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Jessica Chen Weiss and Jeremy Wallace, Renowned China Experts, to Join SAIS Faculty

The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is pleased to announce that Jessica Chen Weiss and Jeremy Wallace, internationally recognized China scholars, will join its faculty on July 1, 2024. Their appointment continues SAIS’ longstanding reputation at the forefront of policy-relevant China scholarship, bolstered further by the recent promotion of faculty member Ling Chen to William L. Clayton Associate Professor.

Jessica Chen Weiss

Jessica Chen Weiss

Jessica Chen Weiss has been appointed the David M. Lampton Professor of China Studies. She will also become the inaugural director of a new institute to be established at SAIS this fall, bringing together scholars, practitioners, and experts from the private sector and NGOs, to foster deeper understanding and informed policy making on the evolving role of China in the world. Weiss comes to SAIS from Cornell University, where she was the Michael J. Zak Professor for China and Asia-Pacific Studies in the Department of Government. From August 2021 to July 2022, she served as senior advisor to the Secretary's Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. State Department on a Council on Foreign Relations Fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars.

Weiss is the author of Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China’s Foreign Relations (Oxford University Press, 2014). Her research appears in International OrganizationChina QuarterlyInternational Studies QuarterlyJournal of Conflict ResolutionSecurity StudiesJournal of Contemporary China, and Review of International Political Economy. With commentary in the New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Los Angeles Times, and the Ezra Klein show, Weiss was profiled by the New Yorker and named one of Prospect Magazine's Top Thinkers for 2024. Weiss was previously an assistant professor at Yale University and founded FACES, the Forum for American/Chinese Exchange at Stanford University. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, she received her PhD from the University of California, San Diego, where her dissertation won the American Political Science Association Award for best dissertation in international relations, law and politics.

Jeremy Lee Wallace

Jeremy Lee Wallace

Jeremy Lee Wallace has been named the A. Doak Barnett Professor of China Studies, also starting July 1, 2024; and he will be affiliated with the new institute at SAIS as well as the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins. Wallace, too, is joining SAIS from Cornell University, where his research focuses on China, climate change, cities, and statistics. His most recent book, Seeking Truth and Hiding Facts: Information, Ideology, and Authoritarianism in China (Oxford University Press, 2022), argues that a few numbers came to define Chinese politics, until they did not count what mattered and what they counted did not measure up. His first book, Cities and Stability: Urbanization, Redistribution, and Regime Survival in China, examines the ways that China has managed its growing cities to maintain order. His research appears in American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Annual Review of Political Science, Journal of East Asian Studies, and China Quarterly, among others, and his commentary can be found in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Heatmap, Noema, Phenomenal World, and Good Authority.

Wallace also worked on the environmental, political, economic, and social issues connected to urbanization through Cornell's Center for Social Sciences project, China's Cities: Divisions and Plans. In addition, he taught courses related to climate change, urbanization, authoritarianism, and economic development. Wallace taught previously at the Ohio State University; and he received his PhD in political science from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Indiana University.

“We are delighted to welcome Jessica and Jeremy,” said SAIS Dean James B. Steinberg. “Their expertise will be a great addition to our school’s longstanding history of cutting-edge research and teaching on China as well as our sustained engagement on key issues intersecting China and the greater landscape of global challenges. It is fitting that they will be the holders of two new endowed faculty chairs at SAIS, named in honor of two of our most respected China scholars, Mike Lampton and Doak Barnett.”

“The establishment of SAIS’ new institute on China comes at a transformative time as the world seeks to address China’s role in global affairs. Jessica and Jeremy will be joining our already remarkable and diverse group of China experts at SAIS, led by Andrew Mertha, the George and Sadie Hyman Professor of China Studies and director of the SAIS China Global Research Center; Ho-Fung Hung, Henry M. and Elizabeth Wiesenfeld Professor in Political Economy; Associate Professor Jonas Nahm - currently on leave at the Council of Economic Advisors; Ling Chen, William L. Clayton Associate Professor; Assistant Professor David Bulman; as well as colleagues throughout Johns Hopkins, including Yuen Yuen Ang, Alfred Chandler Chair of Political Economy, and Stephen David, professor of international relations. I look forward to working with Jessica and Jeremy and all our colleagues to foster evidence-based research on the broad range of issues associated with China’s growing global role, facilitate informed public dialogue, and support the next generation of scholars and practitioners,” added Dean Steinberg.    

“The new institute at SAIS will not only serve as a focal point for scholars at the School’s multiple campuses, but also harness the breadth and depth of expertise across Johns Hopkins University in the study of China and its pivotal role,” stated Johns Hopkins University Provost Ray Jayawardhana. “We warmly welcome Professors Weiss and Wallace to our faculty ranks, and look forward to their contributions to SAIS’s scholarship, engagement and impact.”

“Johns Hopkins is a global research institution with a long and storied history of scholarship on China and its role on the world stage," said Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels. “With the launch of our new institute and arrival of these two exceptional faculty scholars, we are excited to strengthen Johns Hopkins SAIS' leadership in bridging research and policy that makes an impact at a historic moment in U.S.-China relations and global geopolitics."

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Johns Hopkins SAIS

For more than eight decades, students have come to the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) to learn from renowned faculty and distinguished policy practitioners, build their professional networks, and gain hands-on work experience.

The school was founded in 1943 by Paul H. Nitze and Christian A. Herter, statesmen who sought to prepare the next generation of leaders to meet the complex challenges the U.S.and the world would face following World War II. A distinguished faculty of scholars and policy experts developed an innovative curriculum that emphasized international politics, economics, and foreign languages. That program, combined with skills training and experiential learning, helped prepare students to make a difference in government, civil society, and the private sector. In 1955, SAIS established a campus in Bologna, Italy, and in 1986 the school initiated one of the first Western university programs in the People’s Republic of China in Nanjing.

Today, SAIS carries on this tradition, preparing students for the emerging challenges of the 21st century. Johns Hopkins SAIS alumni number more than 20,000 graduates, a network of professionals working across the globe. From private-sector executives to entrepreneurs, leaders of nongovernmental organizations to ambassadors, and international media correspondents to energy consultants, SAIS alumni are defined by their innovative thinking, analytical approach, and policy expertise. They are leaders in their fields, lifelong students committed to the betterment of the world.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2024