Evan A. Feigenbaum

Nonresident Senior Associate
Asia Program
Feigenbaum’s work focuses principally on China and India, geopolitics in Asia, and the role of the United States in East, Central, and South Asia. His previous positions include deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia, deputy assistant secretary of state for Central Asia, and member of the secretary of state’s policy planning staff with principal responsibility for East Asia and the Pacific.


PhD, AM, Political Science, Stanford University
AB, History, University of Michigan



Chinese; English; French


Evan A. Feigenbaum is a nonresident senior associate in the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Based in Chicago, he is also the vice chairman of the Paulson Institute, an independent center, located at the University of Chicago, established by former Treasury secretary and Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson. Initially an academic with a PhD in Chinese politics, Feigenbaum’s career has spanned government service, think tanks, the private sector, and three major regions of Asia.

From 2001 to 2009, he served at the U.S. State Department as deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia (2007–2009), deputy assistant secretary of state for Central Asia (2006–2007), member of the policy planning staff with principal responsibility for East Asia and the Pacific (2001–2006), and an adviser on China to Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick, with whom he worked closely in the development of the U.S.-China senior dialogue.

During the intensive final phase of the U.S.-India civil nuclear initiative from July to October 2008, he co-chaired the coordinating team charged with moving the initiative through the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors and the Nuclear Suppliers Group and then to Congress, where it became the U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act. He negotiated agreements with the governments of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan and also has extensive policy experience with North and South Korea and Japan. He received three individual and two group superior honor awards from the State Department. 

Following government service, Feigenbaum was senior fellow for East, Central, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations as well as head of the Asia practice group and a director at Eurasia Group, a global political risk consulting firm. Before government service, he worked at Harvard University (1997–2001) as lecturer on government in the faculty of arts and sciences and as executive director of the Asia-Pacific Security Initiative and program chair of the Chinese Security Studies Program in the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He taught at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (1994–1995) as lecturer of national security affairs and was a consultant on China to the RAND Corporation (1993–1994). 

He is the author of three books and monographs, including The United States in the New Asia (CFR, 2009, co-author) and China’s Techno-Warriors: National Security and Strategic Competition from the Nuclear to the Information Age (Stanford University Press, 2003), which was selected by Foreign Affairs as a best book of 2003 on the Asia-Pacific, as well as numerous articles and essays.

  • Op-Ed Foreign Affairs October 14, 2015
    Lenin’s Chinese Heirs

    Xi views a rejuvenated Chinese Communist Party as the ticket to shepherd China into the role of a great power. The turmoil in China’s economy is the deliberate byproduct of the leadership’s emphasis on party-building.

  • Op-Ed Foreign Policy September 22, 2015 中文
    U.S.-India Ties in the Age of Xi Jinping

    The U.S.-China-India relationship forms a complicated triangle. During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit, U.S. leaders should keep in mind that improved ties with Beijing might distance Delhi.

  • Op-Ed ChinaFile August 18, 2015 中文
    How Should the U.S. Conduct the Xi Jinping State Visit?

    As tensions increase between China and the United States over the value of the yuan, alleged cyber attacks, and other issues, how should the Obama administration conduct the upcoming state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping?

  • Op-Ed Eurasia Review May 26, 2015 中文
    Modi’s China Visit: Asia’s New Strategic Quadrangle

    The stability of the Indo-Pacific will depend in large part on the dynamics that shape relations among four states: China, India, Japan, and the United States.

  • Op-Ed South Asia Monitor May 13, 2015
    Modi’s China Visit: Asia’s New Strategic Quadrangle

    Narendra Modi is wise to pursue economic and strategic diplomacy with Washington, Tokyo, and Beijing.

  • Op-Ed Foreign Policy April 28, 2015
    Pacific Partnership: Strengthening U.S.-India Relations

    The challenge facing U.S.-India cooperation in Asia turns more on Indian economic choices than on geostrategic developments in Asia.

  • Op-Ed Foreign Affairs February 2, 2015 中文
    The New Asian Order

    Asian financial integration is becoming a lasting feature of the political and economic reality in Asia and will pose a growing challenge to U.S. leadership in the Pacific. Washington should not shy away from this competition.

  • Op-Ed South Asia Monitor September 9, 2014
    In Asia’s Season of Summits, India Needs to Show Interest and Capability

    In Asia, leaders are gathering at a number of multilateral meetings. India has joined some of these groups and can make meaningful contributions if it focuses on shared interests and capabilities.

  • Op-Ed IANS July 30, 2014
    Kerry Visit a Start, Modi Visit to U.S. Pivotal

    India and the United States need to develop need new lines of coordination that reflect the emerging institutional and political set-up in New Delhi.

  • Op-Ed Foreign Affairs May 6, 2014
    Federalism, Chinese Style

    China’s economic model is broken and needs to change, but the proposed economic reforms will not succeed unless the Chinese state reshapes itself in far-reaching ways.

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