Chenxi "Chex" Yu

Researcher in Washington, DC

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Growing up in rural China, I have been living away from home since 11. At 14, I went further away to Singapore by myself thanks to a full scholarship from the Singaporean government. I used to be a science geek spending most days in Singapore's rainforest looking at funky mushrooms. But that is now replaced with a strong passion for development economics, health economics, big data, and entrepreneurship. Most people don't know that I'm also a classical guitarist and (aspiring) watercolor artist.

As a first-generation college student, I graduated with double majors in mathematical decision sciences and economics with a minor in entrepreneurship from UNC-CH, thanks to the Colonel Robinson Scholarship. I was also fortunate to have received the top economics student and best economics thesis award.

In 2011, I backpacked across North India by myself doing an independent public health project. Later, I worked at China Entrepreneurs, being fully immersed in the start-up world in Beijing. While working full-time, I curated TEDxBeijing 2012 (the first Mandarin-speaking TEDxBeijing conference), worked with Prof. Gordon Liu at the China Center for Health Economic Research and Kate Otto, a public health consultant at the World Bank to look for inspiring stories of Everyday Ambassadors.

In 2013, I worked at the WHO in Geneva as a Global Health Fellow. While at UNC, I was on the Chancellor's Student Innovation Team and spearheaded TEDxUNC (the largest student-run event that sold out 1,500 tickets in 17 min). Last year, I worked at the United Nations looking at UN Development Group's governance reform. Currently, I'm at the World Bank's Development Impact Evaluation Unit.

I am an MPA alum of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, focusing on economics and public policy.

  • Work
    • World Health Organization
  • Education
    • UNC-Chapel Hill