Fellows in Residence

James R. Lilley
Ambassador in Residence
former U.S. Ambassador to China and Korea
April 13 – 14, 2005

The five part China’s Global Rise Series began April 13 – 14, 2004, with two public addresses by the Riley Institute’s Ambassador-in-Residence James Lilley. Lilley, U.S. Ambassador to China and Korea under the George H. Bush administration, shared a wealth of personal experience in his lectures, “Dealing with the North Koreans: An Inside View” and “US China Relations at the Dawn of the 21st Century.”

Born in the Shandong province of China, Lilley moved to the United States with his family during World War II. He was educated at Yale and George Washington University. Lilley began his government career as a 30 year CIA operative, during which he was appointed national intelligence officer for China. He then taught at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and was director of the American Institute in Taiwan before being appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs in 1985.

From 1986 to 1989, Lilley was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea and from 1989 to 1991 he served as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. He subsequently held the positions of Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Affairs and the director of the Institute for Global Chinese Affairs at the University of Maryland.

Ambassador Lilley published numerous articles in leading newspapers and magazines, co-edited several books and appeared frequently on PBS’ NewsHour and ABC’s Nightline. His memoir, China Hands: Nine Decades of Adventure, Espionage, and Diplomacy in Asia, was published in 2005. Prior to his death in November 2009, Lilley was widely considered one of the most knowledgeable US experts on Chinese and East Asian foreign relations.