2022 Richard Rockefeller Fellows

The 2022 fellows hold a wide range of experience in the environmental field—including campaigning, research, and entrepreneurship. 

Songqiao Yao

Songqiao Yao is the founder of WildBound, an innovative social enterprise that uses experiential education, system-based solutions, and artistic expression to cultivate sustainability leadership and connect people and nature.

Prior to founding WildBound, Songqiao was the first Chinese participant and faculty member for Homeward Bound, the largest all-female science and leadership expedition to Antarctica. She is a researcher, activist, and entrepreneur on environmental issues in China and globally. Over the past 10 years, she has led and advised youth climate organizations and projects, worked to conserve China’s rivers as a National Geographic Global Explorer, and consulted on agriculture development projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

Songqiao received a Master of Philosophy in Geography from the University of Cambridge as a Gates Scholar and a Master of Business from the University of Oxfordas the first Skoll Scholar from China. She graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke College. She is also violinist in Beijing-based band The Queer Ecologists and is training to become a mindfulness coach.

Ada Kong

Ada Kong is senior program manager at Greenpeace East Asia, where she leads campaigns and multinational teams in the region. She works on the frontlines to protect China’s environment from industrial pollution and, since 2013, has visited more than a hundred sites throughout the country to investigate the problem firsthand. Ada negotiates with companies to improve their environmental practices and make more progressive commitments. As an expert on topics including water pollution, food security, and decarbonization strategies, she advocates for a cleaner environment through op-eds and media interviews. She also helps build the capacity of Chinese civil society by training local environmental NGOs on public campaign strategy.

Before entering the environmental sector, Ada worked at Commercial Radio Hong Kong as writer and program host. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Royal Holloway, University of London. Ada is currently based in her hometown of Hong Kong.