Going Global: The China Factor


U.S.-China commerce will be the most important business story of the next decade.  On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia held a panel discussion with industry-leading Chinese and U.S company executives, legal and business policy experts on how to build successful business relationships with Chinese companies both in China and in the U.S. and to provide services and products in the U.S. which appeal to Chinese companies seeking U.S. market access.  


5:00 PM - 5:45 PM  Registration & Networking

5:45 PM - 6:00 PM  Opening Remarks by Frances Taoran Sun

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM  Panel Discussion with Q&A

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM  Networking & Cocktail Reception



Valerie J. Pelton - Attorney, U.S. Postal Service; Co-Chair of the WBA’s In-House Counsel Forum

 Valerie Pelton is an attorney, mediator, entrepreneur and former military officer who represented U.S. and international technology, telecommunications, software and aerospace companies in Europe, Asia and the Persian Gulf for over 18 years.  Prior to entering federal service, she founded the Pelton Law Firm P.C. and was Of Counsel at Kalbian Hagerty LLP; Co-Founder, Vice President and General Counsel of the Enterprise Trade Group LLC; an Associate at De Martino Finkelstein Rosen & Virga; and Corporate Counsel at HQ British Aerospace North America and BAE Systems Regional Aircraft.  Prior to practicing law, she served as a U.S. Air Force Signals Intelligence and Adversary Electronic Combat Operations Officer. She is admitted to practice in Virginia, New Jersey, California and the District of Columbia.  Ms. Pelton was awarded an LLM with Highest Honors in National Security & U.S. Foreign Relations Law from George Washington University (“GWU”) Law School, a Masters Certificate in Government Contracting from GWU Business School, a J.D. from Whittier College, an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and B.A.s in French and Modern European Studies from Vanderbilt University.  She is studying Mandarin at GWU’s Confucius Institute and is published in multiple journals, including the Journal of Air Law and Commerce. She is active in Washington area business, legal and sailing groups, and enjoys Argentine tango, salsa and waltz.


Prof. Chris Yukins - Professor of Government Contracts Law, The George Washington University

Christopher R. Yukins has many years of experience in public procurement law. He was for several years a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, where he handled trials and appeals involving bid protests and contract claims against the U.S. government. He teaches on government contract formations and performance issues, bid protests, Contract Disputes Act litigation, and comparative issues in public procurement, and focuses especially on emerging public policy questions in U.S. procurement. He is an active member of the Public Contract Law Section of the American Bar Association, serves on the steering committee to the International Procurement Committee of the ABA International Law Section, and previously served as the president of the Tysons Corner Chapter of the National Contract Management Association. He is a faculty advisor to the Public Contract Law Journal, and has contributed pieces on procurement reform, international procurement, electronic commerce and information technology to a broad range of journals, including Washington Technology, Government Contractor, Legal Times, and Federal Computer Week. He has published on procurement reform in scholarly journals, including the Public Contract Law Journal, Georgetown Journal of International Law, and Public Procurement Law Review (United Kingdom). Together with Professor Steven Schooner, he runs a popular colloquium series on procurement reform at The George Washington University Law School. In private practice, Professor Yukins has been an associate, partner, and of counsel at leading national firms; he is currently of counsel to the firm of Arnold & Porter LLP. He is an advisor to the U.S. delegation to the working group on reform of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Procurement Law, and he teaches and speaks often on issues of comparative and international procurement law.



Gang Xu - Associate General Counsel, The Hershey Company

Mr.Xu leads legal support to the international commercial and global shared services functions of The Hershey Company. Gang joined The Hershey Company in 2013 with a diverse international legal background. He served as the General Counsel and Vice President of McDonald's (China) Co. Ltd., and the Legal Director and Associate General Counsel of Walmart (China) Investment Co., Ltd. in charge of its legal work for M&A, e-commerce and disputes resolution. Prior to his in-house legal experiences, Gang was a transactional attorney practicing in the United States and Asia with international law firms such as Morrison & Foerster LLP, Bracewell LLP, Freshfields Bruckhouse Deringer, and Debevoise & Plimpton. Mr.Xu has worked upon a variety of corporate, project finance, entertainment and international transactions since 1994. He is a graduate of Peking University Law Department, Georgetown University Law Center and Boston University Law School, and is admitted to practice law in NY, DC, VA and PA.


Anna Ashton - Sr. Vice President of Business Relations, U.S.-China Business Council

Since January 2016, Ms. Ashton has served as the Director of Business Advisory Services at the US-China Business Council. Ms. Ashton began her China career as an intelligence officer for the Department of Defense, where she briefed the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense and top military officials on strategic China issues. Following her time at the Defense Department, Ms. Ashton worked for her home state of Arkansas to develop a strategy for recruiting Chinese investment, organizing and managing visits by Chinese trade delegations and identifying a Chinese consultant to represent Arkansas in Beijing. From 2008 through 2012, she worked in the International Division of the US Chamber of Commerce, primarily focused on China trade and investment issues. She then worked as an economic and trade analyst at the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission while pursuing a J.D. at Georgetown University. After graduating from Georgetown, Ms. Ashton spent time working on international trade cases at Perkins Coie LLP. Ms. Ashton began her China studies in 1997 in order to pursue an interest in Chinese literature. In addition to her J.D. from Georgetown Law, she holds a BA in Chinese Studies from Wellesley University, and an MA in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Hongfei Zhong - Chief Financial Officer, Lantian Development, LLC.

Hongfei joined Lantian Development LLC as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in 2016.  As CFO, Hongfei is responsible for a diverse real estate development company’s overall financial, tax and accounting functions.  Ms. Zhong has held financial professional positions in China and the US within both the private and public sectors.  Her US positions prior to joining Lantian Development include serving as Assistant Controller at Clark Enterprises, Inc. and as the Director of Property Accounting/Property Controller for Mills Corporation which was acquired later by Simon Property Group.  In China, Ms. Zhong served as the Director of Tax for the China Investment Corporation (CIC), China’s sovereign wealth fund.  She also served in multiple positions at the Ministry of Finance of China.  Ms. Zhong received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Economics-Public Finance from Central University of Finance and Economics, well-known in China as "the Cradle of Giants in the Field of Finance and Management". She also received a Master of Accountancy from the George Washington University School of Business.  She is a US Certified Public Accountant and a Board Member and past President of the Children’s Hope and Future Foundation.

Alec Orudjev - Partner, Schiff Hardin LLP

Alec Orudjev has advised Chinese clients with securities listed on major U.S. exchanges on a broad range of public company-related financing and compliance issues. He is a seasoned securities partner practicing in the areas of federal securities/corporate laws, corporate governance/compliance, and broker-dealer rules and regulations at Schiff Hardin’s Washington, DC offices. His broad-based client work includes experience with complex international and domestic securities transactions, SEC periodic disclosures/compliance matters, SOX, Dodd-Frank, JOBS Act and corporate governance/compliance (including Board/standing committee guidance on various issues, including executive and Board compensation), and US Stock exchange listing/delisting and regulatory/enforcement matters. He has written and spoken on various transactional topics, from CMPOs to SEC approvals. He is fluent in Russian and proficient in German and frequently serves as a translator.    Mr. Orudjev was awarded an LLM in Securities and Financial Regulation, Banking, Corporate, Finance, and Securities Law from Georgetown University Law Center; a Masters in Economics from Syracuse University - Maxwell School; a JD in Banking, Corporate, Finance, and Securities Law from Syracuse University College of Law; and a Bachelor’s in Economics (Industrial Organization), Magna Cum Laude, from North Carolina State University.





Registration Required

Sponsored By:

The Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia

The George Washington University Law School
The George Washington University Confucius Institute
Greg Bufithis – Project Counsel Group