Yi-Ching Ong will become the new executive director of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University, taking over from Tom Schnaubelt, who served as the Haas Center’s executive director from 2009 to 2022 and is now a lecturer and senior advisor on civic education at Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.

Yi-Ching Ong portrait

Yi-Ching Ong (Image credit: Dan Komoda)

With a strong background in service learning, civic engagement, and university leadership, Ong is well positioned to lead the center’s efforts in promoting public service and community engagement among students.

“I am so excited to welcome Yi-Ching into leadership at the Haas Center,” said Juliet Brodie, the faculty director of the center. “She has exactly the blend of executive and strategic skills with commitment to the university as an engine of public good that we need to drive the Haas Center and Cardinal Service forward. I know she will bring a fresh perspective to our work, and I cannot wait for our colleagues campuswide and our community partners to meet her and start this new chapter together.”

Ong comes to Stanford from Princeton University, where she served as senior associate director of experiential learning and service focus program director at the Pace Center for Civic Engagement. In this role, Ong worked with a team to develop and offer internships, fellowships, and other programs to support students in engaging with societal issues and learning from community partners.

Before her time at the Pace Center, Ong served as an associate research scholar and lecturer in the Global Health Program at Princeton and as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at Columbia University. She holds a PhD in microbiology and immunology from Stanford University, a Master of Philosophy degree in development studies from Oxford University, and an undergraduate degree in biochemical sciences from Harvard University.

“It is an honor and a delight to return to Stanford,” said Ong. “The Haas Center has a long legacy of excellence, and I am excited to continue the work of integrating a lens of public service and community engagement into higher education and research.”

The Haas Center is part of the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, but also has a close relationship with the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

“As a graduate student at Stanford, I deeply appreciated the multidisciplinary environment that fostered both learning and innovation,” Ong added. “I am looking forward to supporting students at all levels, faculty, and partners across the seven schools to further connect Stanford’s incredible research and educational resources with public service.”

Ong’s educational philosophy focuses on challenging students to incorporate community needs and perspectives as they produce and apply knowledge. This aligns with the mission of the Haas Center to promote public service and community engagement among students in pursuit of a more just and sustainable world, as well as Stanford’s vision to prepare students for lives of active citizenship.

“I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Yi-Ching back to Stanford in her role as executive director of the Haas Center for Public Service,” said Sarah Church, vice provost for undergraduate education. “The Haas Center is a vital component of VPUE’s programming as we implement the Stanford Vision and work to make public service an essential part of a Stanford education. Yi-Ching will bring to our community both familiarity with Stanford and fresh ideas from her years in leadership at Princeton. I am excited to welcome her to the team.”

Stacey Bent, vice provost for graduate education, added: “Yi-Ching is well-positioned to continue the Haas Center’s expansion of community-engaged and public service oriented opportunities for Stanford graduate students. As a former Stanford graduate student herself, with her own experience in community-engaged research at both Princeton and Columbia, Yi-Ching will come to us understanding the graduate student ecosystem. I look forward to her insights and ideas and am excited to work with her.”

Ong will begin in her new role on July 17. She may be contacted by email through the Haas Center.

About the Haas Center

The Haas Center for Public Service inspires Stanford University to realize a just and sustainable world through service, scholarship, and community partnerships. It is the hub of Cardinal Service, a university-wide effort to make service an essential feature of a Stanford education. Since 1985, the Haas Center for Public Service has been connecting Stanford students with opportunities to serve communities locally, nationally, and around the world.