Washington, D.C. – Brookings President Strobe Talbott today announced the creation of the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies at Brookings. The Chair is made possible by a generous endowment gift from Mr. Leslie C. Koo on behalf of the Koo family, and was launched today at a ceremony in Taipei. Senior Fellow Richard Bush, director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS) at Brookings, was named the inaugural holder of the Chair.
The Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies has been established to sustain long-term policy research on Taiwan and help facilitate stronger U.S.-Taiwan relations. Its scholarship and activities will contribute to better American understanding of Taiwan, of the unique challenges the island faces, and of its importance to the United States.
“I am proud to continue to expand Brookings’s work on East Asia, a dynamic and consequential region. Taiwan is an important part of that region and an important partner to the United States,” said Talbott. “We are pleased to establish the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair to facilitate long-term research on Taiwan. Taiwan has been a key focus of the public service and scholarship of my colleague Richard Bush, and he is the ideal person to inaugurate the chair.”
Dr. Chen-Fu Koo (1917-2005), Cecilia Yen Koo, and their family have been an integral part of Taiwan’s economic and political development for the past half century. Dr. Koo was a leading businessman and philanthropist in Taiwan and was the founding chairman of Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), the organization through which Taiwan works with mainland China. Madam Koo is active in social work and philanthropy, particularly in education, medicine and the arts. Their son Leslie Koo, chairman of Taiwan Cement Corporation, is continuing his parents’ tradition of leadership and philanthropy.
Richard Bush has been a senior fellow and director of CNAPS since 2002, after serving almost five years as chairman and managing director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the mechanism through which the United States government conducts substantive relations with Taiwan. His two-decade public service career included service on the staffs of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee and its Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs (1983-1995), as national intelligence officer for East Asia and a member of the National Intelligence Council (1995-1997), and as head of AIT from September 1997 until June 2002.
Bush has written numerous books and articles on U.S. relations with China and Taiwan, China-Japan security relations, and politics and security on the Korean peninsula. He is the author of the two leading English-language studies of relations across the Taiwan Strait: Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait (Brookings Press, 2005); and his latest book, Uncharted Strait: The Future of China-Taiwan Relations, (Brookings Press, 2013). Other major publications include At Cross Purposes, a book of essays on the history of America’s relations with Taiwan (M.E. Sharpe, 2004); Perils of Proximity: China-Japan Security Relations (Brookings Press, 2010); and, together with Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon, A War Like No Other: The Truth About China’s Challenge to America (Wiley, 2007). Richard Bush received his undergraduate education at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He did his graduate work in political science at Columbia University, earning an M.A. in 1973 and a Ph.D. in 1978.