Center for Advanced China Research Staff
President and Chief Executive Officer
David Gitter is the president and CEO of the Center for Advanced China Research, where he specializes in research and analysis of authoritative open source Chinese language materials. He previously worked in various analytical capacities in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, including the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (OUSDP), Project 2049 Institute, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), focusing on Chinese foreign policy and broader Asian security issues. Gitter received his MA in Asian Studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He has lived, worked, and studied in Beijing, China and has working proficiency in Mandarin.
Connor Swank is an analyst at the Center for Advanced China Research. Prior to working at CACR, he completed a master’s degree in Chinese politics, foreign policy, and international relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, where he lived for two years. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He previously worked with the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, on Capitol Hill, and as a part-time research assistant at Georgetown University. He has working proficiency in Mandarin Chinese.
Director of Analysis
Brock Erdahl is director of analysis at the Center for Advanced China Research, where he specializes in propaganda analysis. Prior to moving to D.C., he lived, worked, and studied in Zhuhai, China for five years. He holds an MA in International Affairs from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and is professionally proficient in Mandarin Chinese.
Andrew Baer serves as a full stack developer at the Center for Advanced China Research where he is developing tools for analysis. He previously worked as a defense contractor and scientific researcher within various government agencies, including the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Naval Research Lab (NRL) under the Department of the Navy.
Dr. Scott Wingo is an analyst at the Center for Advanced China Research. He holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, where his dissertation used both statistical tools and country case studies to establish patterns in China's overseas development finance. He has previously worked with the U.S. Treasury, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the World Bank, and in the private sector. He holds both a Bachelor’s of Science in Foreign Service and a Master’s of Arts in Asian Studies from Georgetown University and has conducted research in China, Peru, and Timor-Leste. Scott is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as well as statistical analysis in R and Stata.
Cady Deck is an analyst at the Center for Advanced China Research. She holds an MA in China Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She spent her first year at the Hopkins Nanjing Center in Nanjing, China and previously studied in Beijing, Kunming, and Taiwan. She also holds a BA from George Washington University, where she double majored in International Affairs and Political Science and minored in Chinese.
Editor, Party Watch Initiative
Molly Henry is an analyst at the Center for Advanced China Research and editor of CACR's Party Watch Initiative. She holds an MA in Asian Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and most recently worked on Capitol Hill. She holds a BA from Smith College in History and East Asian Studies and studied abroad at the Middlebury College program in Beijing. She is proficient in Mandarin Chinese.
Program Manager and Research Assistant
Julie Huynh is a program manager and research assistant at Center for Advanced China Research. She majored in Chinese Language and Literature and minored in Mathematics and Linguistics at Middlebury College. She has lived, worked, and studied abroad in China, Korea, Japan, India, and Bahrain. She has previously worked with the Korean Defense Veterans' Association.
Drew Thompson is a director at the Center for Advanced China Research and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
From 2011 to 2018, he was the Director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He was previously the Director of China Studies and Starr Senior Fellow at the Center for the National Interest in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the Center, he was the National Director of the China-MSD HIV/AIDS Partnership in Beijing. Mr. Thompson served previously as Assistant Director to the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Mr. Thompson studied Chinese language at Beijing University in 1990, and was a graduate student in 1992 at the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. He graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Asian Studies from Hobart College in 1992 and received an M.A. in Government, with a concentration in Homeland Security, from Johns Hopkins University in 2004.
Svyat Nakonechny is an experienced data scientist and data engineer, with expertise in unstructured/ semistructured data processing, transformation, and integration into user-facing applications. He has worked on and managed several long term projects across many industry domains. He is particularly interested in building robust analytical tools (search platforms, business intelligence dashboards, etc.) for sophisticated subject matter experts. Svyat holds a Bachelors Degree in social sciences from Northwestern University.