Dr. Weifeng Zhong is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. His work focuses on bridging the field of natural language processing and machine learning to economic policy studies. His other research interests include political economy, US-China economic relations, China's economic issues, and fairness in artificial intelligence applications.
Dr. Zhong is a core maintainer of the open-source Policy Change Index (PCI) project, a framework that uses machine learning to "read" large volumes of propaganda text and facilitate inferences on policy issues. The project’s first use cases include predicting China's major policy changes, predicting how likely the Chinese government is to crack down on Hong Kong protesters, and gauging the true scale of COVID-19 in China. The PCI framework has received significant academic interest and media coverage.
Dr. Zhong has been published in a variety of scholarly journals. His work have also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, The Diplomat, Politico, The National Interest, Washington Examiner, Real Clear Markets, and Real Clear Politics, among others.
Previously, Dr. Zhong has been a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He has a Ph.D. and an M.Sc. in managerial economics and strategy from Northwestern University. He also holds M.Econ. and M.Phil. degrees in economics from the University of Hong Kong and a B.A. in business administration from Shantou University in China.