Catherine Laporte-Oshiro ’13: Re-envisioning Asia-Pacific development

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Catherine Laporte-Oshiro has been perfecting her Chinese since she began learning Mandarin her senior year of high school in San Francisco.

At Yale she was awarded a Light Fellowship to study in Beijing, and she is currently taking a course in Chinese that was designed for people engaged in global enterprise. Other experiences that have enriched her linguistic skill and her knowledge of Chinese culture are a stint teaching English in Nanjing and a summer internship at an NGO in Hong Kong doing research and working on programs to empower women.

Her concentration is Chinese state capitalism, and her spring semester senior thesis will likely focus on freedom of the press in Hong Kong.

“I want to develop a holistic understanding of China,” she says, noting that her focus has been on China in the context of Asia-Pacific development.

“This is one of the areas of the world that has seen huge economic change,” she says. “We need to re-envision the Asia-Pacific as a shared space and understand and shape the realignment of world power in this region.”

She sees this emerging multilateralism as a force for good, possibly even offering a collaborative solution to world problems like climate change and dependence on non-renewable sources of energy.

“There are so many ways for us to live together,” she comments.

An ethics, politics, and economics major at Yale, Laporte-Oshiro has been president of an undergraduate economics organization and captain of the Yale Fed Challenge Team, which monitors the U.S. economy.

At Oxford Laporte-Oshiro plans to earn an M.Phil. in modern Chinese studies. Law school is possibly in her future, she says, and she hopes to have a career writing public policy.

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