UC San Diego East Asian Affairs Expert, Susan L. Shirk, Named First Recipient of Ho Miu Lam Chair in China and Pacific Relations

August 31, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
University of California, San Diego faculty member and recognized expert in East Asian Affairs, Susan L. Shirk, has been named the inaugural chair holder for the recently established Ho Miu Lam Chair in China and Pacific Relations. The chair was established at UC San Diego’s Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) as part of local real estate investors Kwan and Marion So’s ongoing commitment to “give back in appreciation for the success they have had in this country.”

“We came to the university in 1989 with a desire to give back to our community and help further relations and understanding between China and the U.S.,” said Kwan So. “We’re pleased that such an outstanding China scholar will hold this chair.”

Shirk is the director of the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation based at UC San Diego, and a professor of political science at IR/PS. A former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs during the Clinton administration, Shirk knows many of today’s Chinese rulers personally. She has authored numerous articles about U.S.-China relations appearing in The Washington Post, Financial Times and Wall Street Journal as well as several books on China. Her recent acclaimed book, China: Fragile Superpower, examines the world through the eyes of Chinese rulers, exploring where the real danger in Chinese politics lies—not in the country’s astonishing growth but in the deep insecurity of its leaders.

“I’ve been researching China ever since I first traveled there in 1971, and I’m thrilled to have this level of support for my work,” said Shirk. “Thanks to the Sos, the funds from this chair will aid in the study and understanding of U.S.-China relations in perpetuity and have an effect for years to come.”

“The Sos have been dedicated friends of IR/PS and we are truly grateful for their support, and their recognition of Susan Shirk’s expertise,” added Dean Peter Cowhey. “Their generosity has enabled us to achieve our vision of educating talented young professionals to lead the emergence of the Pacific community, and helped place us among the most highly regarded university programs doing research and teaching on China.”

This is the second endowed faculty chair funded by the Sos, who have been longtime supporters of IR/PS and UC San Diego. They funded IR/PS’s first endowed chair—the Sokwanlok Chair in Chinese International Affairs—and made a gift to establish the Ho Miu Lam Endowed Fellowship Fund in the early 1990s. Kwan So has also served on the IR/PS International Advisory Board for nearly 18 years.

At the University of California, endowed chairs are teaching/research positions occupied by distinguished scholars. The university provides the teaching/research position and may pay the salary of the person appointed to the endowed chairs. The permanent endowed fund created by philanthropic gifts provides perpetual annual income in support of the teaching and research activities of the person holding the chair.

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About UCSD’s Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies
Founded in 1986, the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies is the only graduate school of international affairs in the UC system. As the only graduate school in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to teaching and research about the Americas and Asia, IR/PS established a new blueprint for international affairs and international management education. Students receive comprehensive training on the economics, politics and financial markets of the Pacific. The UC San Diego Departments of Economics and Political Science have been ranked in the top ten in the United States and the influential journal Foreign Policy has ranked IR/PS in the top ten for foreign affairs. Approximately 300 students are enrolled in the masters, Ph.D., and mid-career programs at IR/PS. For more information, please visit http://irps.ucsd.edu.

About UC San Diego
Since its founding just 45 years ago, the University of California, San Diego has rapidly achieved status as one of the top institutions in the nation for higher education and research. One of 10 campuses in the world-renowned University of California system, UC San Diego enrolls more than 26,000 students each year and offers degrees in a variety of disciplines, including seven professional schools. Ranked 8th best public university in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UCSD has also been named by Newsweek as the “hottest” institution for students to study science. With higher education’s share of state revenue declining each year, UC San Diego must increasingly rely on financial support from private sources. Gifts made by alumni and friends play an important role in keeping the university at the forefront of academic and research excellence. For more information, call 858-534-1610 or visit www.giving.ucsd.edu