Center appoints Evan A. Feigenbaum as next Schlesinger Distinguished Professor

Center appoints Evan A. Feigenbaum as next Schlesinger Distinguished Professor

Former diplomat and Asia expert will conduct seminars and engage with faculty, students

The Miller Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Evan A. Feigenbaum, a former State Department diplomat and expert on East, South, and Central Asia with a longtime focus on China, as the next James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor.

Feigenbaum, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, oversees Carnegie’s research in Washington, Beijing, and New Delhi on a dynamic region encompassing both East Asia and South Asia. Initially an academic with a PhD in Chinese politics from Stanford University, Feigenbaum’s career has spanned government service, think tanks, the private sector, and three major regions of Asia.

“It’s an honor for me to welcome this outstanding American diplomat to the Miller Center," said William Antholis, Director and CEO. “Evan is a widely respected Asia expert and veteran diplomat, an exceptional intellectual, and a genuinely fine person who enjoys engaging with students and faculty alike. Secretary Schlesinger would have been proud."  

From 2001 to 2009, Feigenbaum served at the U.S. State Department as deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia (2007–2009), deputy assistant secretary of state for Central Asia (2006–2007), member of the policy planning staff with principal responsibility for East Asia and the Pacific (2001–2006), and an adviser on China to Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick.

Following government service, Feigenbaum worked in the private and nonprofit sectors: He was vice chairman of the Paulson Institute at the University of Chicago and the co-founder of MacroPolo, its digital venture on the Chinese economy; head of the Asia practice at the markets consultancy Eurasia Group, a global political risk consulting firm; and senior fellow for East, Central, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. Before government service, he worked at Harvard University (1997–2001) as lecturer on government in the faculty of arts and sciences and as executive director of the Asia-Pacific Security Initiative and program chair of the Chinese Security Studies Program in the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He taught at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (1994–1995) as lecturer of national security affairs and was a consultant on China to the RAND Corporation (1993–1994).

Feigenbaum is the author of three books and monographs, including The United States in the New Asia (CFR, 2009, co-author) and China’s Techno-Warriors: National Security and Strategic Competition from the Nuclear to the Information Age (Stanford University Press, 2003), which was selected by Foreign Affairs as a best book of 2003 on the Asia-Pacific, as well as numerous articles and essays.

As the Schlesinger Professor over the 2019-2020 academic year, Feigenbaum will participate in Miller Center conferences and events; engage with faculty and students across the University of Virginia at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, the Law School, and the History and Politics Departments; and contribute to the website and other Miller Center publications.

The University of Virginia established the James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professorship at the Miller Center in 2007 to bring public servants of great distinction to the University. Schlesinger served as secretary of defense and secretary of energy, in addition to holding leadership roles with the Central Intelligence Agency, Atomic Energy Commission, and numerous other government bodies during a distinguished career in public service.

Building on Schlesinger’s interest in strategic matters, the Schlesinger Professorship provides a unique opportunity for public servants who have experience with foreign policy and national security to participate as visiting faculty in programs at the Miller Center and engage with students at the University.