The 1990 Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-political, not-for-profit organization based in San Francisco, California.

Mission & Overview

Founded in 1990, the 1990 Institute’s mission is to promote the development of a constructive relationship between the U.S. and China and to champion fair and equal treatment for Asian Americans.

China and the U.S. have the two largest economies in the world and are closely intertwined.  Global harmony relies on a constructive relationship between these two countries across many sectors, sometimes as collaborators and sometimes as competitors. The 1990 Institute believes that the two governments, businesses, institutions, organizations, and citizens will be better served by communicating honestly and frequently, learning from each other, and interacting constructively.

Through videos and panel discussions, data gathering, research, and other activities, the Institute will amplify the voices of Asian Americans, raise the visibility of key issues, and move forward toward achieving a more positive vision for our country. We want to broaden the understanding of issues faced by the U.S. and China and illuminate the impact this relationship has on Asian Americans and indeed all Americans.

The 1990 Institute also believes that Asian Americans bring a richness to American society. We aim to bring a broader understanding of this community to the general public through educational and informational programs in order to reduce misunderstanding and mistrust, and to foster positive and constructive relationships among all members of American society. From Chinatown to the suburbs, from working the fields to working in labs, from starting businesses to working in government or hospitals, Asian Americans are making contributions to the U.S. way of life – just like others.

The 1990 Institute has a long history of working to improve U.S.-China relations and we will bring this experience to the national dialogue on Asian Americans. We invite you to join our mailing list, check out our programs, volunteer, and get involved with us.


The 1990 Institute was founded by a group of prominent academic, business, and community leaders with a deep interest in U.S.-China relations. It began as a think tank with a focus on major economic and social issues related to China. We published books and issued papers and sponsored U.S.-China conferences and exchanges for scholars. In our second decade, as more and more institutions began to study and analyze China, we shifted our focus to poverty alleviation and developed education and philanthropic programs in China in the areas of rural girls’ education, cross-cultural exchanges, and microfinance.

In our third decade, as China developed economically and brought hundreds of millions of its people into the middle class, we again shifted our activities to focus on educational and cultural programs for American educators and youth. China’s rise in global affairs has necessitated a greater understanding of how China affects the U.S. and vice versa.

We are now starting our fourth decade and again the world has changed significantly.  There is a growing concern in the U.S. of China’s rise to prominence and the world is reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic. This has resulted in a growing adversarial relationship between the two countries and an increase in anti-Asian American sentiment. Consequently, the 1990 Institute will focus on informing the American public on the similarities and differences in U.S. and Chinese society and how they impact each one of us as individuals. We will also showcase the lives of Asian Americans as an integral part of America’s heritage. Read more.

Contact Us

1990 Institute
P. O. Box 383
San Francisco, CA 94104