Levinson Program Update

Follow the Levinson Program on LinkedIn for frequent updates!

"I think that the China and Asia-Pacific Studies major is truly one of the most amazing majors that we have here at Cornell. Its interdisciplinary approach has allowed me to really gain a wide knowledge base in politics, history, economics and sociology in regards to the study of China. I think it has allowed me to develop really strong research and analytical skills that are vital to any industry you may choose to go into."- Nicole Mah '24

“The program helps students be unafraid to challenge our beliefs; to engage in informed debate; and to promote peace and understanding between China, the U.S., and peoples of all nations."
—Matthew McGee ’17

“The CAPS students were so great—they are incredibly smart and interesting, and they seem so happy to be in China. They all described it as transformational—and said their Mandarin was getting better… Congratulations on a great program!”
—Wendy Wolford, Vice Provost for International Affairs



Students and Graduates
Since 2008, there have been 196 graduates, including 136 majors and 60 minors. Currently, there are 16 majors and 13 minors enrolled in the Levinson Program.

Among program graduates, academic and professional successes have been the norm. In academics we have placed students at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Chicago, Columbia,Duke, John Hopkins, NYU, among others, and have students awarded distinguished scholarships/fellowships such as the Fulbright Scholarship, Princeton-in-Asia Fellowship, Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, and Carnegie Junior Fellowship. In the professional world we have had students go on to law school at Harvard, Penn, Berkeley, Georgetown, Northwest, Peking University, and University of Hong Kong, and careers in politics, law, media, international organizations, consulting, and business such as the Department of State, DoD, New York Times, Fox News, South China Morning Post, Amazon, Barclays Capital, Boston Consulting, Deutsche Asset Management, FTI Consulting, IBM, Intel’s, L.G., McKinsey Albright Stonebridge Group, Cleary Gottlieb, Samsung, etc. both in the U.S. and in China and Asia.

The Levinson Program faculty/affiliated faculty is currently composed of 19 members from the departments of Government, History, Asian Studies, Sociology, as well as ILR. While many of them are China specialists whose expertise collectively covers nearly all aspects of Chinese history, society, economy, politics, foreign relations, culture, and language, we also have faculty members who teach and study international relations, American politics and foreign policy, American history, East Asian history and politics, among others. You can read more about the program faculty here.


Jessica Chen Weiss, Michael J. Zak Professor for China and Asia-Pacific Studies, assumed the position of Director on July 1, 2023. You can read more on Jessica's profile here.

Xu Xin, Levinson Program Executive Manager & Director of Undergraduate Studies; Bryant Munson, Undergraduate Coordinator; Hao Xinmiao (Cathy), CAPS Executive Assistant in Beijing.

Yukun Tong and Junhui Xu joined the Levinson Program as Research Associates and Program Coordinators in August 2023.


Since the Fall of 2022, the Levinson Program has organized a series of events on Ithaca campus:

  • On April 17, the Cornell Levinson Program in China and Asia-Pacific Studies will host an event entitled “U.S. National Security Policymaking and the Future of U.S.-China Relations: a fireside chat between Former National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley and Professor Jessica Chen Weiss” on the Ithaca campus.
  • On January 30, 2024, the Cornell Levinson Program in China and Asia-Pacific Studies joined the Chinese embassy in Washington D.C. for an off-the-record conversation on China and the future of U.S.-China relations between Minister Jing Quan at the embassy and Professor Jessica Chen Weiss, Director of the program.
  • On January 24, the Levinson Program hosted an informal, off-the-record conversation between Professor Jessica Chen Weiss, Director of the program, and Cole Donovan, Assistant Director for Research Security and Infrastructure, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, to discuss issues related to U.S.-China relations as well as their impact on university and minority communities.
  • On November 14, 2023, the Levinson Program hosted a seminar, titled: "The View From Dharamshala: Tibet, China, And The World. A Chat with Lobsang Sangay", moderated by Professor Allen Carlson.
  • On November 5 and 7, 2023, program students attended the Cornell-China Forum in Guangzhou and “Cornell in Beijing: Leadership and Mentorship” conference in Beijing respectively. They joined 250 Cornell alumni and collaborators for these events, organized by the Cornell China Center. The forum showcased Cornell’s research and commitment to addressing urgent global challenges and collaborations with a global scope. Several Cornell leaders and faculty joined panel discussions with Chinese scholars and industry representatives to discuss decarbonization and environmental resilience, health technology in the context of aging society, and materials innovations.
  • At the invitation of the Levinson Program, Dr. JIA Qingguo, PhD ’88, visited Cornell during November 2-5, 2022. A professor and former dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University (Beida), Dr. Jia has played an important role in the establishment of CAPS program and the development of Cornell-Beida academic exchange and cooperation. During his visit, he gave a talk on “China-U.S. Relations: Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel?” to the Cornell community, and met program students and faculty.

• On September 27, CAPS students attended the reception for the 74th anniversary of the founding of the PRC at the Chinese embassy; and on October 17, they attended a cultural event for the US Premiere of ‘Chinese Puzzle’ documentary at the Chinese embassy.

• On October 20, the Levinson Program hosted an informal and off-the-record conversation between Tom Cooney, Vice President and International Policy Advisor at Capital Group and a former senior career diplomat, and Professor Jessica Chen Weiss, Director of the Levinson program.

• On October 24, the program hosted a panel discussion on “China and Africa: Past, Present, and Future Engagement and Local Variation.” The panelists include Professor He Wenping, a China and Africa expert at the Institute of West-Asian and African Studies (IWAAS) at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Professor Oumar Ba at the Cornell Department of Government, and Professor Ding Fei at the Cornell Department of City and Regional Planning.

Besides, the Levinson Program faculty Jessica Chen Weiss, Jeremy Wallace, and Eli Friedman have given talks and/or published books/articles about China. (See more at https://caps.cornell.edu/news)



Cornell-Beida Partnership

Cornell Delegation at Peking University

Cornell entered into a long-term collaborative agreement regarding the establishment of the program in 2005. Since then, we have been constructively and continuously cooperating with our counterparts at Beida, especially the School of International Studies (SIS), Yenching Academy (YCA), Office of International Relations (OIR), and Office of International Students (OIS), for the smooth operation of the Levinson Program in Beijing and other exchanges between the two universities.

As continuity of Levinson Program-Beida patronship, in February 2023, Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences renewed/signed a project agreement “CAPS in Beijing Program” with SIS and a project agreement “Graduate Student Exchange” with SIS and YCA, both for the period of 2022-2025 under the MOA between Cornell and Beida.

Since the launch of the Beijing Program in 2007, 118 CAPS majors, 21 CAPS minors, and 3 non-CAPS students have participated in the study abroad semester in Beijing.

In the meantime, the Levinson Program has hosted 26 visiting non-degree graduate students, including 20 Ph.D. students from SIS and 6 master’s students from YCA, at Cornell. SIS and other academic units have hosted several Cornell Ph.D. students from Government at Beida. In the current and incoming academic years, Beida will be hosting two Cornell PhD students as visiting scholars for their fieldwork in China.

In addition to student exchanges, the program has proactively promoted other academic activities with our partners in China. Since 2006 the Levinson Program and Beida/SIS have successfully cohosted eight conferences/workshops on critical issues concerning China’s domestic or international policies and China-U.S. relations. Five of these events also involved other Chinese institutions – Linyi University, Wuyi College, the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, Zhejiang University, and the Institute for National Security Studies – in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2018 respectively.

Besides, in working with our colleagues in other Cornell’s departments/programs as well as university administration, we have helped organize other academic events, including the Cornell-PKU Distinguished Scholars Lecture Series (2007-2012) and the lecture series on the Politics and Ethics of the Rise of China (2012), among others. For these initiatives, Biddy Martin, Peter Katzenstein, and Richard Millers were invited to give talks at Beida, while WANG Jisi, JIA Qingguo, WANG Shaoguang, Justin Y. Lin were invited to give talks at Cornell. Beida also honored Peter Katzenstein as PKU Honorary Professor in 201.1


CAPS in Beijing Reopening

Students at Tibetan Buddhist Temple, Chengde

After three years of suspension due to Covid-19, the Levinson Program reopened its study abroad program in Beijing. During the 2023-2024 academic year, five CAPS students, 3 majors and 2 minors, participated in the Fall semester at Beida; five majors are currently participating in the Spring semester. They take both Cornell and Beida courses, along with Beida students, while also undertaking internships in Beiijng.

As the essential component of the Beijing program, we have been organizing a number of fieldtrips in and outside of Beijing, including:

• a weeklong fieldtrip to Anhui (Huangshan and Hefei), exploring the “Anhui model” of coordinated development in high-tech sectors, new urbanization, and sustainable tourism;
• a weeklong fieldtrip to Zhejiang (Hangzhou, Yiwu and Wenzhou), visiting private enterprises, Yiwu International Trade City (义乌国际商贸城), private schools/art center, local government business promotion agency, and Zhejiang University (浙江大学) to explore the “Zhejiang model” of socialist market economy and sustainable development;
• a weekend study tour to Chengde, grasping the multi-ethnicity of Chinese polity and society and visiting a local middle school;
• a study tour to a village in Beijing suburb, visiting a Taiwanese-owned Rainbow Angel Coffee Shop targeting the employment of disabled people;
• a weekend fieldtrip to Tianjin, meeting Chinese students from Tianjin Foreign Studies University and reflecting on China’s transition in modern times.

More news

View all news
CAPS Students at the Cornell China Form 2023