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News Release

Jonathan Stromseth named Lee Kuan Yew Chair in Southeast Asia Studies

Washington, D.C. – Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today that Jonathan Stromseth has been named Lee Kuan Yew Chair in Southeast Asia Studies in the Foreign Policy program. Beginning February 27, 2017, Stromseth will be a full-time senior fellow in the Center for East Asia Policy Studies, and will hold a joint appointment with the Brookings John L. Thornton China Center.

“I am pleased to welcome Jonathan to Brookings,” said Talbott. “He is a highly-regarded foreign policy expert and practitioner, and he will be an excellent addition to the Brookings family.”

Stromseth brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and high-level scholarship to the Lee Kuan Yew Chair. He served as The Asia Foundation’s Country Representative to China (2006-2014) and Vietnam (2000-2005), and is a three-time recipient of the Foundation’s President’s Award for Extraordinary Program Leadership. He has published widely on Asian geopolitics, governance, international development and economic reform, and is co-author of China’s Governance Puzzle: Enabling Transparency and Participation in a Single-Party State (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Stromseth holds a doctorate in political science from Columbia University. Most recently he advised State Department leadership on Southeast Asia and East Asian and Pacific affairs, as a member of the Policy Planning Staff.

Stromseth has extensive experience in Asia. In addition to his 14 years with the Asia Foundation in Vietnam and China, he has worked in Thailand and was a United Nations official in Cambodia, a Fulbright Scholar in Singapore, and conducted doctoral research in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. At Brookings, his research will focus on how Southeast Asia is responding to the rise of China and the policy implications of these dynamics for the United States. He will also examine democratic consolidation in Myanmar and economic and governance reform in Vietnam.

“Jonathan holds deep policy expertise and broad knowledge on Southeast Asia,” said Bruce Jones, vice president and director of Foreign Policy at Brookings. “Southeast Asia has become a cockpit of tension over the past six years. Brookings is fortunate to have someone of Jonathan Stromseth’s depth and experience as part of its Asia team.”

The Lee Kuan Yew Chair is housed in the Center for East Asia Policy Studies (CEAP), founded in 1998 as the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies to promote research and analysis of policy issues facing East Asia and the United States. CEAP has launched the Phillip Knight Chair in Japan Studies, the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies, and the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies. Under the continued leadership of its director, Richard Bush, CEAP senior fellows conduct research on the political, economic, security and social issues facing East Asia, and sponsor an array of policy-oriented seminars, discussions, and publications.

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