Yongping Zhai graduated from the Department of Thermal Engineering of Tsinghua University in 1983. Subsequently, he studied at the Institute of Energy Policy and Economics Grenoble, France, and received Ph.D. in Energy Economics in 1989. From 1993 to 2000, he served as a Senior Energy Economist in the African Development Bank. He joined Asian Development Bank in 2000 and successively served as the energy specialist, Director (from 2010), and Chief of the Energy Sector Group (2015-July 2021) at ADB. In July 2021, he joined Tencent as Senior Advisor supporting the company’s goals.
Yongping Zhai has worked on energy development in Asia and Africa for more than 25 years. He was the former Chief of Energy Sector Group of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), in charge of overall energy policy coordination and technical support to ADB energy sector operations. He was also in charge of developing energy sector knowledge work for ADB and interacted with worldwide energy sector partners.
From 1993 to 2000, Dr. Zhai was a Principal Program Coordinator/Public Utilities Economist at the African Development Bank (AfDB) in charge of energy projects in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Between 1990 and 1993, he served as an Assistant Professor at the Energy Technology Division (Energy Policy and Planning), Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok, Thailand.
He left his position in ADB in July 2021.