Governance and management

Meet the people who steer our governance and lead our work
The staff and board members of The Confucius Institute are committed to promoting ongoing cultural engagement between Australia and China

Our board

Our board members are acclaimed scholars and higher education leaders who are committed to promoting engagement between Australia and China through language and culture programs and community outreach activities.

Current board members

Professor Johnston is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Sydney. She has held the roles of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Dean of Science at UNSW, and is a past President of Science & Technology Australia (STA). Professor Johnston has led major research projects for industry, government, the ARC and the Australian Antarctic Science Program and contributed to the development of national and international research priorities and plans.

Professor Johnston is a leading authority in marine ecology, a sustainability and diversity champion and a Chief Author of the Australian State of Environment Report 2021. She is a Director of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Governor of the Ian Potter Foundation. Professor Johnston was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2018 for distinguished service to higher education, particularly to marine ecology and ecotoxicology, as an academic, researcher and administrator, and to scientific institutes.

As Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global and Research Engagement), Professor Belov has responsibility for pivotal areas of the University’s Research Portfolio related to academic research partnerships, centres and institutes. She leads the Office of Global Engagement, oversees the University’s multidisciplinary initiatives and stewards relations and agreements with the University’s affiliated research institutes. She also focuses on developing the University’s national and international partnerships to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Professor Belov is one of Australia’s leading geneticists and leads a team of researchers using immunogenetics to study immunity and health in Australia’s native wildlife, including Tasmanian devils, koalas, wallabies, platypus and other species. She has participated in large international sequencing consortia and was an active participant in the opossum, platypus and tammar wallaby genome projects


Professor Yixu Lu is Head of the University's School of Languages and Cultures.

After obtaining her BA from Peking University, Professor Lu spent seven years as a postgraduate at the Universität Regensburg, Germany, specialising in German literature and Modern European history. She came to Australia as a postdoctoral fellow, and has taught at the universities of Adelaide and Melbourne and the University of Technology, Sydney.

She has been a research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation (2002, 2008, 2012) and held a guest professorship at the Chinese Ocean University, Qingdao (2007-09). She was awarded the Jakob und Wilhelm Grimm-Preis by the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) for her distinguished contribution to research, teaching and international collaboration in German studies in 2014.

Professor Zhimin Chen is Vice President (International Affairs) at Fudan University. He is also a Changjiang Scholar and a Jean Monnet Chair of European foreign policy. He is Vice President of the Chinese Association of International Studies. He serves as editor-in-chief of the Chinese Political Science Review. His research interests include international relations theory, diplomacy studies, Chinese foreign policy and EU studies.

Professor Chen received all his degrees from Fudan University. He was a visiting fellow at Harvard University (1996-97) and visiting scholar at Queen’s University, University of Durham, Lund University, Sciences Po and Keio University. He was made a Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Palmes Academiques by the French Government in 2006.

Professor Lian Lu is Director of the Foreign Affairs Office and the Confucius Institute Affairs Office at Fudan University.

She is also Professor of English Literature at Fudan University and has been the Associate Dean (Research) of College of Foreign Languages and Literature at Fudan University since 2014. Professor Lu is interested in identity politics and the formation of subjectivity. Her research areas include Anglo-American Literary Modernism, Feminist Literary Criticism and Women's Writing, H.C. Andersen and the rise of China’s Modern Children’s Literature.

Professor Lu received her BA from Chengchi University; her MA from the University of Edinburgh; and her PHD from the University of Glasgow.

Jeffrey Riegel is retired from professorial positions at the University of California, Berkeley (1979-2007), and The University of Sydney (2007-2017). His most recent appointment was as Director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, a position he retired from in January 2017, having departed from his positions of Professor and Head of School in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney in January 2015. 

Jeff has published widely on early Chinese thought, literature, and archaeology, has been a visiting professor at Fudan University, Renmin University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and still occasionally gives talks in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and North America. Jeff spends most of his time at his homes in Siem Reap, Suzhou, and Palm Springs, California.

Our management committee

Our management committee is comprised of senior academic and professional staff. It has oversight of the Institute’s programs and provides supervision and support to the Institute’s operation.

The committee is chaired by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Global and Research Engagement, the University of Sydney, and meets six times per year to:

  • Ensure the Institute’s program and activities meet its mission 
  • Contribute to the development of strategic plans and directions for the Institute
  • Assist in the implementation of program plans
  • Advise on policy related to the Institute.