Elizabeth C. Economy


Asia; China; Energy and Environment


Economy has had a wide-ranging professional experience. Dr. Economy serves on the board of managers of Swarthmore College and the board of trustees of the Asia Foundation. She is also on the advisory council of Network 20/20 and the science advisory council of the Stockholm Environment Forum. She served as a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Agenda Council on the United States from 2014 to 2016 and served as a member and then vice chair of WEF’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of China from 2008 to 2014. Dr. Economy has also served on the board of the China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development. She has taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, and the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies.

Dr. Economy has published widely on both Chinese domestic and foreign policy. She is the author of The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State, (Oxford University Press, 2018), By All Means Necessary: How China’s Resource Quest is Changing the World (with Michael Levi, Oxford University Press, 2014) The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China’s Future(Cornell University Press, 2004; 2nd edition, 2010; Japanese edition, 2005; Chinese edition, 2011), which was named one of the top 50 sustainability books in 2008 by the University of Cambridge.

She has published articles in foreign policy and scholarly journals including Foreign Affairs, Harvard Business Review, and Foreign Policy, and op-eds in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, among others.


Dr. Economy received her B.A. with honors from Swarthmore College, her M.A. from Stanford University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. In 2008, she received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Vermont Law School.

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