Considered by many as one of the most articulate and concise interpreters of modern China to the western world, Robert Daly was named as the second director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson Center in August, 2013. He came to the Wilson Center from the Maryland China Initiative at the University of Maryland. Prior to that, he was American Director of the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing.
Robert Daly began work in US-China relations as a diplomat, serving as Cultural Exchanges Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in the late 80s and early 90s. After leaving the Foreign Service, he taught Chinese at Cornell University, worked on television and theater projects in China as a host, actor, and writer, and helped produce Chinese-language versions of Sesame Street and other Children’s Television Workshop programs. During the same period, he directed the Syracuse University China Seminar and served as a commentator on Chinese affairs for CNN, the Voice of America, and Chinese television and radio stations. Mr. Daly has testified before Congress on U.S.-China relations and has lectured at scores of Chinese and American institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, the East-West Center, the Asia Society, and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. He has lived in China for 11 years and has interpreted for Chinese leaders, including Chinese president Jiang Zemin and vice president Li Yuanchao, and American leaders, including Jimmy Carter and Henry Kissinger.