Christine Keung

2016 Young Laureate, Environment
United States, Born 1992

Project Goal

Empower village women to reduce water and soil pollution in rural China 

Location: Northwest China

“When I became the first in my family to earn a college degree, I knew that I could use my education to insulate myself from the problems of the world, or to become a force to address them.”

As a Fulbright Research Fellow visiting China, the former home of her parents, American-educated Christine Keung was shocked at widespread evidence of water pollution – and the health risks it poses to rural families reliant on contaminated rivers for drinking supplies. So she decided to mobilize local women. Her plan, being implemented in Shaanxi Province, trains women’s groups, village doctors and farm chemical suppliers in safe ways to control and recycle agricultural, chemical and medical waste, by tracking it from the point of purchase through storage, use and disposal and by testing water and soil for toxic residues. Keung’s broader aim is to empower women as agents of change in their communities, starting with health, an issue they care deeply about.


Villages where Keung works with women, farmers and doctors on water contamination.


Keung is fluent in English, Mandarin and two Chinese dialects (Cantonese and Shanghainese).

Other 2016 Young Laureates