Professor Mao is an economist who has held positions at Harvard University, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Beijing Institute of Economics. He has been chairman of the Unirule Institute of Economics, a private non-profit research institution, since 1999. The institute's mission is promoting, supporting and also conducting high quality research in economics and other social sciences. Since its foundation, Unirule has focused on practical research, based on the belief that economics should be employed for the enhancement of the well being of society as a whole.
Professor Mao is also co-founder of the Fuping Development Institute (FDI), a non-profit organization that focuses on:
- Promoting the growth of civil society and the development of NGOs;
- Expediting social investment and supporting social enterprises;
- Encouraging environmental protection and sustainable development;
- Promoting the reform of educational systems and developing vocational education and further education;
- Promoting integrated community development.
FDI's main projects include Leadership for Environment and Development, Pathways to Higher Education, Micro Finance, Strengthening Capacity of NGO for a Harmonious Society, Fuping Vocational Training Program, Social Support Network for Domestic Workers, Venture Philanthropy Partnership, Renewable Energy Education, Ford Foundation IFP Alumni Facility, and Rural Community Center for Education and Development.
In 2012, Professor Mao was awarded the CATO Institute's Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty. His acceptance speech can be viewed at this link.