Former Country Representative, China

Jonathan R. Stromseth was The Asia Foundation’s country representative to China from 2006 to 2014.

Based in Beijing, he oversaw a broad range of programs in China focusing on governance and legal reform, environmental protection, disaster management, and foreign affairs — including Sino-U.S. relations and Chinese foreign aid. He served as The Asia Foundation’s country representative to Vietnam from 2000 to late 2005, establishing the Foundation’s office in Hanoi and managing programs in the areas of economic governance, private sector development, legal reform, and U.S.-Vietnam relations. Prior to joining The Asia Foundation, he worked for the United Nations peacekeeping operation in Cambodia and taught Southeast Asian politics at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Hong Kong Forum, and the National Committee on United States-China Relations.

Jonathan Stromseth currently directs a national research study, the Chinese Governance Assessment Project, in his capacity as Senior Visiting Scholar at Peking University Law School. This study examines changes in public participation, transparency, and accountability in China and assesses whether these changes correlate with key governance outcomes such as reduced corruption and improved legal compliance.

His commentary has appeared in the Asian Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg News, and Marketplace. Selected publications include “Good Governance and International Development Cooperation,” in Asian Approaches to Development Cooperation (forthcoming from Edward Elgar in 2013); Dialogue on U.S.-Vietnam Relations: Global and Regional Influences (The Asia Foundation, 2004); and “Business Associations and Policy-Making in Vietnam,” in Getting Organized in Vietnam: Moving in and around the Socialist State (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2003).

Stromseth holds a doctorate in political science from Columbia University, where his studies focused on comparative politics and international relations in the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, he conducted research on Southeast Asian politics at the National University of Singapore with the support of a Fulbright Scholarship. He focused on Asian Studies at St. Olaf College, concentrating in modern Chinese history. His academic awards include a President’s Fellowship from Columbia and research fellowships from the Social Science Research Council and the Institute for the Study of World Politics.

Education: Bachelor’s degree, St. Olaf College (Phi Beta Kappa); M.I.A., Certificate of the East Asian Institute, master’s and doctor of philosophy degrees, Columbia University.