Evan Feigenbaum is Vice Chairman of the Paulson Institute at The University of Chicago, an independent center established by former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Hank Paulson. He leads the Institute’s political economy and investment-related programs, including the Institute’s think tank, which focuses principally on the Chinese economy with an emphasis on market-based structural reforms, and is the Co-Founder of MacroPolo, its innovative digital venture.
Dr. Feigenbaum is also Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a leading Washington-based think tank, where his work focuses on geopolitics in Asia and the role of the United States in the region.
Initially an academic with a PhD in Chinese politics from Stanford University, his work has since spanned government service, think tanks, the private sector, and three regions of Asia—East, Central, and South.
From 2001 to 2009, during the George W. Bush Administration, he served at the U.S. State Department as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia (2007-09), Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia (2006-07), Member of the Policy Planning Staff with principal responsibility for East Asia and the Pacific (2001-06) under Secretaries of State Colin L. Powell and Condoleezza Rice, and as an adviser on China to Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick, with whom he worked closely in the development of the U.S.-China senior dialogue.
During the intensive final phase of the U.S.-India civil nuclear initiative from July to October 2008, he co-chaired the coordinating team charged with moving the initiative through the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and then to Congress, where it became the U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act. He negotiated agreements with the governments of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, including Kazakhstan’s so-called “Madrid Commitments” to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and also has extensive policy experience with North and South Korea and Japan. During his nearly eight years of service in the State Department, he covered the full range of political, security, and economic issues across these three sub-regions of Asia, which together comprise some 3.5 billion people. In the South and Central Asia-related jobs, he provided policy support to eight U.S. embassies and four consulates.
He received five Superior Honor Awards from the State Department (three individual awards, two group awards).
Following government service, Dr. Feigenbaum was Senior Fellow (then Adjunct Senior Fellow) for East, Central, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as Head of the Asia practice group at Eurasia Group, a global political risk consulting firm working principally for financial institutions, such as hedge and pension funds, and corporate clients. Before government service, he worked at Harvard University (1997-2001) as Lecturer on Government in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and as Executive Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Initiative and program chair of the Chinese security studies program in Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He taught at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (1994-95) as Lecturer of National Security Affairs and was a consultant on China to the RAND Corporation (1993-94).
His publications include: The United States in the New Asia (CFR, 2009, coauthor), China’s Techno-Warriors: National Security and Strategic Competition from the Nuclear to the Information Age (Stanford University Press, 2003), which was selected by Foreign Affairs as a best book of 2003 on the Asia-Pacific (Chinese edition published as Zhonggong Keji Xianqu, Taipei, 2006), and Change in Taiwan and Potential Adversity in the Strait (RAND, 1995). His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the Financial Times, New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, International Security, Harvard Business Review, Washington Quarterly, Newsweek, Survival, China Quarterly, and The Atlantic. He is a columnist for the New Delhi-based South Asia Monitor, published by India’s Society for Policy Studies, and is a former columnist for the Business Standard, India’s leading financial newspaper, for which he wrote the “DC Diary” column. He was also a frequent contributor to CFR’s blog, Asia Unbound.
A native of New York City, he received his AB in history from the University of Michigan and his AM and PhD in political science from Stanford University (with a dissertation on Chinese technonationalism and social networks in the People’s Liberation Army and China’s military industrial and science systems, directed by John Wilson Lewis and Michel Oksenberg). He has received awards, prizes, and competitive fellowships, including Olin and Belfer postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University (1997-99), and spent three years as a fellow of Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (1994-97). He studied overseas in Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, and Taipei. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Cosmos Club, and other organizations.