Any major shift in the strategic development of a country cannot be achieved without the presence of a large, unified group of governing elites who support the plan. Hu Jintao's New Deal is no exception. An analysis of the 29 top provincial leaders appointed since Hu became president of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in March 2003 shows that he has selected many like-minded provincial leaders to carry out his New Deal policies. Most of these new provincial leaders are relatively young; they typically advanced their careers from the grass roots and local administration; most have postgraduate degrees (mainly in economics, the social sciences, and the humanities); and many worked in rural areas early in their careers and later gained experience by managing large cities. Many had close ties with Hu during the early years of their careers as Chinese Communist Youth League (CCYL) officials. Equally significantly, the experience and outlook of many of these provincial chiefs mirror those of their role models Hu and Wen, in terms of their substantial work experience in China's inland region as well as the image of themselves they choose to present to the general public.