Susan L. Shirk, Ph.D.

Professor Emeriti

Susan L. Shirk, Ph.D.
  • (858) 822-4349
  • School of Global Policy & Strategy (formerly IR/PS), University of California, San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive MC 0519
    Mail Code: MC 0519
    La Jolla , CA 92093-0519

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Susan Shirk is professor emeritus and chair of the 21st Century China Program at the School. She is one of the most influential experts working on U.S.-China relations and Chinese politics.

Shirk’s book “China: Fragile Superpower” helped frame the policy debate on China in the U.S. and other countries. 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.

She previously served as deputy assistant secretary of state (1997-2000), responsible for U.S. policy toward China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia and she founded and continues to lead the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue, an unofficial forum for discussions of security issues.

Director emeritus and advisory board chair of the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, Shirk served as a member of the U.S. Defense Policy board, the board of governors for the East-West Center (Hawaii), the board of trustees of the U.S.-Japan Foundation and the board of directors of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.

She was awarded the 2015 Roger Revelle Medal (video).

  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1974 (Political Science)
  • M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1968 (Asian Studies)
  • Princeton University, 1965-1966 (Critical Languages Program)
  • B.A., Mount Holyoke College, 1967 (Political Science)