The nature of cultural difference and its reflection in language. Delivered to Stanford students studying overseas, Stanford faculty and Peking University students.
  • “Are These Truths Self-Evident? Human rights in cross-linguistic and cross-cultural perspective,”  14 Dec. 2005, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Beijing, P.R. of China. 
  • “A Cognitive Linguistics Perspective on Human Rights,” 14 Nov. 2005, Peking University, Beijing, P.R. of China. Delivered at weekly gathering of linguists sponsored by the PKU English Department.
  • “Understanding the U.S. to Understand China,” 16 May 2005, Peking University, Beijing, P.R. of China. Delivered to visiting business students from the University of Michigan.


  • “Higher Education in China,” panel presentation, 3 May 2014. Harvard School of Education,China Education Symposium. Cambridge, Mass., USA.
  • “Bridging the China-Western Divide,” 21 Sept. 2011, panel sponsored by AFS, Beijing. Co-panelists: Dr. Zhang Xinsheng, Dr. Zhuang Enping.
  • “Mapping Chinese and American Mindsets: The Nitty-Gritty of Successful U.S.-China Partnerships,” 13 July 2011, at Johns Hopkins SAIS, Washington, D.C. Co-panelists: Dr. David M. Lampton, Dr. Carla Freeman, Ms. Selina Ho.
  • “What Does China Mean to Your Business?” 18 Nov. 2010, Philadelphia. Panel presentation on adapting business to Chinese mindset.
  • “Accessing China’s Market.” 17 Nov. 2010, Washington State China Relations Council, Seattle. Panel presentation on strategies for entering the China market.
  • Long Term Strategy Group, 17 Apr. 2009,  Boston. Participated in roundtable discussion with six other China experts from political science, political economy and history. Topic: How might the current worldwide economic climate affect the ability of the Chinese Communist Party to rule China?


Teaching in China (1991–2013):
  • Professorial Lecturer, Hopkins-Nanjing Center. Course: Mapping Chinese and American Mindsets. Spring 2013. Graduate-level multi-disciplinary course on linguistic, psychological, cognitive, social, neurological and other comparisons between Chinese and American mindsets.
  • Instructor, Seminar on Living and Learning Abroad, CIEE Nanjing Study Center. Fall 2012, Spring and Fall 2013. Course on intercultural communication and adapting to life in China for non-Chinese undergraduates.
  • Instructor, Resources for Ongoing Orientation, CIEE Nanjing Study Center. Spring 2012.Course on intercultural communication for non-Chinese undergraduates.
  • Lecturer, Stanford University. 2004-07. Designed and taught courses on Chinese and American language and culture: Language, Culture and Meaning; Language, Culture and Thought. Courses taught to Stanford and Peking University students.
  • Instructor, The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies. Spring 2007. Designed and taught course: Chinese Culture and Values. Content: Linguistic, psychological, anthropological and philosophical perspectives on U.S.-China cultural difference. Course taught to American undergraduates from several universities.
  • Instructor, CET Beijing Chinese Studies Program. Fall 2006. Designed and taught course: Chinese Culture, Chinese Mind, Chinese Worldview. Course taught to American undergraduates from several universities.
  • Graduate-level instructor, Linguistics and American Culture, Sichuan University, Chengdu. Spring 2002. Instructed two graduate-level courses at Sichuan University, Chengdu, P.R.C. 
  • China semester program developer, Where There Be Dragons, Boulder, Colo. Sept. 2000-Dec. 2001. Along with three colleagues, conceived and administered 13-week experiential education program in China. This involved developing curriculum, traveling to China to make contacts, hiring and orienting in-country directors, working with parents, managing website, being available around the clock to handle in-country emergencies.
  • China trip leader, Where There Be Dragons, Boulder, Colo. Late June-early August, 1998-2000. Along with two co-leaders, guided twelve American high school students throughChina for six weeks. Roles: teacher, facilitator, counselor, interpreter, “doctor,” others.
  • English Instructor. Peking University, Beijing, P.R.C., Feb.-June 1998. Taught English to students at PKU’s Institute for International Relations.
  • English Instructor. Guangzhou Teachers College, Guangzhou, P.R.C., Jan.-July 1993. University-level instructor of English, reading and writing.
  • English Instructor. Qiqihar Light Industry Institute, Qiqihar, Heilongjiang, P.R.C.,Sept. 1991-June 1992. College- and graduate-level instructor of English, listening and speaking.

Other Teaching:
  • College-level instructor, Chinese. Teacher for Chinese 1AB, intensive first-year Chinese, UC Berkeley, Summers 2003, 2001. 
  • College-level instructor, Linguistics, UC Berkeley, Spring 2003, 2001, 2000. Teaching assistant for Linguistics 105: Mind and Language. Content: Introduction to cognitive linguistics.
  • College-level instructor, Linguistics. UC Berkeley, Fall 2001. Instructor for Linguistics 302: Training for Linguistics Teaching Assistants. 
  • College-level instructor, Linguistics. UC Berkeley, Fall 2000, 1999. Teaching assistant for Linguistics 106: Metaphor. Content: Introduction to conceptual metaphor theory.
  • Grade-school instructor, Chinese. GATE teacher at Valley View Elementary School, El Sobrante, CA, Feb.- May 2000. 
  • College-level instructor, Chinese. UC Berkeley, Spring 1999, Fall 1998. Teaching assistant forChinese 1A and 1B, first-year Chinese. 
  • College-level instructor, Chinese. UC Berkeley, Spring 1996. Teaching assistant for Chinese 10B, second-year Chinese.
  • College-level instructor, Linguistics. UC Berkeley, Fall 1995. Teaching assistant for Linguistics 55, an introduction to Sociolinguistics. 
  • Debate Coach. Hellgate High School, Missoula, Montana. Aug. 1990 – Mar. 1991. Taught debate, organized and supervise out-of-town debate trips.


  • “China.” 2015. In Robert Crane ed. Building Bridges Among the BRICs. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • “Familiarizing and Humanizing an ‘Exotic’ Language.” Review of Perry Link’s An Anatomyof Chinese: Rhythm, Metaphor, Politics. Los Angeles Review of Books, March 1, 2014.
  • “Mindset and Worldview: Reflections on How Place Shapes the Mind.” 2013. In Jia Leilei ed. A Binational Conversation on Bridging Cultures: Place, People, History. Beijing: Culture and Art Publishing House.
  • “Supracultural models, universalism and relativism: The language of personhood in Chinese and American cultures.” 2009. In Hanna Pishwa ed. Language and Social Cognition: Expression of the Social Mind. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 
  • “Are These Truths Self-Evident? Language, Culture and Human Rights in the U.S. and China.” Ph.D. dissertation, UC Berkeley, 2003.
  • “A unified account of essentially contested concepts.” Proceedings of the Twenty-Seventh Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society.
  • “What Linguistics Can Tell us about Affirmative Action Discourse.” 2000. Proceedings of theseventh annual Symposium About Language and Society –Austin. Texas Linguistic Forum.
  • “A Willy Nilly Look at Lai Ideophones.” Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, Jan. 21,1998.
  • “Lai Verb Lists.” Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, Feb. 20, 1997. 
  • “A Lousy Time to be Silver: Crisis in China’s Family-based System of Care for the Elderly.” Berkeley Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. VI. 1995.
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