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2003-2004 - Dai Qing

Weissberg ChairDai Qing is a prominent Chinese dissident intellectual, environmentalist, and investigative journalist. Trained as a guided missile engineer, Dai originally worked in Chinese military intelligence before becoming an independent journalist. She drew the ire of the government in the mid-1980s when she became an outspoken advocate against the controversial Three Gorges Dam, a massive dam five times wider than the Hoover Dam that raised major environmental concerns. Dai completely broke with the Communist Party after the Tiananmen conflict. "My mission is in China," Dai said. "I will not say, OK, I will leave China and have a better life. This is where I am supposed to be − serving as the conscience (of the nation) in the spirit of the public intellectual."