CENTER FOR ADVANCED CHINA RESEARCH STAFF

David Gitter, 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.

dgitter@ccpwatch.org

Julia G. Bowie, Editor, Party Watch Initiative

Julia Bowie is the editor of the Party Watch Initiative at the Center for Advanced China Research. She previously worked at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, the Project 2049 Institute, and the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies. She holds an MA in Asian Studies from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and a graduate certificate from the Hopkins Nanjing Center. She lived in China for four years and is proficient in Mandarin Chinese.

jgbowie@ccpwatch.org

Brock M. Erdahl, 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.

berdahl@ccpwatch.org

Andrew Baer, Lead Developer

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.  

abear@ccpwatch.org

Calvin Blackburn, Analyst

Calvin Blackburn is an analyst at the Center for Advanced China Research. Before joining CACR, he performed language analysis and translation services for the US government. He developed proficiency in Mandarin through a BA in Chinese Language and Culture at the University of Puget Sound and two years of study in Beijing, Taipei, and Taichung.

cblackburn@ccpwatch.org

Cady Deck, Analyst

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. 

adeck@ccpwatch.org

Connor Swank, Analyst

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. 

cswank@ccpwatch.org

Svyat Nakonechny, Data Advisor

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.

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PARTY WATCH INITIATIVE FELLOWS

Ricardo Barrios

Ricardo Barrios is a senior analyst at RWR Advisory where he conducts risk analysis on Chinese and Russian firms. Prior to that, he investigated China’s growing ties with the countries of Latin America as part of the Inter-American Dialogue’s Asia & Latin America program. His research interests include Chinese foreign policy, party-state relations, and state ideology. Barrios holds a Master’s in International Politics from Peking University and a BA in Politics and East Asian Studies from Oberlin College. In 2019, he was selected by the American Mandarin Society as part of its “Next Generation Scholars.” He is professionally proficient in Mandarin Chinese, fluent in Spanish, and reads Russian.

Elsa B. Kania

Elsa B. Kania is an Adjunct Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, where she focuses on Chinese defense innovation and emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence. She is an independent analyst, consultant, and co-founder of the China Cyber and Intelligence Studies Institute (CCISI). Her prior professional experience includes working at the Department of Defense, the Long Term Strategy Group, FireEye, Inc., and the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy. Elsa is a graduate of Harvard College, where her thesis on the evolution of the PLA’s strategic thinking on information warfare was awarded the James Gordon Bennett Prize. Elsa was a Boren Scholar in Beijing, China, and she is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Michael Laha

Michael Laha is a program officer at the Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations in New York, where he manages the Center’s public programming and helped manage a project with ChinaFile tracking Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign. He joined the Center as a U.S.-China Dialogue Fellow. Laha is also the New York Chapter Director for Young China Watchers, a global network of young China-focused professionals. In that role, he conceives and runs a monthly speaker series for a young professional audience. Laha holds an M.A. in East Asian Cultures and Languages from Columbia University and B.S. in Chemistry from Tufts University. Before completing his Master’s degree, he spent a year at Nanchang University in Jiangxi Province teaching English. He is proficient in Chinese.

Ann Listerud

Ann Listerud is a research consultant with CACR. She previously served as a research assistant with the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a research associate at CSIS, a researcher and translator for Industrial Bank of Japan, Leasing Co. Ltd., and an English teacher for Henan University and the Shenzhen public school district. Her research interests include Chinese economic policy, state-owned enterprise reform, and aging populations. Ms. Listerud earned her MA in International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego, and her BA from Beloit College, where she double majored in international relations and East Asian languages. She speaks and reads Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.

Zongyuan (Zoe) Liu

Zongyuan Liu holds a Ph.D from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) specializing in International Political Economy with regional expertise in Asia. Her research focuses are Asian energy security, political risk in Asia, China-Middle East relations, and China’s overseas infrastructure investment.  Her dissertation examines the politics and economic fundamentals of foreign exchange reserves management in China and Japan and its global implications. Zoe holds an MA in International Affairs from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. In addition, she took the CFA Level III exam in June 2018 and is a part-time consecutive/simultaneous translator for visiting Chinese government and business delegations to Washington DC.

Scott Wingo

Scott Wingo focuses on China’s economic engagement in the developing world and why its modes of doing business are different from those used by Western governments, international organizations, and multinational corporations. He has previously worked with the Woodrow Wilson Center, the World Bank, and in the private sector, and has served as a teaching assistant for five semesters at the University of Pennsylvania. Scott is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish and reads Portuguese. He holds a doctorate in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania. You can follow him on Twitter @ScottCWingo.

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INTERNS

James O'Brien, Research Intern

James O'Brien is an MA candidate in Asian Studies at the Walsh School of Foreign Service. Previously, he worked as a research assistant at Georgetown, an intern in a Senate office, and as a Peace Corps volunteer in China. James studied Mandarin Chinese in Nanjing and in Beijing. He received a BA in International Studies from Loyola University Chicago. 

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Center for Advanced China Research | 1629 K St NW, Suite 300 | Washington DC, 20006| admin@ccpwatch.org 

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