Greitens, Sheena C. | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ph.D., Harvard University
  • M.Phil, Oxford University
  • B.A., Stanford University
Research Areas
  • East Asia
  • American national security
  • Authoritarian politics and foreign policy

Sheena Chestnut Greitens is an associate professor at the LBJ School, as well as a faculty fellow with the Clements Center for National Security and a distinguished scholar with the Strauss Center for International Security and Law.

Her work focuses on East Asia, American national security and authoritarian politics and foreign policy. She is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, an adjunct fellow with the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, an associate in research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University, and a member of the Digital Freedom Forum at the Center for a New American Security.

From January 2015 to August 2020, Dr. Greitens was an assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri, and co-director of the University's Institute for Korean Studies. Her work on China and North Korea has appeared in academic journals and edited volumes in English, Chinese and Korean, and in major media outlets. She has also previously testified to Congress on security issues in the Indo-Pacific. Her first book, Dictators and their Secret Police: Coercive Institutions and State Violence (Cambridge, 2016) received the 2017 Best Book Award from both the International Studies Association and the Comparative Democratization section of the American Political Science Association.

In 2017–18, Dr. Greitens served as the first lady of Missouri, where she helped lead the state's 2017 trade mission to China and South Korea, and successfully advocated for major legislative and administrative reforms to Missouri's policies on foster care, adoption and child abuse prevention.

She holds a doctorate from Harvard University; an M.Phil from Oxford University, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar; and a bachelor's degree from Stanford University.

Media Expertise
  • China
  • Korea
  • East Asia
  • American national security
  • authoritarian politics
  • foreign policy


Media MentionAugust 16, 2020
One question hung over 2008 Games: Would they change China?

LBJ's Sheena Greitens told the Associated Press that the world financial crisis that followed the 2008 Olympics by a month, and the rise of General Secretary Xi Jinping, changed China far more than Olympic spectacle. “The Beijing Olympics get the attention of viewers who don’t necessarily pay lots of attention to global politics and foreign policy otherwise, and that heightens the impact of hosting the Olympics on overall public attention to China,” she wrote in an email.

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Media MentionAugust 12, 2020
The Lawfare Podcast: Trump Takes Aim at TikTok and WeChat

LBJ's Sheena Greitens joined Bobby Chesney, director of the Strauss Center for International Security and Law, and Dr. Ronald Deibert, a professor of political science and the founder and director of The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, to talk about the Trump executive orders aimed at banning TikTok and WeChat from operating in the United States. They also discussed the larger U.S.-China relationship and the role of technology competition in that space.

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Media MentionAugust 7, 2020
Targeting WeChat, Trump takes aim at China’s bridge to the world

The all-purpose app, which the administration is restricting along with TikTok, is how many Chinese living abroad stay in touch with one another, and with people back home. LBJ's Sheena Greitens talks about the consequences of the Trump administration's actions toward WeChat, and how it's fighting stated policy goals.

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