Syaru Shirley Lin

Syaru Shirley Lin is Compton Visiting Professor in World Politics at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia and a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Program of Brookings Institution. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong where she teaches for the Master of Global Political Economy Programme and the CUHK-Tsinghua FMBA Programme in Shenzhen and Beijing. Her research and teaching focus on cross-Strait relations, international and comparative political economy, as well as challenges facing the high-income societies in East Asia. She is the author of Taiwan’s China Dilemma: Contested Identities and Multiple Interests in Taiwan’s Cross-Strait Economic Policy (Stanford University Press, 2016) which was also published in Chinese in 2019. Her book highlights the linkage between national identity and foreign economic policy and analyzes the implications for Taiwan’s future relationship with China. She is now writing a book on five East Asian economies caught in the high-income trap, all of which are facing problems including inequality, demographic decline, financialization, outdated education systems, and the need for further technological innovation. Her analysis and commentary frequently appear in English and Chinese media. She graduated cum laude from Harvard College and earned her masters in international public affairs and Ph.D. in politics and public administration from the University of Hong Kong.  

Previously, she was a partner at Goldman Sachs, where she led the firm’s private equity and venture capital efforts in Asia.  She spearheaded the firm’s investments in many technology start-ups and was a founding board member of the Alibaba Group and the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation.  She also specialized in the privatization of state-owned enterprises in China and Singapore. Prof. Lin currently serves on the boards of TE Connectivity, Goldman Sachs Asia Bank and Langham Hospitality Investments. She is also a director of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, a non-profit foundation supporting the development of new therapeutic medical technology. She served on the Hong Kong Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation from 2016 to 2022.

Compton Visiting Professor

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