Renowned China experts join Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Jessica Chen Weiss, Jeremy Wallace will join a new SAIS institute designed to foster deeper understanding and informed policymaking on the evolving role of China in the world

Asma Yousef
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Internationally recognized China scholars Jessica Chen Weiss and Jeremy Wallace will join the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies on July 1, bolstering SAIS' longstanding reputation as a leader in policy-relevant China scholarship. Both Weiss and Wallace are coming to SAIS from Cornell University.

Jeremy Wallace and Jessica Chen Weiss

Image caption: Jeremy Wallace and Jessica Chen Weiss

Weiss has been appointed the David M. Lampton Professor of China Studies and will also be 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 policymaking on the evolving role of China in the world. Wallace, named the A. Doak Barnett Professor of China Studies, will be affiliated with the new SAIS institute as well as the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins.

"We are delighted to welcome Jessica and Jeremy," SAIS Dean James B. Steinberg said. "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."

Added JHU President Ron Daniels: "Johns Hopkins is a global research institution with a long and storied history of scholarship on China and its role on the world stage. 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."

At Cornell, Weiss was 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. She is the author of Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China's Foreign Relations (Oxford University Press, 2014), and her commentary has appeared in The New York Times, TheWashington Post, Foreign Affairs, The Los Angeles Times, and the Ezra Klein show. Weiss was profiled by the New Yorker in 2022 and named one of Prospect Magazine's Top Thinkers for 2024.

Wallace's 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), explores the numbers that came to define Chinese politics and how this quantification evolved over time. His first book, Cities and Stability: Urbanization, Redistribution, and Regime Survival in China, examines the ways China has managed its growing cities to maintain order. His commentary has appeared 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.

"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," Steinberg said. "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 JHU Provost Ray Jayawardhana: "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. We warmly welcome Professors Weiss and Wallace to our faculty ranks and look forward to their contributions to SAIS's scholarship, engagement, and impact."