Syaru Shirley Lin

Fast Facts

  • ​​​​​​Chair, Center for Asia-Pacific Resilience and Innovation
  • Nonresident senior fellow, Brookings Institution
  • Adjunct professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong 
  • Former partner at Goldman Sachs
  • Founding board member of Alibaba Group and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation
  • Expertise on China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, East Asia, international political economy, international finance and banking, innovation and entrepreneurship, privatization


Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • Asia
  • Economic Issues
  • Finance and Banking
  • Trade

Syaru Shirley Lin, Miller Center research professor, is a nonresident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings Institution and an adjunct professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Lin chairs the Center for Asia-Pacific Resilience and Innovation (CAPRI), a new policy think tank conducting interdisciplinary, comparative research on innovative policies that can strengthen resilience and improve governance in the Asia Pacific. CAPRI currently acts as the Asia-Pacific Hub of the Reform for Resilience Commission and the Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience, two global initiatives that are reviewing the response to the COVID pandemic and developing proposals for better responses in the future.

Lin's research and teaching focus on cross-Strait relations, international and comparative political economy, and the challenges facing high-income societies in East Asia. She is the author of Taiwan’s China Dilemma: Contested Identities and Multiple Interests in Taiwan’s Cross-Strait Economic Policy (Stanford University Press, 2016) which was also published in Chinese in 2019. Her book highlights the linkage between Taiwan’s national identity and its foreign economic policy and analyzes the implications for Taiwan’s future relationship with China. She is now writing a book on six economies in the Asia Pacific region caught in the high-income trap, all of which are facing problems such as inequality, demographic decline, financialization, outdated education systems, increasingly polarized societies, inadequate policy and technological innovation, and climate change. Her analysis and commentary frequently appear in English and Chinese media.

Lin was the youngest woman partner as well as one of the first Asian partners of Goldman Sachs, where she led the firm’s investment efforts in Asia, managing private equity and venture capital investments in 12 countries and setting up its Tokyo operation. She spearheaded the firm’s investments in technology start-ups in Asia, making it one of the earliest and most successful investors in China. In that capacity, she led the first round of institutional investments in Alibaba and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation. Prior to her work in private equity and venture capital, she specialized in the privatization of state-owned enterprises in China and Singapore.

Lin has served on the boards of numerous private and public companies and currently serves as a director of Langham Hospitality Investments, Goldman Sachs Asia Bank, TE Connectivity, and MediaTek. She is also a director of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, which supports the development and adoption of new therapeutic medical technologies, and an advisor to the O’Neill-Lancet Commission on Racism and Structural Discrimination and Global Health.

A native of Taipei, Lin has been a resident of Hong Kong for three decades. Lin graduated, cum laude, from Harvard College and has also studied and worked in Tokyo and Madrid. After retiring from Goldman Sachs, she earned her masters and doctorate from the University of Hong Kong and launched a new career as a scholar, policy analyst, and corporate and non-profit director.

Syaru Shirley Lin News Feed

In today’s rapidly changing world, Taiwan faces both significant domestic policy challenges and increasing geopolitical tensions. Similar to other high-income societies, it has been grappling with growing inequality, declining birth rates, and rising housing costs. And like other middle-sized nations, it needs to successfully navigate intensifying competition and conflict among the great powers.
Syaru Shirley Lini CommonWealth Magazine
The Miller Center’s 2023 William and Carol Stevenson Conference examines U.S.–China relations and the role technology plays in this dynamic relationship. Do our technology regulations and security efforts limit our ability to protect our democracy? Panels feature scholars and practitioners with experience in government, the private sector, journalism, and academia, allowing for wide-ranging dialogue on complex issues.
Syaru Shirley Lin Miller Center Presents
CAPRI’s first Taiwan-focused public event took place on March 22, 2023, featuring Dr. Richard Bush, nonresident senior fellow at Brookings Institution and former chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan. After opening remarks by CAPRI Chair Syaru Shirley Lin and National Taiwan University Chair Professor Jiunn-rong Yeh, Dr. Bush addressed an audience of over 200 people from academia, the private sector, and civil society at the National Taiwan University College of Law. Many students from National Taiwan University, National Chengchi University, and other schools were also in attendance.
Syaru Shirley Lin CAPRI
With global health and economic impacts unseen in previous crises, the COVID-19 pandemic demands our full understanding. But for all we know about the disease today, we know remarkably little about the origins of the virus. Matt and Yen Pottinger were among the first to recognize the consequences of poor transparency and coordination to control the virus, both within and between countries. In this public forum moderated by Syaru Shirley Lin of CAPRI and the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs, the Pottingers reflect on successes and failures in responding to COVID-19 and ongoing efforts to understand the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Syaru Shirley Lin Miller Center Presents
Taking a job at a Chinese company has always been dicey for Taiwanese engineers, said Syaru Shirley Lin, a Taiwanese economist, a former partner at Goldman Sachs specializing in the tech industry, and research professor at the University of Virginia's Miller Center.
Syaru Shirley Lin New York Times
Syaru Shirley Lin, Compton Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, and Chair of the Center for Asia-Pacific Resilience and Innovation (CAPRI), highlighted the importance of Taiwan's democratic governance as an alternative for countries which have a strong economic relationship with China, especially in the Asia Pacific.
Syaru Shirley Lin Business standard (India)