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 associate professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT, where she directs UT's Asia Policy Program, a joint initiative of the Clements Center for National Security and the Strauss Center for International Security & Law. She is a Jeane Kirkpatrick Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and an associate in research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University.

Dr. Greitens's research focuses on American national security, East Asia and authoritarian politics & foreign policy. Her first book, Dictators and their Secret Police: Coercive Institutions and State Violence (Cambridge, 2016) received multiple academic awards. Her second book, on authoritarianism and diaspora politics in North Korea, and forthcoming from Cambridge University Press (Elements Series in East Asia). Her third book manuscript is on internal security and Chinese grand strategy.

Dr. Greitens's work has appeared in academic journals and edited volumes in English, Chinese and Korean, and in major media outlets, and she has testified before Congress on security and democracy in the Indo-Pacific. From 2015–20, she was an assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri and co-director of its Institute for Korean Studies. She also has been a Brookings Institution nonresident senior fellow, and an adjunct fellow with the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

In 2017–18, Dr. Greitens served as the first lady of Missouri, where she co-led the state's trade missions to China and South Korea and ran an interagency policy initiative that led to major legislative and executive-branch reforms of Missouri's policies on foster care, adoption and child abuse prevention. She also worked to appoint women to statewide boards and commissions.

Media Expertise
  • China
  • Korea
  • East Asia
  • American National Security
  • Authoritarian Politics
  • Foreign Policy


Media MentionMarch 16, 2022
Sheena Chestnut Greitens analyzes China's tightrope walk amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine
Sheena Chestnut Greitens joined "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss these and other questions. The former first lady of Missouri teaches foreign policy as an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Her focus is East Asia, authoritarian politics and American national security.
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NewsSeptember 24, 2021
Strauss and Clements announce the launch of the Asia Policy Program

The Strauss Center for International Security and Law and the Clements Center for National Security are pleased to announce the launch of a new joint program at The University of Texas at Austin: the Asia Policy Program.

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NewsApril 2, 2021
April 2: Faculty Research, Policy Engagement and News

10 features from the week 

  • Patrick Bixler spoke to the Associated Press about philanthropic gifts and scientific discovery after former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy, gave $150 million to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for research in biology and AI. 

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