Faculty Steering Committee

Robert L. Lieff Professor of Law and Director, Center for Chinese Legal Studies, Columbia Law School

Benjamin Liebman is the Robert L. Lieff Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia Law School. His current research focuses on Chinese tort law, on Chinese criminal procedure, on the impact of popular opinion and populism on the Chinese legal system, and on the evolution of China’s courts and legal profession. Prior to joining the Columbia faculty in 2002, Professor Liebman was an associate in the London and Beijing offices of Sullivan & Cromwell. He also previously served as a law clerk to Justice David Souter and to Judge Sandra Lynch of the First Circuit. He is a graduate of Yale, Oxford, and Harvard Law School.

Chair, Faculty Steering Committee, Columbia Global Centers | Beijing; Burgess Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science

Gerald Curtis (Ph.D., Columbia, 1968) is Burgess Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and concurrently Distinguished Research Fellow at the Tokyo Foundation. He served as Director of Columbia's Weatherhead East Asian Institute for a total of twelve years between 1974 and 1990. Professor Curtis is the author of The Logic of Japanese Politics, The Japanese Way of PoliticsElection Campaigning Japanese StyleSeiji to Sanma - Nihon to Kurashite 45 nen (Politics and Saury: 45 Years Living with Japan) and numerous other books and articles written in both English and Japanese and translated into Chinese, Korean, Thai and other languages.

Professor Curtis has held appointments at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London; the College de France, Paris; the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore; and in Tokyo at Keio, Waseda, and Tokyo Universities, the Graduate Research Institute for Policy Studies, and the International Institute of Economic Studies. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Japan Society of New York, the Japan Center for International Exchange USA, and member of the the Council on Foreign Relations. He has served as Special Advisor to Newsweek for its Japanese and Korean language editions, the International Advisory Board of the Asahi Shimbun, the Advisory Council for the Center for Global Partnership of the Japan Foundation, the Trilateral Commission, the Board of Directors of the US-Japan Foundation and as Director of the U.S.-Japan Parliamentary Exchange Program.

Professor Curtis's commentaries are published frequently in newspapers and magazines in the United States, Japan, Britain, and other countries.  Fluent in Japanese, he is a frequent commentator on international affairs on Japanese television news programs.

Professor Curtis is the recipient of numerous prizes and honors including the Chunichi Shimbun Special Achievement Award, the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize, the Japan Foundation Award presented in a ceremony held in the presence of the Crown Prince and Princess followed by an audience with the Emperor. He is the recipient of the Marshall Green Award of the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C., the Eagle on the World Award of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New York, and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, by the Emperor of Japan, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Japanese government.

Toni Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative Journalism; Director, Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, Graduate School of Journalism

Sheila S. Coronel is director of the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism and is Stabile professor of professional practice at Columbia University in New York. She began her reporting career in the Philippines, and in 1989, cofounded the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism to promote investigative reporting on major social issues, including the military, poverty, and corruption. She is the author and editor of more than a dozen books, including Coups, Cults & Cannibals, The Rule-makers: How the Wealthy and Well-Born Dominate Congress, and Pork and other Perks: Corruption and Governance in the Philippines. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism in 2003. In 2011, she was awarded the Presidential Teaching Award by Columbia University.

Dean of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs; Professor of Practice, International Economic Law and International Affairs, SIPA

Merit E. Janow was appointed dean of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs in May of 2013, and as a professor in the practice of international economic law and international affairs in the fall of 1994. She is also director of the Program in International Finance and Economic Policy at SIPA , co-director of Columbia's APEC Study Center and a member of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. Dean Janow teaches graduate courses in international economic and trade policy at SIPA and international trade & economic law and comparative antitrust at Columbia Law School.

While at Columbia, Janow has undertaken a variety of external advisory activities along with her substantial ongoing research activities. In December 2003, she was elected by the 151 member nations and customs unions of the World Trade Organization to serve as one of the seven Members of the WTO's Appellate Body. The Appellate Body is the global court of final appeal for intergovernmental trade disputes in Geneva, Switzerland. She was the only North American Member and the first female to serve on the Appellate Body. Janow's term expired in late December 2007. During her four years of service she was the presiding judge or Member on over 30 appeals, on matters ranging from high technology, agricultural and other subsidies, trade remedies, GATT provisions, services, etc.

For the last seven years, Janow has served on the boards of directors of several corporations and not for profit organizations. In 2009, Professor Janow became a charter member of the International Advisory Council of the China Investment Corporation, China's sovereign wealth fund. From 1997 to 2000, Janow served as the Executive Director of the first international antitrust advisory committee to the Attorney General and the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, US Department of Justice.

Prior to joining Columbia's faculty, Janow served as Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Japan and China (1990-93). She was responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing U.S. trade policies and negotiating strategies toward Japan and China. She was a key negotiator in a dozen trade agreements with Japan and China. Before her initial government tenure, Janow was a corporate lawyer specializing in cross-border mergers and acquisitions with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York, and previously worked on international trade policy at a U.S. think tank. She spent more than 15 years in Japan and is fluent in Japanese. She has a JD from Columbia Law School and a BA in Asian Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  She is the author of several books and numerous articles.
Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Professor Lean offers courses on modern Chinese history, gender, history of science, consumer culture, and cultural theory and historical methods. In her book Public Passions: The Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China (University of California Press, 2007), she examines a sensational crime of female passion to document the political role of emotions in the making of a critical urban public. In 2004–2005 Professor Lean received the ACLS/Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Junior Faculty and the An Wang Postdoctoral Fellowship of the Fairbank Center at Harvard University to research and complete the book project. This book was awarded the 2007 John K. Fairbank prize for the best book in modern East Asian history, given by the American Historical Association.

Professor Lean is currently researching a project titled "Manufacturing Modernity: Chen Diexian, a Chinese Man-of-Letters in an Age of Industrial Capitalism," which examines the cultural and intellectual dimensions of industrialization by focusing on the practices and writings of polymath Chen Diexian, a professional writer/editor, science enthusiast, and pharmaceutical industrialist. The project aims to explore the intersection among vernacular science, commerce, and ways of authenticating knowledge and things in an era of mass communication. She has received a Charles A. Ryskamp (ACLS) award for 2010–2011 to develop the project and has given talks on the topic at Princeton, Harvard, Yale, NYU, the National University of Singapore, the University of Chicago, Tel Aviv University, Academia Sinica in Taiwan, and Fudan University in Shanghai. She was featured in "Top Young Historians," History News Network (fall 2008).

Professor Lean received her BA from Stanford (1990) and her MA and PhD (1996, 2001) from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining the Columbia faculty in 2002, she taught at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature; Chair, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Interests: Japanese literature and cultural history, particularly classical and early modern literature, with special interest in prose fiction, poetry, and literary theory; the interaction between popular and elite cultures; issues of cultural memory and language; ecocriticism and cultural constructions of nature.

Professor Shirane has written widely on Heian, medieval and Edo prose fiction, poetry, and visual culture, as well as on the modern reception of literary classics and the production of the “past.” This year he published Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons: Nature, Literature, and the Arts (Columbia University Press, 2012), which examines the huge impact that the culture of the four seasons have had on Japanese literature, arts, gardens, and architecture.

Professor Shirane has also edited a book on Japanese poetry called Waka Opening Up to the World: Language, Community, and Gender (Benseisha, 2012), a bilingual (Japanese-English) edition that brings together the best scholarship in both Japanese and English on the function and impact of Japan’s most influential poetic genre.

Professor Shirane is also engaged in bringing new approaches to the study of Japanese literary culture. This has resulted in Japanese Literature and Literary Theory (Nihon bungaku kara no hihyō riron, Kasama shoin, 2009), edited with Fujii Sadakazu and Matsui Kenji; and New Horizons in Japanese Literary Studies (Bensei Publishing, 2009), both of which explore new issues and methodologies in the study of print and literary culture.

Professor Shirane is also the editor of Food in Japanese Literature (Shibundō, 2008); Overseas Studies on The Tale of Genji (Ōfū, 2008); and Envisioning The Tale of Genji: Media, Gender, and Cultural Production (Columbia University Press, 2008). The latter two books analyze the impact of The Tale of Genji on Japanese cultural history in multiple genres and historical periods. He has translated and edited a number of volumes on Japanese literature. These include The Demon at Agi Bridge and Other Japanese Tales (Columbia University Press, 2010), a collection of setsuwa (anecdotal literature); Classical Japanese Literature, An Anthology: Beginnings to 1600 (Columbia University Press,2006); Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology, 1600–1900 (ColumbiaUniversity Press, 2002; abridged ed., 2008); and The Tales of the Heike (Columbia University Press, 2006; paperback 2008).

Professor Shirane is also deeply involved with the history of Japanese language and pedagogical needs and has written the Classical Japanese Reader and Essential Dictionary (2007) and Classical Japanese: A Grammar (Columbia University Press,2005). Previous books include Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory, and the Poetry of Bashō (Stanford University Press, 1998) and The Bridge of Dreams: A Poetics of The Tale of Genji (Stanford University Press, 1987). He also is co-editor with Tomi Suzuki of Inventing the Classics: Modernity, National Identity, and Japanese Literature (Stanford UniversityPress, 2001).

Professor Shirane received his BA from Columbia College (1974) and his PhD from Columbia University (1983). He is the recipient of Fulbright, Japan Foundation, SSRC, and NEH grants and has been awarded the Kadokawa Genyoshi Prize, Ishida Hakyō Prize, and, most recently, the Ueno Satsuki Memorial prize (2010) for outstanding research on Japanese culture.

Arthur F. Burns Professor of Free and Competitive Enterprise, Columbia Business School; Director, Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business

Wei Jiang is Arthur F. Burns Professor of Free and Competitive Enterprise in the Finance and Economics Division, and the Director of Chazen Institute of International Business at Columbia Business School. Jiang received her B.A. and M.A. in international economics from Fudan University (China), and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 2001 after which she joined Columbia Business School. She has since taught in the Master, MBA or EMBA programs at Chicago, Columbia, Wharton, and Berkeley. She was an investment banking associate at Prudential Securities (Shanghai) before pursuing her Ph.D. degree. 

Professor Jiang's main research interest lies in the strategies of institutional investors (such as hedge funds and mutual funds) and their role in corporate decisions and financial markets. Her research has been published in top academic journals as well as featured in major media, including the Wall Street Journal, Economist, Institutional Investors, Money, Fortune, Business Week, New York Times andFinancial Times. She received the Smith-Breeden Distinguished Paper Prize from the Journal of Finance, multiple best paper prizes from the Western Finance Association, Chicago Quantitative Alliance, UK Inquire, the Q-Group, and the Wharton School Terker Family Prize in Investment Research. She is currently an associate editor at the Journal of Finance and Review of Financial Studies, and a Senior Fellow at the Program on Corporate Governance - Harvard Law School.

Professor Jiang has taught various courses in corporate finance and is a five-time recipient of teaching excellence awards at Columbia Business School since 2005. Most recently she was voted by the Class of 2013 MBA students to receive the Singhvi Prize for Scholarship, awarded to a full-time faculty member for his/her dedication to teaching and the ability to communicate knowledge.

Associate Professor at the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW) and a Faculty Affiliate of the Columbia Population Research Center and Weatherhead East Asian Institute

Qin Gao is an Associate Professor at the Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW) and a Faculty Affiliate of the Columbia Population Research Center and Weatherhead East Asian Institute. She is also an Academic Board Member of the China Institute for Income Distribution at Beijing Normal University and a Public Intellectual Fellow of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. Before joining the faculty of CSSW, she was a Professor and Coordinator of International Initiatives at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service.

Dr. Gao’s current research examines the following topics: 1) the Chinese welfare state in transition: size, structure, and redistributive effects; 2) effectiveness and impacts of Dibao, China’s primary social assistance program, and other anti-poverty policies and programs; 3) gender inequality in time use in China and beyond; 4) social protection for rural-to-urban migrants in China and Asian American immigrants; and 5) cross-national comparative social policies and programs. Dr. Gao’s work has been supported by multiple national and international funding sources such as the National Social Science Fund of China, UNICEF, and the World Bank.

Dr. Gao organized the Symposium on Income Inequality and Social Policy in China: Achievements, Challenges, and Directions, held in Beijing on Oct. 22, 2016. The Symposium was cohosted by CSSW and the China Institute for Income Distribution at Beijing Normal University and supported by the Columbia University Weatherhead East Asian Institute and Global Centers | Beijing.