Qi Li graduated from the management & organizations department of the S.C. Johnson College of Business at Cornell University. Her research focuses on corporate social responsibility, sustainable business and business model innovation for private enterprises in emerging economics. Prior to enrolling at Johnson, Qi was a research assistant to the director of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. Qi holds an MPA from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and an MBA from the Olin Business School at Babson College, where she received a full merit scholarship. Before coming to Harvard, Qi was an entrepreneur in China who launched a successful education venture (later acquired). She has also interned at the U.S. Congress (House of Representatives), the Development Research Center of the State Council of China, and the China Development Bank. Qi has also served as the president of the Harvard Kennedy School Chinese Students and Scholars Association. Through her student leadership role at HKS, Qi has developed a deep understanding of Chinese political dynamics via her numerous collaborations and interactions with minister and deputy-minister level members of the Chinese Leadership.


Corporate social responsibility

Non-market strategy 


Social enterprise

Business model innovation

Awards and Honors
  • 2020
  • 2018
  • 01


    2019 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding self-financed Students Abroad

  • 02


    Best IACMR Reviewer

  • 03


    Kwok Leung Memorial Dissertation Fund Award

Academic Publications

1. Ji, Junkang, Zhi Huang, and Qi Li. "Guilty and Corporate Philanthropy: The Case of the Epic Privatization in China." Academy of Management Journal ja (2020).

2. Marquis, Christopher, Qi Li and Kunyuan Qiao. 2017 “The Chinese Collectivist Model of Charity” Stanford Social Innovation Review, 15(3): 40-47.

3. Marquis, Christopher and Qi Li. “Beacon Group of Hong Kong: Finding Light in the Shadow Education Industry.” (Harvard Business School Case 415-082), June, 2015.

4. Marquis, Christopher, Qi Li. “Fei Ni Mo Shu (You are the One) and the Chinese Employment Market.” (Harvard Business School Case 415-081), June, 2015.

5. Marquis, Christopher, and Qi Li. “Continental Hope Group.” (Harvard Business School Case 415-050), January 2015


Works in Progress:

1. Qi Li, 2020. The Impact of Entrepreneurs’ Political Commitment on Charitable Donations

2. Qi Li. 2020. Political Uncertainty Dynamics and Corporate Donations: A Study of Publicly Traded Firms in China