Li Zou

CSD International Director,
Director of the Global Assets Project

Li Zou, MBA, MSW, is International Director at the Center for Social Development (CSD). She leads CSD’s international asset-building work, and directed the five-year large-scale YouthSave Project in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal. She has contributed to CSD’s consulting and research efforts on asset-building policy and children’s savings accounts for governments in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and South Korea. Ms. Zou has coauthored articles on asset- building for and guest-edited several international academic journals, and publishes in both English and Mandarin. Also, she is the Co-Director of the Next Age Institute. Part of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy, the institute is a partnership between Washington University and the National University of Singapore. Ms. Zou holds a master’s in Social Work and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to her current appointment, she worked for CGAP housed at the World Bank on advancing financial access for the poor in China.


China: Inclusive Asset-Based Policy

Global Asset Building

We assist China with creating its first asset-building program and conduct ongoing research with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Global Assets Project

Global Asset Building

Our collaboration with the New America Foundation’s Asset Building Program seeks to inform and promote development of asset-building policies and programs worldwide. 

Hong Kong: Child Development Fund

Global Asset Building

We provided policy and research design support to the government of Hong Kong as it developed a proposal for a national Child Development Fund. 

Hungary and Slovakia: Matched Savings Initiatives

Global Asset Building

Our pilot programs focused on the rural poor with the goal of encouraging low-income families to save for assets for a better life.

Indonesia: Asset-Based Policy Development

Global Asset Building

With the Indonesian Ministry of Social Welfare and State Islamic University, we designed an asset-based pilot to be implemented in poor areas of Indonesia.

Peru and Colombia: Asset Building Initiatives

Global Asset Building

We provide policy and research design support to nongovernmental organizations in Peru and Colombia as they develop three asset-based poverty alleviation initiatives. 

Singapore: Post-Secondary Education Account Policy

Global Asset Building

The policy set up an account for every Singaporean ages 7 to 20. It is one of three asset-building programs that create a cradle-to-grave asset-building system for all.  

South Korea: Asset-Based Policy Development

Global Asset Building

We provide policy and research design support to the government of South Korea as it develops and implements programs that focus on social investment. 


Global Asset Building

This initiative in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya and Nepal was to understand conditions for delivery of savings products and services to improve the lives of low-income youth.