Chair of the 21st Century China Center & Research Professor UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy
Susan Shirk is research professor and chair of the 21st Century China Center. She is one of the most influential experts working on U.S.-China relations and Chinese politics. She is also director emeritus of the University of California’s Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC).
Susan Shirk first visited China in 1971 and has been teaching, researching and engaging China diplomatically ever since. From 1997-2000, Dr. Shirk served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, with responsibility for China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia.
Shirk’s book “China: Fragile Superpower” helped frame the policy debate on China in the U.S. and other countries. Her other publications include The Political Logic of Economic Reform in China; How China Opened its Door; Competitive Comrades: Career Incentives and Student Strategies in China; and her edited book, Changing Media, Changing China. Her current book project is Overreach: How China’s Domestic Politics Derailed its Peaceful Rise. Her articles have appeared in leading academic publications in the fields of political science, international relations and China studies, and her views on a range of issues relating to modern Chinese politics are highly sought.
Shirk co-chairs a task force of China experts that issued its second report “Course Correction: Toward an Effective and Sustainable China Policy,” in February 2019. She is also co-chair of the UC San Diego Forum on U.S.-China Relations, the first ongoing high-level forum focused entirely on the U.S.-China relationship.
She was awarded the 2015 Roger Revelle Medal.