Three Cornellians named Schwarzman Scholars

Shawn Haq ’20, Daniel James II ’22 and Xiaochen (Brian) Ren ’22 were elected to join the seventh cohort of Schwarzman Scholars, a program that nurtures a network of future global leaders.

This year’s class of 151 scholars represents 33 countries and 106 universities. They were selected from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants, based on their exemplary leadership qualities and strength of character and their potential to address pressing global issues and deepen cross-cultural connections.

In August 2022, the scholars will attend Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University in Beijing for a one-year master’s program in global affairs.

Haq graduated from Cornell with a bachelor’s degree in government and East Asian studies. While a student in the College of Arts and Sciences, he was a national debate champion, and he has taught congressional debate at Stanford University and lectured at the U.S. Army War College.

Haq worked for now-Vice President Kamala Harris’s 2016 Senate campaign and in her Senate office. He currently serves as a China analyst for the U.S. government and has authored briefings for President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. He plans to pursue a career in foreign policy to help shape the U.S.-China relationship.

James is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. A native of South Carolina, he has been president of ILR Student Government Association, a TEDx speaker and legislative aide for U.S. House Majority Whip James Clyburn. In the spring, he will serve as co-president of ILR’s Minority Student Organization.

James founded and hosts a podcast and radio show, Black Voices on the Hill, that amplifies the stories of Black people and addresses issues such as racism, policing and low-income experiences. His guests have included student leaders, entrepreneurs, trustees and U.S. Congress members. As a Schwarzman Scholar, James plans to create policy proposals that alleviate rural poverty in affected agricultural communities in China and hopes these policy frameworks can be applied to other rural communities across the world. He aspires to run for elected office and work to eradicate poverty and mass incarceration in Black, indigent communities.

Ren, who is from China, is currently pursuing his master’s degree in public administration from the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, part of the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, having earned two bachelor’s degrees in electronic information engineering and economics at Beihang University and Peking University. In Beijing, he received an Outstanding Graduate Student award. His research on macroeconomics and financial regulation has been published in two Chinese academic journals.

Ren is devoted to inclusive development. He has participated in health poverty alleviation programs in some of the poorest areas in China, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, he led a team to consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru on ways to help vulnerable people.

Media Contact

Abby Butler