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Zhiqiang Liu, PhD

Zhiqiang Liu was appointed Director of the Confucius Institute at the University at Buffalo in February 2017. He is Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics and Associate Director of the Center of Excellence for Human Capital, Technology Transfer, and Economic Growth and Development. He earned an MBA and a PhD from UB and a B.S. from Tianjin University.

Professor Liu’s research interests include applied microeconomics, economic growth and development, the economics of crime, and the Chinese economy. He has published numerous articles in leading economics journals, such as Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Political Economy, and Journal of Urban Economics. He has served on the board of directors and board of regents of the Chinese Economists Society. He also served on an advisory committee of the Natural Science Foundation of China and the editorial board of China Economic Review.


Bruce Acker
Associate Director

Bruce Acker is Associate Director of the Confucius Institute at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. His previous positions include assistant director of Asian Studies at UB, development director at the International Institute of Buffalo, and codirector of Eurasia Policy Studies at The National Bureau of Asian Research (Seattle). He began his career as a Russian language teacher at Calasanctius School in Buffalo and the Northwest School in Seattle. He holds a BA in Russian Language and Literature from Dartmouth College and an MA in Russian Studies from the University of Washington.

Mr. Acker’s responsibilities at the Confucius Institute include budgeting and fiscal administration, event logistics, managing evening classes and tutoring, school and community outreach, hiring and supervising student assistants and independent contractors, and website management.


Ruiyao (Grace) Wang
Interim Associate Director

Professor Ruiyao (Grace) Wang is Interim Associate Director of the Confucius Institute at the University at Buffalo. Professor Wang concurrently serves as Visiting J-1 Professor in the Chinese Language Program in the UB Department of Linguistics, where she has been teaching since January 2018. While serving in Buffalo, she is on leave from her position as Associate Professor in the College English Department at Capital Normal University, where she has twice received the Outstanding Teacher Award (2015 and 2016).

Professor Wang’s responsibilities at the Confucius Institute include training Chinese language teachers in the Buffalo area, organizing academic lectures and symposia related to Chinese culture, administering HSK and YCT Chinese language tests, conducting research on best practices in foreign language education.


Yuejia Wang
Graduate Assistant

Yuejia Wang is a PhD student in the Educational Culture, Society and Policy Program in the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education. Her responsibilities at the Confucius Institute include publication design, translation, remote learning, website maintenance, event logistics and office tasks.