Michael Pillsbury Joins Heritage as Senior Fellow for China Strategy

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Michael Pillsbury Joins Heritage as Senior Fellow for China Strategy

Jan 19, 2023 3 min read

WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation announced today that renowned China scholar Dr. Michael Pillsbury is joining the organization as a senior fellow for China strategy.  

As part of Heritage’s Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, Pillsbury’s focus will be to document and analyze the strategic competition between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China. His work will support one of Heritage’s seven policy priorities: countering the threat from Communist China.  

While the new Congress works to develop policies and legislation to push back against the Chinese Communist Party, Pillsbury will play a key role in Heritage’s mission to provide policymakers with solutions that keep Americans safe, free, and prosperous. He will also contribute to Heritage’s 2025 Presidential Transition Project and work with the new U.S. House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. 

Pillsbury joins Heritage after serving on the staff of four U.S. Senate Committees and worked in multiple presidential administrations. He is the author of the international best-selling book “The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower.” 

During the Reagan administration, Pillsbury served as assistant undersecretary of defense for policy planning, where he managed the implementation of the program that provided overt and covert aid to anti-communist resistance movements, known as the Reagan Doctrine. His research as an analyst at the RAND Corp. also influenced U.S. policy during the Reagan and Carter administrations.  

As a staff member for various Senate committees, including the Senate Labor Committee, Pillsbury drafted legislation that established the U.S. Institute of Peace, created the National Endowment for Democracy, and created an annual requirement for the Department of Defense to report on Chinese military power. 

In 1992, under President George H.W. Bush, Pillsbury served as special assistant for Asian affairs in Office of the Secretary of Defense, reporting to the Office of Net Assessment. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and International Institute for Strategic Studies. 

Heritage Foundation Executive Vice President Derrick Morgan released the following statement on Pillsbury’s joining the Heritage team:  

“The Heritage Foundation is committed to achieving policy wins for the American people and securing more freedom and opportunity. The Chinese Communist Party is the most persistent and consequential threat facing us on the world stage, which is why we are going on the offense to ensure our country has a plan to mitigate any threat from Communist China. Michael Pillsbury will help us do just that. His experience and strategic insight on China will help policymakers combat Chinese aggression. We’re grateful he’ll be contributing to the new U.S. House Select Committee on China and ensuring members of Congress understand the threat facing the United States.” 

Heritage Foundation Vice President James Carafano, who leads the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, released the following statement on Pillsbury’s joining the Heritage team:  

“China aims to dominate the global stage and deploys a toolkit that includes cyberwarfare, intellectual theft, espionage, and more to threaten the freedom and prosperity of everyday Americans. This must end. The U.S. doesn’t need a simple game plan for managing competition with China—it needs a winning strategy. Michael Pillsbury knows this and will ensure strategic competition remains at the center of Heritage’s China policy.” 

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