David Shambaugh, PhD

“AHRF may be small, but its mission is great. My parents’ passion for the work of AHRF led to important discoveries that continue to open new avenues for even greater knowledge. Today, AHRF-funded researchers continue to move the cause forward. It’s their work that allows my father’s life-long resolve to help people with hearing loss through scientific and medical discovery live on.”

—David Shambaugh, PhD


Youngest son of AHRF founders, Dr. and Mrs. George E. Shambaugh, Jr., David Shambaugh is a leading expert on China and International Affairs. A frequent commentator in the media, he is recognized internationally as an authority on contemporary Chinese affairs—with particular expertise in Chinese domestic politics, China’s military, Chinese foreign relations, and the international politics and security of the Asia-Pacific region.

His accomplishments are extensive. Since 1998, he has served as Director of the China Policy Program in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and has been a Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the university since 1996. He also was a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at The Brookings Institution from 1996 to 2016.

Other noteworthy positions Shambaugh has held include:

  • Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies in the Elliott School (1996-1998);
  • Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Reader in Chinese Politics at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (1987-1996), where he also served as Editor of The China Quarterly (1991-1996);
  • Acting Director of the Asia Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (1987-1988);
  • An analyst in the US Department of State Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1976-1977); and
  • Member of the US National Security Council staff (1977-1978).

Shambaugh serves on numerous editorial boards and peer reviews for several private sector and government grant-making bodies. He has published more than 200 articles, chapters, and editorials in scholarly and policy journals, newspapers and edited books. He has published more than 30 books, including:

  • China’s Future (2016)
  • China Goes Global: The Partial Power (2013)
  • China’s Communist Party: Atrophy & Adaptation (2008)
  • China-Europe Relations: Perceptions, Policies & Prospects (2007)
  • China Watching: Perspectives from Europe, Japan, and the United States (2007)
  • Power Shift: China & Asia’s New Dynamics (2005)
  • The Odyssey of China’s Imperial Art Treasures (2005)
  • Modernizing China’s Military (2003).

Shambaugh earned his PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan and his MA in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He received his BA cum laude in East Asian Studies from The Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He also has been a visiting scholar at numerous institutions in China, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, and Taiwan, and was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2002-2003).

Shambaugh has been a recipient of research grants from numerous institutions, including the German Marshall Fund, Smith Richardson Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, W. Alton Jones Foundation, US National Academy of Sciences, UK Economic & Social Research Council, The British Academy, Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation, and the American Consortium on European Union Studies.

Shambaugh also has held several consultancies, including with the US Department of Defense, US National Intelligence Council, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Rand Corporation, Library of Congress, Microsoft Corporation, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and American Express International.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, International Institute of Strategic Studies, National Committee on US China Relations, World Economic Forum, Council on Foreign Relations, and Pacific Council on International Policy.

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