Connecting People & Ideas to Advance Mutual Interests in U.S.-Asia Relations

The Mansfield-Luce Asia Scholars Network was launched in 2020 to identify and connect American scholars and professionals specializing in Asia who demonstrate an interest in and extraordinary potential for becoming policy intellectuals. These scholars include regional specialists with diverse expertise and perspectives who can participate constructively in the policymaking process in the mid- and long-term and contribute to better understanding within U.S.-Asia relations by teaching and inspiring future generations.

Cohort 1

Darcie DeAngelo is an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma and Wilson China Fellow. Previously, she conducted sensory ethnographic research in Cambodian minefields and has produced several films. Her projects explore postwar ecologies, human-nonhuman relations, science and technology studies, and disarmament. She has published in journals like Southeast of Now, a contemporary art journal and in Culture and Organizations, an anthropology journal. Her book project, Beloved Technologies, explores the implementation of landmine detection rats in Cambodia and is part of the UC Press’s 2019 selection for its Atelier: Ethnographic Inquiry in the Twenty-first Century series workshop. Some of her filmed work can be seen online at After graduating from Harvard she obtained a Master of Philosophy in Visual Cultural Studies from the University of Tromsø in Norway. In 2018, she was awarded a doctorate in Anthropology from McGill University.

Iza Ding is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh with a secondary appointment in public policy at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. She studies the politics of democracy and authoritarianism, with regional interests in Asia and Eastern Europe. Currently, Dr. Ding is completing a book manuscript on the environmental bureaucracy in China. Dr. Ding received her PhD in Government from Harvard University and her BA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, earning a dual degree in Political Science and Russian and Eastern European Studies.

Mark Manyin is a Specialist in Asian Affairs at the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS), a non-partisan agency that provides information and analysis to Members of the U.S. Congress and their staff. At CRS, Dr. Manyin’s area of expertise is U.S. foreign policy toward East Asia, particularly Japan, the two Koreas, and Vietnam. From 2006-2008 and again in 2013, Dr. Manyin served as the head of the CRS’ 10-person Asia Section, overseeing the Service’s research on East, Southeast, and South Asia as well as Australasia and the Pacific Islands. From 2005-2010, Dr. Manyin was a Term Member with the Council on Foreign Relations. He also was a 2010-11 Council on Foreign Relations Hitachi Fellow and in 2010 was selected to participate in the Mansfield Foundation’s inaugural U.S.-Japan Network for the Future program. Dr. Manyin completed his PhD in Japanese trade policy and negotiating behavior at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Andrew L. Oros is Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. His latest research project examines how demographic change – such as shrinking populations, aging societies, and gender imbalances – will affect the security environment in the Indo-Pacific region and, in particular, the network of US alliances and partnerships in the region.  He conducted research for his last book, Japan’s Security Renaissance (Columbia University Press, 2017), as an invited research fellow at Japan’s National Institute of Defense Studies and as a Japan Foundation Abe fellow at Keio University in Tokyo and Peking University in Beijing. He also is the author of two other books and numerous articles and books chapters on issues related to East Asian security and Japanese politics.  He serves as an executive editor of the scholarly journal Asian Security, and is a member of the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future (Cohort 2). He earned his PhD in political science at Columbia University.

Renard Sexton is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Emory University. He is a political scientist who studies conflict and development using detailed fieldwork and statistical methods. He has regional expertise in Southeast Asia, Afghanistan and Latin America. His scholarly work has been published in top journals, including the American Political Science ReviewAmerican Journal of Political Science and World Politics. His policy research and commentary have appeared in the Washington PostNew York TimesFiveThirtyEight, the Guardian, and Foreign Policy. Alongside his research, he has consulted on peace and security issues for a range of policy actors, including the UN, the International Crisis Group and agencies of the US, Philippines and German governments. Before joining Emory, he served as the Economics of Conflict fellow at the International Crisis Group and Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University. He completed his PhD in the Department of Politics at New York University.

Apichai W. Shipper is the Asia Regional Chair at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Asian Studies Program at Georgetown University. His expertise is in area studies and foreign policy of East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region, migration and citizenship, and civil society and democratization. He is the author of Fighting for Foreigners: Immigration and Its Impact on Japanese Democracy (Cornell University Press, 2008; paperback 2016) and numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. He currently serves as an Associate Editor of Pacific Affairs and an Editorial Board Member of Critical Asian Studies. Prior to entering public service, he taught political science and international relations at the University of Southern California, where he received the Department of Political Science “Outstanding Teaching” award. He received AB degrees in Government & Asian Studies from Cornell University and a PhD in Political Science from MIT.

Pon Souvannaseng is Assistant Professor of Global Studies at Bentley University. She researches state and business behavior in global infrastructure competition and its social, environmental and fiscal implications. Her work examines the political economy of energy and infrastructure financing in the developing world and has expertise in issues of environmental governance and development finance with extensive experience in Southeast Asia and Africa. She is particularly interested in state-capital market interactions in the financialization of infrastructure and South-South asymmetric dependency. She was formerly a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Crisis Studies & Mitigation and led research on ‘Mapping Infrastructure Finance in Myanmar and Ghana’ as part of a UKRI-funded research consortia connecting biophysical and social science research on water-energy issues. She has been a Fulbright Research Scholar in Southeast Asia, a CODESRIA-CLACO-APISA South-South Laureate Award holder and APSA Asia Fellow. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics & Political Science and has previously served as a researcher at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, ASEAN Labour Secretariat and as a Fellow in Political Economy & International Development at University College London.

Meredith Shaw is the managing editor of Social Science Japan Journal and an associate professor at the University of Tokyo. Her research focuses on the cultural politics of Northeast Asia, particularly the Koreas, Japan and Mongolia. She has published articles in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Global Asia, and The National Interest. She received a 2016 Fulbright grant to do fieldwork in South Korea and was a participant in the US-Korea NextGen Scholars Program (2018-19). She also manages the “North Korean Literature in English” blog. Previously she worked for several years as a research associate and translator at the Korean Institute for National Unification in Seoul. She has bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and East Asian Studies from Brown University, an MA in International Relations from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, and a PhD in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Southern California.

Cecilia Han Springer is a senior researcher with the Global China Initiative at the Global Development Policy Center. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the environmental impacts of China’s overseas investment, energy policy analysis, and industrial decarbonization. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, a Fulbright fellow in Tianjin, China, and a visiting researcher at Tsinghua University. She earned a M.S. and Ph.D. from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in environmental science from Brown University.

Matt Wheeler is Senior Analyst, South East Asia, at the International Crisis Group, which he joined in 2012. His work focuses on conflict and politics, particularly the insurgencies in southernmost Thailand and Mindanao in the Philippines. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, he has lived in Thailand for more than twenty years. He researched terrorism and Asian security issues at the RAND Corporation and as Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. From 2002-2004, he was a Thailand-based Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, writing about political and social issues in mainland Southeast Asia. He has published commentaries in The New York Times and Foreign Affairs, among other outlets, and held fellowships from the Blakemore Foundation and the Smith Richardson Foundation. He holds an MA in Asian Studies from Harvard University.

Andrew Yeo is Associate Professor of Politics and Director of Asian Studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Asia’s Regional Architecture: Alliances and Institutions in the Pacific Century (Stanford University Press 2019) and author or co-editor of three other books. His research and teaching interests include international relations theory, Asian security, narratives and discourse, the formation of beliefs, ideas, and worldviews, civil society, social and transnational movements, U.S. grand strategy and global force posture, Korean politics, and North Korea. Dr. Yeo’s scholarly publications have appeared in International Studies Quarterly, European Journal of International Relations, Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Politics, Journal of East Asian Studies, and International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, among others. He is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the National Committee on North Korea. He received his PhD in Government from Cornell University, and BA in Psychology and International Studies magna cum laude from Northwestern University.

Jiakun Jack Zhang is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Kansas (KU). In 2018-2019, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University. His research explores the political economy of trade and conflict in East Asia with a focus on explaining when and why economically interdependent countries use military versus economic coercion in foreign policy disputes. His research has been supported by various fellowships and awards, including a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant to Peking University, the Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship, and the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation Herb York Dissertation Fellowship. Dr. Zhang has consulted for the Eurasia Group and the Economist Intelligence Unit. He received his PhD from the Department of Political Science at UC San Diego and his BA from Duke University.