Cheng Li is a speaker and the Director of Research and Senior Fellow of the John. L. Thornton China Center at The Brookings Institution.
Cheng Li grew up in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution. In 1985, he came to the United States, where he received an M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Princeton University. From 1993 to 1995, Dr. Li worked in China as a fellow with the U.S.-based Institute of Current World Affairs, observing grassroots changes in his native country. Based on this experience, he published a nationally acclaimed book, Rediscovering China: Dynamics and Dilemmas of Reform (1997).
Dr. Li is also the author or the editor of China's Leaders: The New Generation (2001), Bridging Minds Across the Pacific: The Sino-U.S. Educational Exchange 1978-2003 (2005), China's Changing Political Landscape: Prospects for Democracy (2008), and China's Emerging Middle Class: Beyond Economic Transformation (2010). He is currently completing two book manuscripts: "Chinese Technocrats" and "Urban Subcultures in Shanghai." He is the principal editor of the Thornton Center Chinese Thinkers Series published by the Brookings Institution Press.
Dr. Li has been a recipient of fellowships or research grants from the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Freeman Foundation, the Peter Lewis Foundation, the Crane-Rogers Foundation, the Emerson Foundation, the United States Institute of Peace, Hong Kong Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange. In 2002-2003, he was a residential fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
He is frequently called on to share his unique perspective and insights as an expert on China. He has recently appeared on CNN, C-SPAN, the BBC, Voice of America, the PBS NewsHour, Charlie Rose, Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria, and NPR's Diane Rehm Show. He has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time, The Economist, Newsweek, Business Week, Foreign Policy, and numerous other publications. Dr. Li is also a columnist for the Stanford University Journal China Leadership Monitor.
Before joining Brookings in 2006, Dr. Li was the William R. Kenan professor of government at Hamilton College, where he had taught since 1991. Dr. Li has advised a wide range of government, business, and non-profit organizations on working in China. Dr. Li is a director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, an advisor to the World Bank, a member of the Academic Advisory Group of the Congressional U.S.-China Working Group, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a director and vice chair of the Committee of 100.