Anthony Saich

  • Daewoo Professor of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • Director, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
  • Executive Committee Member, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University
  • Board Director, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations


Anthony Saich is the director of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and Daewoo Professor of International Affairs, teaching courses on comparative political institutions, democratic governance, and transitional economies with a focus on China. In his capacity as Ash Center Director, Saich also serves as the director of the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia and the faculty chair of the China Public Policy Program, the Asia Energy Leaders Program and the Leadership Transformation in Indonesia Program, which provide training programs for national and local Chinese and Indonesian officials. Saich first visited China as a student in 1976 and continues to visit each year. Currently, he is a guest professor at the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University, China. He also advises a wide range of government, private, and nonprofit organizations on work in China and elsewhere in Asia.

Saich is a trustee member of AMC Entertainment Inc., the China Medical Board, and International Bridges to Justice. He is also the US Secretary-General of the China United States Strategic Philanthropy. He sits on the executive committees of the John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and the Asia Center, both at Harvard University. He serves as the Harvard representative of the Kennedy Memorial Trust and previously was the representative for the Ford Foundations China Office from 1994 to 1999. Prior to this, he was director of the Sinological Institute at Leiden University in the Netherlands.


His current research focuses on politics and governance in post-Mao China, Chinas urbanization and rural-urban inequality in China; and the interplay between state and society in Asia and the respective roles they play in the provision of public goods and services at the local level. His most recent books include 


  • Chinese Village, Global Market (2012);
  • Governance and Politics of China (Third Edition, 2010)
  • Providing Public Goods in Transitional China (2008) Revolutionary Discourse in Maos Republic (with David Apter, 1998)
  • The Rise to Power of the Chinese Communist Party (1996)
  • Chinas Science Policy in the 80s (1989)

He has edited

  • books on China's urbanization (with Shahid Yusuf, 2008)
  • HIV/AIDS (with Joan Kaufman and Arthur Kleinman, 2006)
  • the reform of Chinas financial sector.

He holds a Ph.D. from the Faculty of Letters, University of Leiden, the Netherlands. He received his masters degree in politics with special reference to China from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, and his bachelors degree in politics and geography from the University of Newcastle, UK. Away from the office, he enjoys time with his two children, movies, and soccer.

November 28, 2012 CHINARoundtable China's new leadership

Part 1: China’s New Leadership

Part 2: Challenges Facing China’s New Leadership

 Part 3: Obstacles Facing China’s New Leadership

Part 4: China's New Leaders-Uncertainty And Opportunity