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About usHow to find usdr. Y. (Yongjun) Zhao

dr. Y. Zhao

International Cooperation Adviser; Associate Professor in Integrated Rural-Urban Development and Governance
dr. Y. Zhao

Dr. Yongjun Zhao joined the Faculty of Spatial Sciences on 1 October 2017 as Program Director for the faculty’s operation at the University of Groningen’s branch campus in Yantai, China. From September 2018 onwards, he is the International Cooperation Adviser serving the Faculty Board, and Associate Professor in Integrated Rural-Urban Development and Governance with the Department of Cultural Geography. 

Dr. Zhao’s research is focused on the social and institutional dimensions of integrated rural and urban development, environmental governance and natural resource management, concerning in particular the interface between land use planning, land tenure, public participation, civil society engagement and public-private partnership in development and environmental planning processes and rural-urban governance in China. The other pillar of his research is China's role in international development especially in Africa in the agricultural and urban development sectors from aid effectiveness, sustainable development planning and governance perspectives.

From 2012 to 2017, Dr. Zhao was the Head of China Affairs and Assistant Professor of Globalisation Studies and Humanitarian Action at the Globalisation Studies Groningen (GSG), Faculty of Arts. From 2009 to 2012, he was Assistant Professor of Land Tenure and Administration at the Faculty of Law. From 2007 to 2009, he was Project Manager and Researcher, focusing on land tenure and land governance in China at the Centre for Development Studies of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen.

Prior to joining the University of Groningen, he was the Institutional and Sustainable Livelihoods/Governance Adviser at the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in China (2004-2007). He was the Executive Director at the Centre for Environment, Development and Poverty Alleviation in China (2003-2004).

Dr. Zhao has over 18 years of research and project management experiences in multiple sectors ranging from business, non-profit, international development to academia in China, South Africa, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

Dr. Zhao holds PhD in Spatial Sciences with a disciplinary focus of development studies from the University of Groningen, Masters in Environment and Society and Bachelors (Hons) in Anthropology from the University of Pretoria, and Bachelors in Social Anthropology and Economic History from the University of Natal (now Kwazulu-Natal) in South Africa.

Last modified:26 September 2018 12.15 p.m.

Contact information

Landleven 1
9747 AD Groningen
The Netherlands

Mercator Building