Kenneth Lieberthal

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Kenneth Lieberthal
Kenneth Guy Lieberthal

(1943-09-09) September 9, 1943 (age 75)
Asheville, North Carolina, United States
Other namesLǐ Kǎnrú (李侃如)
Alma materDartmouth College
Columbia University
OccupationPolitical Scientist
Spouse(s)Jane Lindsay Lieberthal
ChildrenKeith Lieberthal, Geoffrey Lieberthal

Kenneth Guy Lieberthal[1] (Chinese: 李侃如; pinyin: Lǐ Kǎnrú; born September 9, 1943) is an American professor and politician known as an expert on China's elite politics, political economy, domestic and foreign policy decision making, and on the evolution of US-China relations. He is currently senior fellow emeritus in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, where from 2009 to 2016, he was a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy and the Global Economy and Development programs; from 2009 to 2012, he also served as director of Brookings' John L. Thornton China Center. Lieberthal spent most of his career on the Political Science faculty of the University of Michigan. For 1998-2000 Lieberthal served in the Clinton Administration as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Asia on the U.S. National Security Council.

Early life and education[edit]

Lieberthal was born in Asheville, North Carolina. He received his B.A. cum laude and with distinction in Russian Studies from Dartmouth College, and an East Asian Institute Certificate (1968), M.A. (1968) and Ph.D. (1972) in Political Science at Columbia University.


For 1998 through 2000 Lieberthal took leave from his academic career to serve President Clinton as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Asia on the U.S. National Security Council.

Lieberthal is professor emeritus at the University of Michigan. He joined the UM faculty as Professor of Political Science in 1983, and in 1995 became Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Political Science and William Davidson Professor of Business Administration. He was director of the University of Michigan's Center for Chinese Studies for 1986 to 1989; in 2014, the University renamed the center as the "Kenneth G. Lieberthal and Richard H. Rogel Center for Chinese Studies." His publications focused particularly on China's elite politics, domestic and foreign policy decision making, and political economy and on the evolution of US-China relations. Lieberthal taught Political Science at Swarthmore College from 1972 to 1983, advancing from Instructor to Professor, before joining the University of Michigan faculty in 1983.

Lieberthal authored, coauthored, and edited more than 20 books and monographs, many of which are also available in Chinese editions, and authored about 75 articles and chapters in books.

Lieberthal has consulted widely on Chinese and Asian affairs and has advised, among others, the U.S. Departments of State, Defense and Commerce, the World Bank, the Kettering Foundation, the Aspen Institute, the United Nations Association and corporations in the private sector. He has served on numerous academic, NGO, and advisory committees and boards and on the editorial boards of six scholarly journals. He is a member of the board of the National Committee on United States – China Relations.

Selected bibliography[edit]


Papers, reports, monographs[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Lieberthal's wife, Jane Lindsay Lieberthal, is a former university administrator. They have two sons, Keith and Geoffrey. Keith is married to actress Julianna Margulies.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kenneth G. Lieberthal biography". The Brookings Institution.

External links[edit]