Henry GAO

Henry GAO

Member of FMG

Tenured law professor at Singapore Management University and Dongfang Scholar Chair Professor at Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade

Prof. Henry Gao is a tenured law professor at Singapore Management University and Dongfang Scholar Chair Professor at Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade. With law degrees from three continents, he started his career as the first Chinese lawyer at the WTO Secretariat. Before moving to Singapore in 2007, he taught law at Hong Kong University, where he was also the Deputy Director of the East Asian International Economic Law and Policy Program.


Prof. Gao is widely published in major international journals, including the top three journals in trade law: Journal of International Economic Law, World Trade Review, and Journal of World Trade. He has also published many chapters in books published by some leading international publishers, including two dozen chapters in books published by Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press.


An often-quoted expert in major international media such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, the Economist, CNN, BBC, CNBC and Channel News Asia, Prof. Gao has also been invited to speak at key international conferences in the field, including the annual meetings of the American Society of International Law, the Asian Society of International Law and the Society of International Economic Law, and the World Trade Forum organized by the World Trade Institute in Bern.


In addition to his scholarly work, Prof. Gao has been a consultant to many national governments and international organizations including the WTO, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and APEC. Prof. Gao has extensive experience in conducting executive training programs for government officials. Over the past two decades, he has designed and delivered numerous training courses for the governments of China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, Australia, as well as major international donors such as EU, Asian Development Bank and ASEAN. He was the Academic Coordinator of the Regional Trade Policy Course for Asia Pacific when it was first launched and played an instrumental role in establishing the flagship WTO technical assistance program in the region.


Prof. Gao has been on the Advisory Board of the WTO Chairs Program since 2009, when it was established by the WTO Secretariat to promote research and teaching on WTO issues in leading universities around the world. He also sits on the Advisory Board of the Hinrich Foundation, a unique Asia-based philanthropic organization that works to advance mutually beneficial and sustainable global trade. He is also the Advisor on Trade Negotiations for the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network (ARTNeT) of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.


Henry is a member of editorial boards of the Journal of International Economic Law and Journal of Financial Regulation, both published by Oxford University Press. He also sits on the Academic Board of the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition (formerly ELSA WTO Moot Court). At the invitation of the World Trade Institute, he’s currently organizing the 2021 World Trade Forum with the theme “China & the WTO: 20 Years On”, where the papers presented will be published in an edited volume by Cambridge University Press.