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ASU scholar joins inaugural class of national Asia research associates

April 27, 2010

Wei Li, an Arizona State University expert in Asian Pacific American Studies and the Pacific Rim, is one of 39 scholars selected to participate in the first class of research associates and fellows of the National Asia Research Program.

“Our goal in this new program is to highlight and reward scholars who have successfully bridged the gap between the academy and policy,” said Richard Ellings, president of the National Bureau of Asian Research and co-director of the new program designed to reinvigorate and promote the policy-relevant study of Asia. It is part of the D.C.-based bureau and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

“The selection of these top scholars from across the United States marks the beginning of a new national association for U.S. experts who care about policy issues related to Asia,” said Robert Hathaway, the Asia program director at the Wilson Center and co-director of the new research initiative.

Li, the only Asia scholar from Arizona invited to participate, is an associate professor in ASU’s School of Social Transformation and School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The 27 research associates and 12 research fellows were selected from more than 140 faculty and staff experts nominated by U.S. universities and research organizations. Their research will receive two-year support from the National Asia Research Program, which plans to bring their efforts to the attention of policymakers.

“Asia’s resurgence is a turning point in world history,” said Li. “The surge of export-based economies, capital accumulation and rising education levels among residents in the newly industrialized countries of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan are not only part of the accelerated globalization trend in the second half of the 20th century but have provided key initial capital investments into China’s rapid economic development in the past three decades and its rise in power on the global stage more recently.”

Li’s work seeks to understand how Asian migration and the flow of capital, along with the rise of China and India as global powers, have changed international dynamics and U.S. leadership in the world.

She also holds affiliated faculty positions with ASU’s Center for Asian Research, North American Center for Transborder Studies, and Center for Population Dynamics.

Nancy Newcomer,
School of Social Transformation