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in the high-income trap, all of which are facing problems including inequality, demographic decline, financialization, outdated education systems, and the need for further technological innovation.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

As the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic draws to a close, resilience—the ways in which health, economic, and environmental systems face changes and shocks by adapting, evolving, and innovating—has emerged as a crucial attribute of societies working toward a “new normal” of post-pandemic life.
Foreword by Syaru Shirley Lin, Malcolm Turnbull, and Chang-Chuan Chan Asia Pacific Hub of Reform for Resilience Commission
As the COVID-19 pandemic nears the end of its second year, health systems worldwide continue to experience unprecedented strain, highlighting the need for solutions that make health care more effective, accessible, and affordable. Especially in the Asia Pacific, countries that experienced early success in pandemic management in 2020 now face new conditions that confound their exit strategies to a post-pandemic world.
Syaru Shirley Lin Miller Center Presents
Malcolm Turnbull was prime minister of Australia from 2015-2018 and is a co-chair of the Reform for Resilience Commission. Syaru Shirley Lin is the Compton Visiting Professor at the Miller Center of the University of Virginia and Chair of the Asia-Pacific Hub of the Reform for Resilience Commission.

Syaru Shirley Lin Nikkei Asia
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