Edward Steinfeld

Dean's Professor of China Studies, Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs, Director of the China Initiative, Howard R. Swearer Director of the Thomas J. Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Professor of International and Public Affairs


Ed Steinfeld is an expert on global innovation and how firms mobilize worldwide knowledge to create commercial value and promote technological leadership. By examining what firms achieve in different national settings, his students consider how contemporary technological advances such as data analytics, cognitive computing, and automation have influenced cross-border learning and innovation. They study how firm-level processes interact with societal institutions, governmental policies, and other ‘non-market’ forces.

Steinfeld is a highly accomplished scholar and educator who specializes in China’s political economy and industrial development. He focuses on how the Chinese economy moved from socialist command planning to fostering rapid innovation and developing market-related capabilities. Steinfeld is on the Board of the National Committee on US-China Relations.

Steinfeld served as a consultant to the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and many multinational firms, government agencies, and NGOs. He is on the academic committee at the Center for Industrial Development and Environmental Governance at Tsinghua University, China. He published these books, Playing Our Game: Why China’s Rise Doesn’t Threaten the West, and Forging Reform in China: The Fate of State-Owned Industry, and numerous articles in academic and non-academic journals. Prior to Brown, he was at the Sloan School of Management and professor of political science at MIT.

Steinfeld earned a PhD, MA, and BA in Political Science from Harvard University.