William H. Overholt has been a Senior Research Fellow in Harvard’s Asia Center and its Kennedy School of Government since 2008. During 2013-15 he also served as Senior Fellow and President of the Fung Global Institute in Hong Kong. His career includes 16 years doing policy research at think tanks, ten years at Harvard University, and 21 years running investment bank research teams.
Previously he held the Asia Policy Distinguished Research Chair at RAND’s California headquarters and was Director of the Center for Asia Pacific Policy; concurrently he was Visiting Professor at Shanghai Jiaodong University and, earlier, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Korea’s Yonsei University. During 21 years in investment banking, he served as Head of Strategy and Economics at Nomura’s regional headquarters in Hong Kong from 1998 to 2001, and as Managing Director and Head of Research at Bank Boston's regional headquarters in Singapore. During 18 years at Bankers Trust, he ran a country risk team in New York from 1980 to 1984, then was regional strategist and Asia research head based in Hong Kong from 1985 to 1998.
At Hudson Institute from 1971 to 1979, Dr. Overholt directed planning studies for the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of State, National Security Council, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Council on International Economic Policy. As Director of Hudson Research Services, he also did strategic planning for corporations.
Dr. Overholt is the author or principal co-author of nine books, including China’s Crisis of Success (Cambridge University Press, 2018); Renminbi Rising: The Emergence of a New Global Monetary System (Wiley, 2016) and Asia, America and the Transformation of Geopolitics (Cambridge University Press, 2007); The Rise of China (W.W. Norton, 1993), which won the Mainichi News/Asian Affairs Research Center Special Book Prize; Political Risk (Euromoney, 1982); (with William Ascher) Strategic Planning and Forecasting (John Wiley, 1983). He is principal co-author of: Asia's Nuclear Future (Westview Press, 1976); The Future of Brazil (Westview Press, 1978); and North Korea: Peace or Nuclear War (Harvard, forthcoming). With Zbigniew Brzezinski, he founded the periodical Global Assessment in 1976 and edited it until 1988.
Dr. Overholt serves on numerous boards and advisory boards. He has been a consultant on strategic planning and foreign affairs to many corporations, banks and government departments. He has served as political advisor to several of Asia's and Africa’s major political figures at turning points in their history and has done consulting projects for the Korea Development Institute, Korea's National Defense College, the Philippine Ministry of Agrarian Reform, and Thailand's Ministry of Universities.
Dr. Overholt received his B.A. (magna, 1968) from Harvard and his Master of Philosophy (1970) and Ph.D. (1972) from Yale.