Returnee faculty experiencing cross-border academic mobility have obtained ample transnational experience in an international academic environment, which may potentially influence their professional development satisfaction after returning to their home countries. Most research has compared returnee faculty’s research productivity with their home-trained colleagues. However, the joint impact of local and overseas networks on professional development satisfaction needs to be further explored, particularly how they take advantage of overseas and domestic academic networks in professional development. This study used a mixed-methods approach to explore these issues. In the quantitative research section, a survey of 1307 returnees from 41 top Chinese universities was conducted. Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Propensity Score Matching (PSM) models were adopted to probe the influence of the dual academic networks on returnee scholars’ professional development and to reveal the causal effect of the alum faculty status, respectively. In the qualitative research section, thirteen returnee faculty from nine Chinese universities participated in interviews. Key findings show that dual academic networks impact returnees’ satisfaction with professional development, and network members with different tie strengths played diverse roles. The frequency of contact with former domestic and overseas supervisors and domestic colleagues is positively related to the returnee faculty’s professional development satisfaction. Furthermore, the alum faculty status has a negative effect on returnees’ professional development satisfaction. Returnees are advised to effectively and intentionally manage the strength of their ties to various roles within the dual academic networks to enhance their professional development satisfaction.