Bill Overholt
  • 21 years' experience running Asia research teams for Nomura, Bank Boston, and Bankers Trust
  • Former Asia Policy Distinguished Research Chair and Director of the Asia Policy Center at RAND

Dr. William H. Overholt holds a research position at Harvard's Kennedy School and is Principal of AsiaStat LLC, a consulting firm. Previously he held the Asia Policy Distinguished Research Chair at RAND's California headquarters and was Director of RAND's Center for Asia Pacific Policy.

During 21 previous 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. 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 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.

Dr. Overholt is the author of seven books, including (co-author) Renminbi Rising (Wiley, 2016) Asia, America and the Transformation of Geopolitics (Cambridge University Press and RAND, 2007). With Zbigniew Brzezinski, he founded the semi-annual Global Assessment in 1976 and edited it until 1988.

Dr. Overholt serves on the Board of the Korea Society and the International Center for Conciliation. He was a Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Executive Committee member of the Business and Professionals Federation of Hong Kong, both for six years.

Dr. Overholt received his B.A. (magna, 1968) from Harvard and his Master of Philosophy (1970) and Ph.D. (1972) from Yale.

China's Crisis of Success
Book

Bill Overholt

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Harvard Asia Center

CHINADebate

Bill Overholt

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Harvard Asia Center

Malcolm Riddell

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CHINADebate

Book
Interview
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China, America, & the 'Jaws Syndrome'

‘Both Trump and Xi have a fundamental political divide problem that the COVID-19 epidemic has exposed and made more apparent – and made substantially worse.’
4/25/2020

CHINADebate

Bill Overholt

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Harvard Asia Center

Malcolm Riddell

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CHINADebate

Book
Interview

China's Crisis of Success

Here are five key points, each corresponding to a section below. "The Rise of China: How Economic Reform Is Creating a New Superpower" by Bill Overholt, published in 1993, was called 'nonsense' and 'too optimistic.' How did that work out for the reviewers? Now, almost three decades after "The Rise of China", Bill believes that China's future has become 'much more uncertain.'
2/16/2018

CHINADebate

Bill Overholt

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Harvard Asia Center

Malcolm Riddell

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CHINADebate

Book
Interview
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Why A Trump–Kim Jeong Eun Summit Could Work

[Malcolm Riddell's conversation with Bill Overholt] 'If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him [Kim Jong-un], I would absolutely. I would be honored to do it.' — President Trump — May 2017:'What President Trump has done is to signal we are willing to move away from this formula that the North Koreans have to give up everything in their nuclear program before negotiations - only then we'll talk with them. I admire our U.S. negotiators, but that formula is simply absurd.'
5/29/2017

CHINADebate

Bill Overholt

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Harvard Asia Center

Malcolm Riddell

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CHINADebate

Book
Interview
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Is The U.S. Ceding Global Leadership To China?

'China isn't positioned to replace the U.S. as a global leader anytime soon.'—Hard on President Trump's 'American First' inaugural address, Xi Jinping gave a rousing paean to globalism at the World Economic Forum. And, immediately the hot question became: 'Is the U.S. ceding global leadership to China?' Yes and no, says Bill Overholt of the Harvard Asia Center. Yes, the U.S. is ceding global leadership. No, China won’t replace the U.S. What will replace the U.S. is ‘G-Zero’, a world with no single global leader. Not China, not the U.S. So, can his critics lay this outcome at President Trump’s feet?
2/27/2017