Yi Zhao

Ph.D. Candidate

Yi is an organizational sociologist interested in understanding how social structure and institutions influence businesses to have a positive impact on society. As a “CSR person”, he also studies social entrepreneurship, nonprofit organizations, and the civil society. His work on how founder's gender mitigates the challenge of social enterprises in securing funding was recently awarded by the School of Sociology the first place for the 2019 Raymond Bowers Outstanding Graduate Student Paper.

Yi's dissertation exmines the rising industry of social impact investment, a new form of financing available to organizations generating both social and financial return. Specifically, this project aims to understand how patterns of social interaction in the local community affect an enterprise’s likelihood of being invested. In general, Yi hopes that his research in these above areas could contribute to a better understanding of the social embeddedness of business organizations and their societal impacts.

Prior to joining the program in 2014, Yi was a fellow at the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA), where he earned the M.P.A. degree with the support of the merit scholarships during his whole study. Yi used to work as a translator for the Delegation of European Union to China. In 2008, he proudly served as an Olympic volunteer in Beijing.