Syaru Shirley Lin

Compton Visiting Professor

Fast Facts

  • ​​​​​​Chair, Asia-Pacific Hub, Reform for Resilience Commission
  • Faculty member at Chinese University of Hong Kong and Tsinghua University (Beijing) 
  • Former partner at Goldman Sachs
  • Founding board member of Alibaba Group
  • Member, Hong Kong Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • 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, Compton Visiting Professor in World Politics at the Miller Center, is also a nonresident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings and an adjunct faculty member of Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her book, Taiwan’s China Dilemma, on the impact of the evolution of Taiwanese national identity on cross-Strait economic policy, was published by Stanford University Press in 2016 and in Chinese in 2019. Lin is now writing a book on five East Asian economies caught in the high-income trap, all of which are facing problems including inequality, demographic decline, financialization, outdated education systems, and the need for further technological innovation. Her analysis and commentary frequently appear in English and Chinese media.

Lin graduated from Harvard College and earned a PhD from the University of Hong Kong. Previously, she was a partner at Goldman Sachs, where she led the firm’s private equity and venture capital efforts in Asia. She spearheaded the firm’s investments in many technology start-ups and was a founding board member of the Alibaba Group and the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation. She also specialized in the privatization of state-owned enterprises in China and Singapore. 

Lin currently serves as chair of the Asia-Pacific Hub, Reform for Resilience Commission and she is on the boards of Goldman Sachs Asia Bank and Langham Hospitality Investments. She is also a director of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and was appointed by the Hong Kong government as a member of the Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation. She is also senior advisor to Taiwan's Talent Circulation Alliance, an initiative to promote Taiwan as a hub for talent for the region and the world.

Syaru Shirley Lin News Feed

President Biden’s trip is an opportunity for the U.S. and G-7 to develop a new mechanism that unites democratic governments with research institutions and the private sector to end this pandemic. This is a wake-up call for the G-7 to create more robust healthcare systems, resilient economies, and sustainable environments, all of which will prepare us better for the next pandemic, whose arrival is only a matter of time.
Syaru Shirley Lin Brookings
Syaru Shirley Lin suggests the U.S. help Taiwan by increasing exchanges of students, faculty, and professionals and bilateral trade agreements, among other policies.
Syaru Shirley Lin China Leadership Monitor
In a Brookings Op ed, Senior Fellow Syaru Shirley Lin notes that Taiwan has become a poster child for economic resilience and good public health. But what has been a success story so far may be only a fine line away from calamity because of Taiwan's over reliance on China and its relatively weak connections with the rest of the world.
Syaru Shirley Lin Brookings
Compton Visiting Professor Syaru Shirley Lin is one of the experts discussing the middle/high-income trap in East Asia, especially China. Is the high-income trap different between East Asia and Western Europe, especially in terms of their economic relationship with China? How has COVID-19 changed the economic landscape?
Syaru Shirley Lin The Sound of Economics
In an interview with the Financial Times, Senior Fellow Syaru Shirley Lin discusses investment strategies drawn from her experience in private equity.
Syaru Shirley Lin Financial Times
The University’s Miller Center of Public Affairs hosted a webinar Monday night about the future of relations between the U.S. and China, arguing that the Trump administration was responsible for worsening tensions between the two countries. The webinar consisted of a panel of eight scholars and politicians. Five panelists from the Miller Center and Center for Politics at the University were joined by three panelists from the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, a partner institution of the University.
Syaru Shirley Lin The Cavalier Daily