Tom Bannister

Tom Bannister (China Development Brief, China)

Tom Bannister is the Assistant Director of China Development Brief (English). Tom received a PhD in Sociology and an MA in Chinese Studies from the University of Sheffield and wrote his PhD thesis on grassroots Chinese NGO volunteerism. He has taught and lectured at the University of Sheffield and the University of Glasgow in the UK, and Tsinghua University in China. He has also given talks on the Chinese NGO sector to a number of student groups including recently from The University of Notre Dame and The University of San Francisco. Tom joined the China Development Brief team in 2013 and works primarily on translation, research, fundraising, and developing the new CDB English-language website. He has a growing portfolio of work published on Chinese development issues and Chinese civil society, and is especially interested in understanding Chinese volunteerism, and promoting understanding and collaboration between international and Chinese NGOs.

EU-China NGO twinning programme - Sam Geall

Sam Geall (China Dialogue, UK)

Sam Geall is a writer, researcher and editor with a focus on China and the environment. He is Research Fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at University of Sussex and Executive Editor of, a bilingual online journal devoted to open discussion of all environmental issues, with a special focus on China. He edited China and the Environment: The Green Revolution, published by Zed Books in 2013Dr Geall’s research focuses on environmental governance, media and civil society in China. His writing on Chinese affairs has appeared in many publications, including The GuardianThe New StatesmanForeign Policy and Index on Censorship. He has worked as an International Coordinator for the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), and has consulted for the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), International Media Support (IMS) and others. Dr Geall has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester. From 2012-2013, he was Departmental Lecturer in Human Geography of China at the University of Oxford.

 EU-China NGO twinning programme - Gisa Dang

Gisa Dang (Asia Catalyst, China)

Gisa Dang is responsible for developing and implementing the strategic direction of the China program. Gisa has created and conducted dozens of customized workshops for grassroots NPOs in organizational management and advocacy skills. She has led onging coaching of the groups we’ve trained to ensure integration of fundamental skills into organizational processes. Since joining Asia Catalyst in 2009, Gisa has spoken at top global events such as the International AIDS Conferences in Vienna and Washington DC, and the International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific in Bali and Busan. Gisa holds an MA in Sinology and Political Science from the University of Cologne, Germany and is fluent in German, Chinese and English.

 Photo Patrick

Patrick Schröder (SWITCH-Asia)

Patrick Schroeder is a researcher and development pratitioner focusing on Asia’s sustainability challenges, in particular China. His main areas of expertise are China’s circular economy, renewable energy and climate change. He has a PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of Wellington, New Zealand. From 2009-2013 he worked as International Advisor to the China Association for NGO Cooperation (CANGO) as Integrated Expert of the GIZ Center for Internatinal Migration and Development (CIM) programme. In this position he supported the development of the China Civil Climate Action Network (CCAN). He also worked as consultant for the EU-China Governance Programme from 2012-2013 on the topics of public participation in environmental planning and impact assessments. As of 2013, he coordinates the research programme of the SWITCH-Asia Network Facility, currently the EU’s largest cooperation programme with Asia promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP).

Dr. Horst Fabian, Independent China Researcher

Since his retirement Horst Fabian is working as EU – China civil society ambassador and independent China researcher. He recently wrote, together with Andreas Fulda, a plea for “Reinvigorating the EU – China Strategic Partnership” by rooting this partnership in civil society cooperation, published in Andreas Fulda (ed.): Civil Society Contributions to Policy Innovation in China in the PR China. Currently he is working on several essays about the sociopolitical dynamics of the Chinese smog crisis as catalyst of the rise of a Chinese environmental movement. From 1992 – 2012, as  program coordinator East Asia of CIM / GTZ, he placed more than 150 CIM experts as local employees into Chinese partner institutions, mainly in the fields of environment and civil society. Since 2000 he built a portfolio of 30 (in total) CIM civil society experts supporting the development of strategic “infrastructure” institutions of Chinese civil society, which can be considered as one of the precursors of the EU – China civil society dialogue in its fermentation phase before its institutionalization in 2008.