is Chief Conservation Officer at the Paulson Institute, where she manages the planning and execution of initiatives to protect globally significant biodiversity and ecosystems and to promote sustainable management of natural resources, particularly in China. Before joining the Institute, Niu was Managing Director of China Programs at World Wildlife Fund-US, where she coordinated all China-related work for the organization. Prior to this position, she founded the China program at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and oversaw its strategies and operations. She also served as Chief Representative and Country Program Director in China and represented TNC in its partnership with the Government of China. Niu later served as TNC’s Deputy Managing Director of the North Asia Region in the U.S. In 2003, Businessweek named Niu one of the Stars of Asia (25 Leaders at the forefront of change.)
After earning a B.Sc in Veterinary Science, Niu worked as a Quarantine Officer in Kunming Quarantine Service of the Chinese Government for ten years. She earned a M.Sc. in Natural Resources Planning and Management from the Asian Institute of Technology. After graduating, she worked as Project Manager for a Thai company in Bangkok for four years. Niu is a native Naxi, an ethnic minority group in Lijiang, Yunnan Province of China and is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese and Naxi.