Chinese Military Expert and Former White House Adviser Returns to Georgetown

Dennis Wilder, former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for East Asian Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC), returns to Georgetown University as an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Asian Studies Program and Senior Fellow at the Initiative for US-China Dialogue on Global Issues.

In Fall 2016, Professor Wilder will teach a graduate-level course titled “The Growth of Chinese Military Power,” which seeks to explore the origin, role, and the transformation of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into one of the world’s most capable armed forces. The course will mostly focus on the contemporary period and look at the development of the PLA since Deng Xiaoping reformed the army after the 1979 Chinese border conflict with Vietnam. Major topics covered will include the lessons learned from the 1979 border clash, the role of the military in the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, the 1995 missile crisis with Taiwan, the US-China EP-3 crisis of 2001, and the current Chinese standoff with the neighbors in the East and South China Seas. The course will also examine the Chinese military as an instrument of statecraft, contemporary civil-military relations, the evolution of Chinese power projection capabilities, and Chinese nuclear doctrine. The same course will be made available to undergraduates in Spring 2017.

Professor Wilder has had a distinguished career in the U.S. Government, especially in advising various agencies to help shape U.S. policy toward East Asia. Prior to Georgetown, he served from 2015 to 2016 as the CIA’s deputy assistant director for East Asia and the Pacific. Professor Wilder has also served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for East Asian Affairs on the NSC from December 2005 until January 2009 in the administration of President George W. Bush. Previously, he worked at the CIA in 1980 as a China military analyst in the Office Strategic Research in the Directorate of Intelligence. From 1995 until 2005, he served as the Chief of China analytic studies in the Directorate of Intelligence, Office of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and was awarded the Director’s Award by George Tenet. Professor Wilder was also a Visiting Fellow at the John L. Thornton China Center in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.  

Professor Wilder received his Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) degree from Georgetown University in 1979. He also received a Rosenthal Fellowship in International Relations in 1979 to work on the East Asian Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Senator John Glenn. He was also a recipient of a European Union Distinguished Visitors Grant. He is a graduate of Kalamazoo College in Michigan and spent a year studying Mandarin Chinese at the Yale-in-China Program at New Asia College on the campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Professor Wilder served overseas in the U.S. Consulate-General in Hong Kong from 1992 to 1995.