Syaru Shirley Lin

Compton Visiting Professor

Fast Facts

  • 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in the high-income trap, all of which are facing problems including inequality, demographic decline, financialization, outdated education systems, and the need for further technological innovation.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 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

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
Have major recent developments in China and the United States raised the possibility that the U.S.-China relationship, which has become increasingly strained over the last 10 years, might now move in new and more positive directions? The first panel discusses the November 2020 elections in the United States, providing an analysis of the election campaigns, the electoral process, the outcomes of the elections, and the transition from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration. It will then examine the Fifth Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee in October, which discussed the foreign and domestic economic policies underlying China’s new five-year plan that will begin in 2021. The second panel analyzes the implications of these events for Chinese policy toward the U.S. and American policy toward China, assessing the prospects for both change and continuity.
Syaru Shirley Lin Miller Center Presents
U.S.-Taiwan relations have advanced in recent years. At the same time, tensions have been rising in cross-Strait relations and in U.S.-China relations, raising concerns about Taiwan’s overall security. How will the results of the U.S. presidential election impact these developments? What issues relating to Taiwan should command the greatest attention from U.S. policymakers in 2021 and beyond? On November 12, the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution hosted a group of policy experts to examine the future of U.S.-Taiwan policy. Panelists participated in a cross-cutting discussion analyzing the next administration’s inheritance of U.S.-Taiwan relations and examining a range of issues critical to Taiwan’s future, including cross-Strait dynamics, Taiwan’s international space, economic security, technology issues, and security issues.
Syaru Shirley Lin Brookings
Syaru Shirley Lin, Compton Visiting Professor in World Politics at UVA’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, taught Libby in her politics seminar, “Taiwan’s China Dilemma,” and said she was impressed by his research and his writing. “I was so stunned with his first paper about Taiwan’s judicial system that I looked into his background and transcript,” she said. “I then realized he was actually much more focused on Spanish and specifically Brazil, yet still taking Chinese all these years at UVA. Later in the semester, I was a guest speaker in an advanced Chinese class and found him in the class, speaking excellent Chinese.”
Syaru Shirley Lin UVA Today
Compton Professor Syaru Shirley Lin is interviewed by the BBC.
Syaru Shirley Lin BBC
Compton Professor Syaru Shirley Lin is interviewed by the BBC.
Syaru Shirley Lin BBC