Chinese Now!

4630 Montgomery Avenue, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814                                       Phone: +1 301 785 3892                                                 E-mail: [email protected]

Our Staff

When you email, call, or visit, you’ll be getting in touch with our office staff including:

Paul Boesen, Managing Director, has a background in education including experience in international program development and administration, as well as university admissions and enrollment management. Prior to his career in education, Paul worked in investment banking and private equity for the Goldman Sachs Group in New York, Frankfurt, and Singapore; and for the World Economic Forum in Geneva and Beijing. Paul’s academic background is in economics, Asian studies, and law, and he is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard Law School. In addition to his work at Chinese Now!, Paul serves as the owner and director of English Now!, a well-established English language school which hosts Chinese Now! programs. Paul has longstanding experience related to China. In addition to his work in education, Paul serves as Senior Advisor to the GreenPoint Group, a Washington, DC- and Beijing-based strategic advisory firm that connects people and resources between the United States and China. He was also the first Executive Director of (and still serves as a Special Advisor to) the US-China Education Trust, a Washington-based non-profit organization whose mission is to promote US-China relations through education and exchange for China’s next-generation leaders. Finally, he currently serves on the Steering Committee of the 100,000 Strong Foundation's One Million Strong Initiative, which has set an ambitious goal to increase the number of American K-12 students studying Mandarin Chinese five-fold by 2020. Paul resides in Falls Church, Virginia, with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children.

Kirstie Boyette serves as the Center Manager at English Now!, providing support to Chinese Now. Kirstie was originally born in the Philippines and moved to the United States when she was six years old. She grew up in Gainesville, Florida and attended the University of Florida and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Agricultural Economics. After graduating from college, Kirstie served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. In her 27 months in Thailand, Kirstie focused on working in the areas of gender and development, income generation, theater, and teaching basic English to primary school students. Kirstie is a recent transplant to Washington, DC and hopes to eventually pursue a career in international youth development. In her free time, Kirstie enjoys cooking and baking, traveling, spending time with family and friends and watching college football.

Chang Yen is a Chinese Language Instructor for Chinese Now!, working with adults and particularly our high-level students. Ms. Chang has taught Chinese at the university level in the United States for over twenty years, including at the University of Michigan and George Washington University.  She has also taught classes to the staff of the US Department of Commerce. She was born and raised in Taiwan, where she completed her university studies.  She then taught at the Stanford University Language Center in Taipei, before relocating to the US.  Ms. Chang also works as a broadcaster for Voice of America and resides in Rockville, Maryland.

Hong Guo (whose English name is Susanna Barratt) is a Chinese Language Instructor for Chinese Now! and was born in Chengdu, China. She majored in and received her bachelor's degree in English Education from Southwest Normal University in Chongqing. Susanna was a top student at the university level. She was awarded scholarships in recognition of her studies, and upon graduation pursued her love of travel through work with Air China and a job with an international adventure tour company. She later moved to Shanghai, where she taught Chinese to American college students at Global Education Alliance. Susanna loves teaching and has worked with children and adults. She is encouraging and patient, but encourages a diligent approach to the study of a challenging but rewarding language. She also loves cooking (and eating!) spicy Sichuan food.

Emilie Kao serves as an Advisor to Chinese Now! Emilie is Executive Director and co-founder of Kids World USA Co., a Benefit Corporation which provides safe, guided, peer-to-peer video exchanges to students in the U.S. and China. Kids World and Chinese Now! collaborate to provide American students of Chinese Now! the opportunity to engage with their peers in China. Previously, Emilie served as senior counsel at the law firm of Jus Cogens, LLC in Washington D.C. She was the East Asia Pacific Team Leader at the Office of International Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State from 2005-12. She taught international human rights law at George Mason University Law School, was the Director of International Advocacy at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, worked at the United Nations Compensation Commission in Geneva and at the law firm of Latham and Watkins. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and graduate from Harvard Law School (1999) Harvard College (1996 cum laude) where she majored in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (1996). She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and California Bar. 

Yu Bo (English name: Maria) is a Chinese language instructor for Chinese Now! She was born in Changchun, Jilin, China. She received her bachelor’s degree in education technology and pedagogical techniques and her master’s degree in education from Jilin Normal University. Yu Bo holds China’s highest Chinese language education certificate, the Certificate for Teachers of Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages from the Confucius Institute Headquarters. She taught Chinese language and culture to foreign students at Central China Normal University. Yu Bo has also worked as a private tutor, teaching foreign students Chinese in person and online. She has helped students of all ages, nationalities, and levels better understand the Chinese language. Yu Bo enjoys teaching Chinese, for it is her belief that language learning allows us to stop being strangers and start being friends.

Zhang Xiaomeng (who goes by the English name Eva) was born and raised in China. A graduate of the University of Maryland, she has taught Chinese at Cedar Grove Elementary School, William Sims Elementary School, Rockville Chinese School, Hope Chinese School, and in the afternoon program at Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School. Eva tells parents, “I believe that kids learn Chinese language and culture best in a joyful atmosphere. I love to set challenging goals for learning, making expectations clear both orally and in writing, to encourage students to write and speak well, and to keep my students interested in learning. I am here to help them become the best they can be. I look forward to teaching your children and to welcome them to Ms. Eva’s classroom family! Any thoughts and concerns regarding your child are important to me!”

Zhou Jing teaches Chinese language part-time in the summers for Chinese Now! Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Jing was an English teacher in China. After moving to the U.S. Jing earned a Master's degree from University of Maryland with a major in World Language Education. Jing has taught in a Title One program in a Chinese language immersion school in Washington, D.C., and she has rich experience in working with young children. Jing currently teaches during the academic year in an immersion school in Delaware, where she serves as a Chinese immersion lead teacher.