Ryan Hass, Fellow, Foreign Policy, John L. Thornton China Center, Center for East Asia Policy Studies, The Brookings Institution

Ryan Hass

Director – John L. Thornton China Center, Senior Fellow – Foreign Policy, Center for Asia Policy Studies, John L. Thornton China Center, Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies

Ryan Hass is director of the John L. Thornton China Center and the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies at Brookings. He is also a senior fellow in the Center for Asia Policy Studies. He was part of the inaugural class of David M. Rubenstein fellows at Brookings, and is a nonresident affiliated fellow in the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School. Hass focuses his research and analysis on enhancing policy development on the pressing political, economic, and security challenges facing the United States in East Asia.

From 2013 to 2017, Hass served as the director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia at the National Security Council (NSC) staff. In that role, he advised President Obama and senior White House officials on all aspects of U.S. policy toward China, Taiwan, and Mongolia, and coordinated the implementation of U.S. policy toward this region among U.S. government departments and agencies. He joined President Obama’s state visit delegations in Beijing and Washington respectively in 2014 and 2015, and the president’s delegation to Hangzhou, China, for the G-20 in 2016, and to Lima, Peru, for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meetings in 2016.

Prior to joining NSC, Hass served as a Foreign Service Officer in U.S. Embassy Beijing, where he earned the State Department Director General’s award for impact and originality in reporting, an award given annually to the officer whose reporting had the greatest impact on the formulation of U.S. foreign policy. Hass also served in Embassy Seoul and Embassy Ulaanbaatar, and domestically in the State Department Offices of Taiwan Coordination and Korean Affairs. Hass received multiple Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor commendations during his 15-year tenure in the Foreign Service.

Hass is the author of “Stronger: Adapting America’s China Strategy in an Age of Competitive Interdependence” (Yale University Press, 2021), a co-editor of “Global China: Assessing China’s Growing Role in the World” (Brookings Press, 2021), of the monograph, “The future of US policy toward China: Recommendations for the Biden administration” (Brookings, 2020), and a co-author of “U.S.-Taiwan Relations: Will China’s Challenge Lead to a Crisis?” (Brookings Press, 2023). He also leads the Democracy in Asia project at the Brookings Institution and is co-chair of the international task force on Taiwan convened by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Hass was born and raised in Washington state. He graduated from the University of Washington and attended the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies prior to joining the State Department.


  • Center for Strategic and International Studies, International Task Force on Taiwan, co-chair
  • East West Center, board of governors, member
  • McLarty Associates, senior advisor
  • National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, member
  • The Asia Foundation, member, board of trustees
  • The Scowcroft Group, senior advisor
  • Yale Law School, Paul Tsai China Center, nonresident affiliated fellow
  • Areas of Expertise

    • Korean Peninsula
    • U.S.-China relations
    • East Asian regional security
    • Maritime issues
  • Current Positions

    • Nonresident Affiliated Fellow, Paul Tsai China Center, Yale Law School
  • Past Positions

    • Political Officer, Office of Korean Affairs, Department of State (2017)
    • Director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolian Affairs, National Security Council (2013-2017)
    • Political Officer, Embassy Beijing (2009-2012)
    • Political-Military Officer, Office of Taiwan Coordination, Department of State (2005-2007)
    • Consular Officer, Embassy Ulaanbaatar (2005)
    • Consular Officer, Embassy Seoul (2003-2005)
  • Education

    • Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (2001-2002)
    • B.A., University of Washington, 2001
Vying for Talent
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Vying for Talent focuses on the role human talent plays in the sprawling competition between the United States and China. Ryan Hass and Jude Blanchette host expert guests to explore how the United States can improve its competitive edge for the future.

Media and Appearances

New York Times March 24, 2024

President Xi has a lot of problems that he’s dealing with at home, and if you look back to other episodes when China has dealt with a lot of domestic challenges, they typically have..."

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New York Times April 6, 2023

Beijing will want to visibly register its displeasure, lest its leaders be accused at home of tolerating Taiwan’s efforts to move further away from China. At the same time, Beijing also..."

New York Times February 14, 2023

When forced to choose, [China] will prioritize their domestic audience over external audiences, above all, though, I sense that the Chinese are eager to move on. They would like to put..."

New York Times February 6, 2023

The news cycle will move on [from tense recent episodes], and the same challenges in the relationship will remain. Both [Chinese and American] leaders recognize the need to manage risk..."

The New Yorker November 14, 2022

China has a strategic dilemma. They’re frustrated by the status quo, and they’re probing for ways to change it. But taking big, bold actions would come at an extraordinary cost to them...."

New York Times November 14, 2022

Both leaders held their ground on key issues without offering concessions in either direction. Even so, Biden and Xi clearly set a tone for their respective governments that tensions..."

Politico May 19, 2022

The most valuable commodity in Washington is the president’s time, the more the administration demonstrates capacity to marshal tangible support for meeting the region’s key economic,..."

CNN November 17, 2021
Neither [President Biden or President Xi] will want to be seen as softening his approach toward the other, but at the same time, neither leader will see profit in allowing the..."
Foreign Affairs October 19, 2021

The crux of [America’s China] strategy is to advance interests, uphold values, and strengthen cohesion with allies and partners. One hopes that the Biden administration will be able to..."

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