Orville Schell "was born in New York City in 1940, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University in Far Eastern History, was an exchange student at National Taiwan University in the 1960s, and did graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, in Chinese History where he earned a Ph.D (Abd). He has worked for the Ford Foundation in Indonesia, covered the war in Indochina as a journalist, and travelled widely in China.
"He is also a contributor to such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Granta, Wired, Newsweek, Mother Jones, The China Quarterly, and The New York Review of Books.
"Schell has been the recipient of several writing fellowships from the Alicia Patterson Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center and is the winner of numerous awards, including the Harvard/Stanford Shorenstein Award for Asian Journalism, Overseas Press Club of America's Award for The Best Article on a Foreign Subject, a Mencken Award for the Best Feature and a Page One Award for the Best Investigative Story.
"The author of fourtenn fourteen books, nine of them about China, a the contributor to numerous edited volumes, his most recent books are "Virtual Tibet: Searching for Shangrila From the Himalayas To Hollywood," The China Reader: The Reform Years," and "Mandate of Heaven: The Legacy of Tiananmen Square and the Next Generation of China's Leaders." He has also served as a television commentator for several network news programs, has worked both as correspondent and a correspondent and consultant for a number PBS "Frontline" documentaries and been the correspondent for an Emmy award-winning program for"60 minutes" segment.
"Schell serves on the boards of Human Rights Watch, the [[Sundance Documentary Fund]] jury, and the Social Science Research Council. He is also a member of the Pacific Council, the Council on Foreign Relations and a regular particpant in the World Economic Forum at Davos.
"Schell is currently the Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley." 
He is also the founder of the Pacific News Service.
Board and Professional Society Affiliations
- Member - Council on Foreign Relations (1992-present) Membership committee.
- Board Member– The Social Science Research Council (2001-present).
- Jury- Sundance Documentary Film Fund (2001-present)
- Media Leader - The Davos World Economic Forum (1998-present)
- Jury – The Dan David Prize (2003)
- Jury - The Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award (1997-2004)
- Jury - The Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. (1998-2000)
- Advisory Board, The New Perspectives Fund, The Capital Group (1996-2003)
- Jury - The National Magazine Awards. (1998-2001)
- Member - Pacific Council (1992- present)
- Research Associate - Center For Chinese Studies, University of California, Berkeley.
- Consultant – Frontline and Frontline/World, WGBH-Boston.
- Member - The Global Business Network (1985-2004)
- Vice Chair -Human Rights Watch/Asia Advisory Board.
- Board Member - Human Rights Watch Board. (1989-present)
- Member - National Committee on U.S. China Relations. (1984-present)
- Center for Investigative Reporting: Advisory Board.
- World Affairs Council of San Francisco: Board Member. (1999-present)
- Member of the core founding group of the Dalai Lama Foundation
- Advisory Board, Human Rights Center of the University of California
- Advisory Board, China Digital Times
- Executive Committee, Institute of International Studies 
- Member, Committee of 100 for Tibet 
- Press Commission, American Institutions of Democracy
- Founding Chair, John Merck Fund
- Editorial Advisory Board, Chinadialogue.net 
- Advisory Board, Edible Schoolyard Project