Lanyan Chen


Prof. Lanyan Chen has a PhD in Sociology from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, and brings a decolonizing and feminist political economy perspective to her areas of research. In this project she is dedicated to the analysis of the finances of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and collaborations of communities committed to reconciliation within Ontario and across Canada. As a researcher, she takes her role seriously in spreading knowledge and working with people to discover a way forward. This approach reflects her experiences with several United Nations appointments, including the UNIFEM Gender Advisor for Northeast Asia based in Beijing from 1998 to 2003, a position from which she was able to create change through projects, campaigns, and mobilization of people and communities. She has had numerous appointments as a Gender Expert, working on the design, implementation, and evaluation of large-scale projects and programs in support of compliance to international human rights standards and good governance. She has also initiated situational analyses by way of surveys and field visits, interviews and focus groups, and has led training workshops on participatory, action-oriented methodology, gender analysis, human rights commitments, gender statistics, and social assessment. Her most recent participation in the evaluation of UNFPA’s country program in China is available on her university website.


Prof. Lanyan Chen publishes in both English and Chinese and her authored books, journal articles, contributed chapters, and other publications deal with gender issues, social inequality, and democratic governance. She is the author of Gender and Chinese Development: Towards an Equitable Society, and an editor of Women in China since 1995, in English and in Chinese, she is the author of Gender Statistics and China’s Harmonious Development under the MDGs and an editor of Gender Mainstreaming in Poverty Alleviation and the MDGs. Her articles have appeared in China Quarterly, Gender and Development, Oxford Handbook sand Feminist Economics.

Awards and distinctions

While her published research has mostly focused on China, she is increasingly conducting research on Canada and is the Award Holder of an SSHRC’s Partnership Development Grant on Promoting Reconciliation through Collaboration on a Forum for Regional Development (2018-2021) and a co-applicant in two other successful SSHRC funded projects: Combating Sex Trafficking in Northeastern Ontario, and Évaluation du rôle et des actions de fondations subventionnaires canadiennes en réponse à l’enjeu des inégalités sociales et des défis environnementaux. She is also a collaborator in a Grand Challenge Canada project on working with South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda and a project funded by United Nations Gender Facility Fund, working with Tibetan women in Yunnan, China, both for the purpose of promoting cooperatives to improve livelihoods and resilience. She received a Nipissing University Research Achievement Award in 2015.


She likes to swim in Ontario lakes in the summer, snowshoes regularly in the winter and enjoys kayaking, often in the company of loons.