Joseph (Jody) Segar

China Program Director

B.A. East Asian Studies, Oberlin College

M.A. Anthropology (Ph.D. ABD), Stanford University

Jody grew up in the woods of New England but woke up one day to find that massive Chinese cities had come to feel just as familiar. Jody has traveled to more than 25 countries and thrives on the experience of new places and cultures, but has been pulled back to China again and again since his first visit in 1996. Since that time, he has spent more than a decade living, working, studying, conducting research, and keeping up with many friends all over China.

Jody has worked in China as a teacher, a financial reporter, the host of the Chinese television program, Chongqing Today, a guide on the Yangtze River, a musician, an advertising designer, a writer and editor, and most recently, in the field of Study Abroad. Before joining Dragons, Jody spent several years conducting doctoral field research in the city of Chongqing, listening to the stories of people doing all kinds of street work and illicit work, from street porters, to fortune tellers, sex workers, food vendors, street doctors, drug dealers, monkey trainers and petty criminals.

Fluent in Mandarin, Jody has lived and traveled all over China, independently and leading student groups, always learning at least as much from students and others along the way. He is drawn especially to the remote areas of China’s southwest and far northwest. He is somewhat obsessed with the city of Chongqing, where he’s also become fluent in the local version of Sichuan dialect, because he always finds new winding alleys to explore, both literal and historical.

When he’s not wrapped up in a passionate discussion about social change in China or sampling a new variety of tea, Jody enjoys songwriting, exploring almost anyplace on foot, making a mess with oil pastels, Jamaican music, playing tennis, cooking without recipes, managing an addiction to talk radio, and growing things.