David Firestein is the founding Executive Director of the China Public Policy Center and Clinical Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Texas’s Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs.
As CPPC chief, Firestein leads UT's institutional engagement with China and oversees innovative interdisciplinary research on China-related domestic and foreign policy topics. Prior to joining UT, Firestein served as senior vice president and Perot Fellow at the East West Institute; there, he led the Institute’s work in the areas of U.S.-China relations, East Asian security and U.S.-Russia relations.
Professor Firestein has a decorated career U.S. diplomat from 1992–2010, Firestein specialized primarily in China and U.S.-China relations. He is the author or co-author of three books on China, including two published Chinese-language best-sellers. Firestein speaks Chinese at the near-native level.
Throughout his career, Firestein has played an active role advancing U.S.-China and U.S.-Asia trade. He has also produced path-breaking thought leadership, scholarship and Capitol Hill testimony on a range of topics, including U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, U.S.-China infrastructure investment cooperation, and the role of national exceptionalism as a driver of major international conflict today Firestein was also a principal architect of the U.S.-China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue.