June 27, 2018
The RAND Corporation notes with regret the death of Cyrus Tang, the CEO and chairman of Tang Industries, an international manufacturing and distribution company based in Las Vegas. He was a devoted philanthropist who made significant contributions to RAND.
Through his foundation, Tang donated $2 million to RAND in 2007 to establish the Tang Institute for U.S.-China Relations and another $3 million a decade later to create the Tang Chair in China Policy Studies.
“The generosity of Cyrus Tang and his family has allowed RAND to greatly broaden the scope of its research on China,” said Michael D. Rich, president and chief executive officer of RAND, a research institute based in Santa Monica, California. “His support of RAND has had, and will continue to have, far-reaching impact.”
Tang was born in China and came to the United States in 1950 as a student. His philanthropic activities in the United States and China encompassed support for public policy, community development, education, and health care. In a rare interview about his philanthropy, Tang said he deliberately employed a strategy of using philanthropy to inspire charitable impulses in others. As of 2008, he had given more than 10,000 scholarships to students in China with the stipulation that they reciprocate through community service. The experience transformed many of them from “feeling sorry for themselves to wondering what they can do to help others,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 2008.
“I believe success in life is not based on assets gained or knowledge acquired,” Tang said in the interview. “It is how we make use of what we have to contribute to society.”
The Tang Institute, part of the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy, has supported the RAND Chinese-language website, and the development of new research initiatives and joint projects with leading research institutions in China. Tang served on the board of advisors of the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy from 1999 to 2002. His son, Michael Tang, the current president of the Cyrus and Michael Tang Foundation, joined the board in 2006 and remains an active member.
The Tang Chair in China Policy Studies at RAND supports a senior scholar who undertakes research on the critical factors expected to influence China's future, particularly in education and health care.