Kenneth Lieberthal

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Kenneth Lieberthal
Born Kenneth Guy Lieberthal
(1943-09-09) September 9, 1943 (age 72)
Asheville, North Carolina, United States
Other names Lǐ Kǎnrú (李侃如)
Alma mater Dartmouth College
Columbia University
Occupation Academic, writer
Spouse(s) Jane Lindsay
Children Keith Liberthal, Geoffrey Lieberthal

Kenneth Guy Lieberthal[1] (Chinese: 李侃如; pinyin: Lǐ Kǎnrú; born September 9, 1943) is an American political scientist who specializes in Chinese politics.

He is senior fellow in Foreign Policy and Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution, where he was previously a drector of its John L. Thornton China Center.

Early life and education[edit]

Lieberthal was born in Asheville, North Carolina, the son of Naomi (née Bird) and Milton Lieberthal.[2]

In 1965, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction from Dartmouth College. He received his graduate training at Columbia University, where he completed a Master of Arts degree and East Asian Institute Certificate in 1968, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in political science (comparative politics) in 1972.


[clarification needed] He was the Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Asia at the U.S. National Security Council during the Clinton Administration. He was formerly a professor of political science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he served as an expert on contemporary Chinese political issues. He was also the William Davidson Professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. His research focused on the evolution of China's political economy, multinational corporate investment in China and India, foreign policy decision-making in China, U.S. foreign policy, and Asian security issues. Lieberthal was a professor of political science at Swarthmore College from 1972 to 1983.

At the University of Michigan, in political science, Lieberthal taught the popular "China's Evolution under Communism" for most years from 1983 to 2007. At the Ross School, he taught the "Doing Business with China" MBA course each year through 2008, which generated great interest among business-school students interested in how multinational corporations can succeed in China. The course frequently included invitational lectures from leading experts in the relevant areas, including senior executives of American corporations' China business, as well as China scholars in law, business and social sciences.

Lieberthal serves on numerous academic, non-governmental organization and business-advisory committees and on the editorial boards of six academic journals. His recent work has focused especially at developing ways to increase U.S.–China cooperation on clean energy and climate change. He is a member of the board of the National Committee on United States – China Relations.

Managing the China Challenge[edit]

Lieberthal's book Managing the China Challenge: How to Achieve Corporate Success in the People's Republic explores the economic transformation China is undergoing and the opportunities this growth presents for multinational corporations. The book was released in May 2011 by the Brookings Institution Press. In straightforward language, with numerous examples to back up his argument, Lieberthal presents not only how to benefit from doing business in China, but also how to avoid the serious risks that the endeavor entails. The implications that Lieberthal lays out for corporate strategy are wide-ranging and critically important.

"This is a book to read before one begins work in China and to come back to once there. With its comprehensive analysis of challenges and insightful recommended responses, it efficiently points executives in the right direction and helps them avoid the errors that others have made. It has the potential to give any executive a flying start to executing their China strategy." —from the Foreword by Dominic Barton

Selected bibliography[edit]



Personal life[edit]

Lieberthal's wife, Jane Lindsay, is a former university administrator.[3] One of their sons, Keith, is married to actress Julianna Margulies; Lieberthal became a grandfather when their first son was born. Lieberthal has a second son, named Geoffrey.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Profile of Kenneth Guy Lieberthal, Political Scientist". Marquis Who's Who. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b "Kenneth Lieberthal Named Senior Fellow and Director of the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings" (Press release). Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution. 16 July 2009. Archived from the original on 3 September 2010. 

External links[edit]