Chen Zhili, born in November 1942, native of Xianyou, Fujian Province; joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in January 1961; associate research fellow.
Studied in the Physics Department of Fudan University, majoring in solid-state physics, in 1959-1964; postgraduate at Shanghai Institute of Silicate of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 1964-1968.
Labored in Danyang Lake Farm affiliated to the No. 6409 Army Unit of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in 1968-1970; intern and associate research fellow at the Shanghai Institute of Silicate of CAS in 1970-1980; visiting scholar at the material research institute of the Pennsylvania State University, United States, in 1980-1982.
Associate research fellow of the Shanghai Institute of Silicate of CAS, and deputy secretary of CPC Committee of the institute in 1982-1984; deputy secretary and secretary of Science and Technology Work Committee of CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee, head of Publicity Department of CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee in 1984-1988; a member of the Standing Committee, and head of Publicity Department, of CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee in 1988-1989.
Deputy secretary and head of Publicity Department of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee in 1989-1991; deputy secretary of CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee in 1991-1997; secretary of the Leading Party Members' Group, and vice minister, of State Education Commission in 1997-1998; minister of education, secretary of the Leading Party Members' Group of the Ministry of Education since 1998 (studied in the Party School of the CPC Central Committee in September-November 2001).
State Councilor since March 2003.
Alternate member of the 13th and 14th CPC Central Committees; member of the 15th and 16th CPC Central Committees.