Xiaoyong Zhang received her MSc degree in agricultural economics and Phd in consumer behaviour at Wageningen University. She started her academic career at Wageningen Economic Research where her research interest covers consumer behaviour related to food consumption and supply chain economics in developing countries. She published in a number of academic journals, including Public Health Nutrition, Food Policy, International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Journal of Consumer Studies, The Journal of Peasant Studies, etc.
After a successful academic path, Dr Zhang made a switch to international collaboration by joining then Wageningen International, later merged as Corporate Strategy and Account of Wageningen University & Research (WUR). At her current position as China Coordinator, she ensures that WUR chooses and pursues the right strategic course toward collaboration with Chinese partners, by providing high quality strategic advice for WUR and being ‘critical friend’ stimulating OneWUR when applicable. Dr Zhang catalyses and coordinates WUR-wide strategic initiatives by proactively and together with stakeholders formulating, co-creating, facilitating and advising on strategic themes. Being the linking pin by connecting the organisation internally (OneWUR) with external stakeholders, Dr Zhang is committed to develop sustainable strategic relationships with Chinese partners.
Although agri-food systems are transforming rapidly due to the technology development, Dr Zhang has managed on seasonal vegetable plots on an ongoing basis since her early days as an undergraduate agricultural economics student in Beijing. It remains her main hobby in life. It is her way of identifying with farmers and their labour input and constraints alongside her professional career in food production and consumption.