A graduate of Beijing Foreign Studies University and the London School of Economics and Political Science, she served as attaché to the Chinese mission in the United States of America before being appointed to serve on the IOA. She would give voice to her government's wary approach to the Stargate program. She seemed to hold Dr. Daniel Jackson in quite high regard. (SG1: "The Scourge")
Shen was among the first group of IOA delegates to travel off-world, on a tour of the Gamma Site. While there, she was not particularly impressed by what she termed the "tedious off-world research" that was the tour's focus, and expressed disappointment that it had not offered a more thorough look at the facility. When a specimen of alien bugs known as R-75 breached containment and began to devour the base personnel, she was escorted to safety by SG-1, along with the other delegates.
Ultimately, she acknowledged that her report was simply a formality, and her government's position on the Stargate program was already set. Citing the growing gap in military technology between the United States and China thanks to technology acquired off-world, Shen suggested that it might be time to remove the U.S. military from control of the Stargate program, even asking Dr. Daniel Jackson whether he would have joined a Chinese-run Stargate program and suggesting that he "someday" might be faced with that choice. (SG1: "The Scourge")
Indeed, Shen was involved in a tentative deal reached between the Chinese government and the Russian Federation, whereby the Russians would decline to renew their lease of the Stargate to the United States of America, in exchange for Chinese support in running their own Stargate program. She was present when Colonel Chekov notified Major General Henry Landry of the decision, possibly as a courtesy to Dr. Daniel Jackson, about whose whereabouts she inquired. The deal fell through when the United States offered the Russians the newest of the 304s, however. (SG1: "Crusade")
When a pair of Wraith Hive Ships discovered the location of Earth and means to reach it, Shen was among the delegation that debriefed Dr. Elizabeth Weir on her actions leading up to the predicament. She questioned the wisdom of committing all Atlantis' resources to stopping the Hives, accusing Weir of risking the lives of everyone aboard both the Daedalus and Orion simply to undo her previous mistake. (SGA: "No Man's Land")
Two years later, she was sent to Atlantis under the pretext of a performance evaluation of Expedition leader Richard Woolsey, when in fact her mission was to compliment Woolsey away from his post and have him reassigned, so that she herself may become the next Atlantis expedition leader. However, due to interference by an alien A.I. Woolsey was alerted to the true nature of her mission and she was later led to believe that she had only been used to free up Woolsey's post for the U.S.'s representative to the I.O.A., James Coolidge, which prompted her to leave Atlantis with the intention of supporting Woolsey's continued leadership of the Expedition. (SGA: "Remnants")