Dr Xuehua Zhang 

Board Director, Chair of the Sustainability Subcommittee of the Homeward Bound Board

Xuehua Zhang is Chief Scientist and Senior Fellow of the Lishui Institute of Ecology and Environment (LIEE) at Nanjing University. Xuehua received her PhD from Emmet Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources at Stanford University. Her area of research interests is decentralized waste management (e.g., community composting of bio-waste), environmental governance, environmental and climate policy, public participation and environmental legal institutions. Before LIEE, she was professor of environmental policy at Sichuan University (2013-2017), China.

Before attending Stanford, Xuehua was a policy analyst at Resources for the Future (RFF), a prominent environmental economics think-tank in Washington DC and a consultant at the World Bank. She has contributed to the international policy community and its understanding about the actual functions and operations of China’s environmental regulatory system, mostly through providing consulting services to governments and international organizations. This includes UNEP, Energy Foundation, US Environmental Protection Agency, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Council, Ministry of Environmental Protection of China, and Climate Policy Initiative in San Francisco.

In 2016, Xuehua led a year-long in-depth study on the decentralized waste management innovations in Bengaluru, India, in collaboration with a prominent Indian environmental think-thank. The decentralized approach involves citywide mandatory separation of waste at household levels and composting of food waste at source. After completing the study, she worked with a local NGO in Chengdu on designing and implementing a demonstrating project involving the community composting of food waste in a community in Chengdu, China. Since early 2019, she has been leading a national project of the community composting by working with a dozen of environmental NGOs and communities throughout China. The project contains communities in 10 different cities covering 9 provinces and gained widespread influence in the nation.

Xuehua is an Homeward Bound 2 alumna and is currently sitting on the Board of Directors of Homeward Bound. Through the HB global network, she is eager to learn how the communities in other parts of the world deal with their waste problems in a climate friendly way. In particular, how the community composting helps promoting resource recovery, climate mitigation, climate neutral, organic farming etc. She is also very interested in how local tradition, culture, socio-economic conditions, environmental perceptions and sustainable practice affect the community composting. Any stories are welcome.