RSEA Alumni Updates

The multidisciplinary Master's program in Regional Studies - East Asia prepares students for careers in higher education, policy making, law, the military, journalism, international organizations, and the business and financial sectors. To date over 1400 RSEA alumni are working in a broad range of fields across many regions of the world.

The RSEA Alumni Panel is an annual event that provides current students with an opportunity to meet some of our alumni. Students appreciate hearing how others have used the skills and experience gained during their time in the RSEA program as a springboard to academic and non-academic career paths. Read about the 2019 RSEA Alumni Panel.

This year's 2020 RSEA Alumni Panel will be a virtual gathering for RSEA students, faculty, and alumni on October 22, 2020 at 7 pm EST. Save the date and watch for an email from Harvard GSAS with your invitation to join us online!

Read the twice-yearly RSEA Newsletter for an update from RSEA Chair Prof. James Robson, news of current students, RSEA events, updates from alumni, and ways to reconnect.

Summer 2020 RSEA Newsletter

Winter 2020 RSEA Newsletter

Summer 2019 RSEA Newsletter

We enjoy hearing from alumni and welcome your news - professional and personal - via email to

Below, some of our 1400+ RSEA alumni share news of their chosen career path and reflect on how the RSEA program readied them for opportunities after graduation.


Evan Dawley AM '98, PhD '06 - Academia (History)

Associate Professor of History at Goucher College

Maiko Takeuchi, AM 2007 - Government, United Nations        Maiko Takeuchi photo

I am now working as a member of the Panel of Experts to monitor implementation of UN Security Council sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), with another seven members from like-minded countries including China and the Republic of Korea.

I started my career in 2001, as a civilian policy planning officer at the Ministry of Defense, Japan, right after I graduated from the University of Tokyo, faculty of law. I studied IR in the RSEA program from 2005 to 2007, with the scholarship for junior government officials. After that I experienced several positions in the Government of Japan, including non-proliferation and strategic export control officer at the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry and civilian defense attaché at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. Read more


Anthony Barbieri-Low, AM 1997 - Academia (History)   Barbieri-Low at Harvard

Since graduating from RSEA in 1997, where I wrote a thesis under Michael Puett on “Wheeled Vehicles in the Chinese Bronze Age,” [Joseph Fletcher Prize], I was admitted to the Chinese Art and Archaeology PhD Program at Princeton University, where I received my degree in 2001. The solid language training in Modern Chinese, Classical Chinese, and Japanese I received in the RSEA program made it possible to finish my PhD in only four years (a record in that department). I was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, where I taught from 2001-2007, then took my current appointment as Professor of Early Chinese History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Read more


Richard Palmer, AM 1988 - Finance   Palmer's calculator

In October of 1987, I was a second-year MA (RSEA – China) student and my thesis advisor, Professor Dwight Perkins (Economics) gave me some advice early on. During the spring, when I outlined my thesis topic -- CITIC and Capital Markets in China -- to Professor Perkins, he said he knew little about Chinese capital markets and finance as he was an agricultural economist, therefore: “You should go over to the Business School in the Fall and take a few finance courses which will help solidify your analysis of the nascent Chinese capital markets.” Not knowing a thing about HBS, I said ok, and enrolled in a few business courses. In those days, as long as you were a graduate student at the University, you could take classes at HBS, HLS, etc. The first class I took at HBS was called “Capital Markets”. Not only did I learn how to use a HP 12 calculator, but I learned that many business school students were leveraged and highly sensitive to the stock market. How did I learn that? As a poor graduate student surviving on loans and part-time jobs, I had no cash to invest in stocks, so the market was a foreign entity to me. Read more