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2022 Top 20 Impact Makers Honorees

Nancy J. Li
2022 Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker Award


Awards Presentation

Saturday, May 28, 2022

The St. Regis Houston

Nancy J. Li believes education shapes the future of the individual and the community. A doer and a leader, she has devoted her life to the mission and passion of improving public education.


Nancy is the founder and president of Easton Resource Development, Inc., an educational consultant company. In addition to her professional work, she is an educational and community activist and serves on multiple nonprofit organizations. 

Having grown up in Communist China in the 1960s, Nancy experienced first-hand challenges of food shortage on a daily basis and getting a good education. During her youth, colleges were closed for 10 years for so-called “Culture Revolution” in China.  However, as she came close to graduating, universities reopened. Though the selection processes were very competitive, with less than a two percent acceptance rate, Nancy was fortunate enough to be accepted at her hometown university in Qiqihar. After successfully completing college, she began her career as an assistant professor till 1996 when she immigrated to Houston.


Early hardship taught Nancy to be strong and face many challenges with optimism. It also cemented her firm belief that education is vital in shaping the future for the young and drove her to be an advocate for education for everyone. She has become actively involved in the cause through community outreach and speaking engagements and has been the key organizer, speaker, and fundraiser of many local and international events. Nancy has also worked tirelessly for global leadership development with many academic institutions like Rice University, Texas Southern University and St. Thomas University. 


As a community leader, Nancy received the 2010 Leadership and Ambassador Award along with former Houston Mayor Anise Parker. In 2016, she was recognized as one of the Top 30 Influential Women in Houston, and her alma mater in China acknowledged Nancy as one of their 30 most distinguished graduates in the past 60 years for her accomplishments in the United States. 


In a volunteer capacity, Nancy currently serves as Board Secretary and Trustee for Houston Holocaust Museum, Board Chair of the US China Peoples Friendship Association Houston, Vice Chairman of International WWII Museums Alliance, Advisory Board member of Cameron Business School of St. Thomas University Houston, Chairman of OCA Advisory Board, and Trustee of American Leadership Forum.


Her strong passion for, and dedication to, education and underserved communities became even more powerful after her marriage to Dr. Soner Tarim, who is one of the national pioneers of STEM education. Dr. Tarim founded and led one of the largest charter school systems in the nation. Together, Nancy and her husband focus on serving and developing students through Royal Public Schools, their newest charter school system. The first campus recently opened in San Antonio.


Through education, Nancy continues to work with local and global leaders to make the world a more peaceful and better place for all.


It is for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, that Nancy J. Li has been named a Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker for 2022. 

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