WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Brookings Institution today announced the appointment of Ryan Hass as director of the John L. Thornton China Center within the Foreign Policy Program. In this role, Hass will build upon Brookings’s legacy of path-breaking independent scholarship and dialogue sustained by outgoing director Cheng Li, who will continue his 17-year Brookings affiliation as a nonresident senior fellow.
For more than 50 years, Brookings scholars have been at the forefront of informing U.S. policy on China with deep expertise. The China Center was established in 2006 to develop timely, independent analyses and policy recommendations to address challenges in U.S.-China relations and deepen understanding of China’s internal development. As director, Hass will lead and manage the center’s research and activities, and will help steer Brookings’s cross-disciplinary work on China, while also advancing research on Taiwan.
Suzanne Maloney, Brookings Vice President and Director of the Foreign Policy program said:
“Ryan Hass is a talented and insightful scholar who has made significant contributions to shaping U.S.-China relations and American policy toward Asia through his research and public service. With his deep expertise, record of policy impact, and leadership experience, he is the ideal scholar to direct the research and engagement of Brookings’s China Center at a decisive moment for China and its relationship with Washington and the world.”
Hass joined Brookings in September 2017 as part of the inaugural class of David M. Rubenstein Fellows. Since 2020, he has held a concurrent appointment to the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies in Brookings’s Center for East Asia Policy Studies. Previously, he served on the National Security Council as director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia as part of a 15-year career in the Foreign Service.
In 2021, Hass published a sole-authored book about U.S.-China relations, Stronger: Adapting America’s China Strategy in an Age of Competitive Interdependence, and co-edited the volume Global China: Assessing China’s Growing Role in the World with Tarun Chhabra, Rush Doshi, and Emilie Kimball. Most recently, he co-authored U.S.-Taiwan Relations: Will China’s Challenge Lead to a Crisis? with Bonnie Glaser and Richard C. Bush in 2023, and produced the podcast Vying for Talent with Jude Blanchette, exploring the role that human talent plays in U.S.-China competition.
In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Hass will continue his research and analysis on U.S.-China relations, U.S.-Taiwan relations, and cross-Strait relations. Complementing his individual scholarship, he co-leads Brookings Foreign Policy’s Global China initiative with Foreign Policy Fellow Patricia M. Kim, and has partnered with the Center on Strategic and International Studies on a joint project, Advancing Collaboration in an Era of Strategic Competition.
Hass’s predecessor in the role, Cheng Li, now serves as professor of political science and founding director of the Centre on Governance of China and the World at the University of Hong Kong.